Salted Caramel Hot ChocolateSalted Caramel Hot Chocolate. Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy Starbucks.





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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.



February 2006
Last Updated February 2014

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beverages

Flavored Hot Chocolate

Contemplating  America’s Favorite Winter Beverage


This is Page 2 of a four page article; here, flavored hot chocolate recipes. Click on the links below to visit other pages.

13 Flavored Hot Chocolate Recipes    

Banana Hot Chocolate

Puree half a ripe banana for each 8-ounce cup of hot chocolate. Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a grind of fresh nutmeg to the banana puree, warm it in the microwave for 20 seconds, and stir the puree into the hot beverage. You can garnish the beverage with a side of banana chips (or for kids, marshmallows and graham crackers). We’re not saying this is a “health drink,” but it combines potassium and anti-oxidants, and it sure is a mood elevator!


Banana photo copyright Davide Guglielmo | SXC.

Chai Hot Chocolate

If you love both chai and hot chocolate, you’ll also like them when they’re mixed together. This recipe serves two.

  • Grate 2 ounces of good chocolate in the 40%-50% cacao range.
  • Brew 3 ounces of chai tea for five minutes in a cup of boiling water. Strain the tea into a quart pot or bowl, pressing a spoon against the leaves to extract the most tea.
  • Simmer a cup of milk over medium heat, add to the tea, then add the chocolate. Mix with an immersion blender until the chocolate has melted.
Photo courtesy Gabi |

Coconut Hot Chocolate

Use coconut milk instead of regular milk.


  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 packets instant hot cocoa mix
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Optional garnish: whipped cream, shredded coconut


  1. Heat coconut milk and water in small saucepan until hot (not boiling).
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in hot cocoa mix and pumpkin pie spice until dissolved; serve immediately. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Coconut Hot Chocolate

Coconut hot chocolate. Photo courtesy


Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Stir hot chocolate with a whole cinnamon stick for a classic flavor pairing. You don’t need a cloud of whipped cream to make this trick work: serve the cinnamon stick on the saucer, or in a dish on the table as hot chocolate “condiments” so guests can help themselves. (If you inherited a glass cigarette jar from Grandma, it will make a great server for cinnamon sticks). Alternatives:

  • Mix powdered cinnamon into the cocoa powder or hot chocolate mix.
  • Add cinnamon liqueur (and check out José Cuervo’s cinnamon tequila).

Cinnamon hot chocolate. Photo courtesy


Eggnog Hot Chocolate

Substitute eggnog for some of the milk in the hot chocolate recipe, or make this version:

Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters Original
  • 1 envelope dark Chocolate hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup peppermint ice cream, slightly melted
  • Whipped cream
  • Garnish: crushed candy cane or peppermint candies


  1. Whisk together Egg Beaters and cocoa mix in medium bowl until blended. Add half-and-half gradually, stirring constantly.
  2. Gently stir in ice cream until blended well. Garnish and serve.

Eggnog hot chocolate. Photo and recipe courtesy Reddi-Wip.



Strictly for adults, but oh-so-wonderful: bring out all of your too-seldom-used liqueurs and let guests select their favorites. Many flavor families work: fruit flavors like Grand Marnier and Framboise; coffee flavors like Kahlua; chocolate flavors like Godiva chocolate liqueurs; creamy liqueurs like Bailey’s and Voyant Chai; and spicy flavors like Anisette. Start with a tablespoon per cup, and provide liqueur glasses: guests may enjoy a chaser.

  Grand Marnier

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican chocolate—rustic style, semisoft chocolate with cinnamon and ground almonds, also called Oaxaca chocolate—can be purchased in disks, then melted in boiling milk or water to create Mexican hot chocolate. Clove and nutmeg can also be added to the disk. You can create your own version with regular hot chocolate, just by adding cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.


Also see Spicy Hot Chocolate, below.


Mexican chocolate made by Taza, a chocolate producer located in greater Boston. Photo by Saidi Granados | THE NIBBLE.


Mint Hot Chocolate

Smash the stems of a few sprigs of fresh mint, and add them to the hot chocolate as it cooks; strain before serving, and add a fresh sprig to garnish. You can use mint extract if you don’t have fresh mint. It’s a fresher, zingier, more natural alternative to the peppermint stick approach (see Garnishes, below)—with no added calories! The adult version: add peppermint schnapps!

Fresh mint. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Add 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter to the hot chocolate or cocoa mix, before adding the boiling milk or water. Use a whisk to blend thoroughly. Serve with peanut butter cookies.



Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Peanut butter hot chocolate. Photo courtesy Reddi-Wip.


Raspberry Hot Chocolate

Purée six raspberries for each cup of hot chocolate, and add them to the milk and chocolate mix. Continue to prepare the recipe according to directions. Garnish with a fresh raspberry skewered on a cocktail pick. Frozen raspberries work fine for the puree. If you have neither fresh nor frozen but adore raspberries and chocolate, try 1/4 teaspoon of raspberry extract per 8-ounce cup. You can also use raspberry syrup, but it isn’t as great as fruit puree.

Add puréed raspberries to hot chocolate. Photo © Dirk de Kegel | SXC

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

The newest and trendiest flavor to meet hot chocolate is salted caramel. Here’s a recipe.

Photo courtesy Starbucks.

Spicy Hot Chocolate

If you love “Aztec” hot chocolate but don’t love the high prices of the fine gourmet brands, mix up your own spice blend. Try this basic mix, and add it to your hot chocolate until you find a level of spiciness you like. You can vary the level of individual ingredients (e.g., more or less chili/chipotle or ginger): 1 teaspoon each chili OR chipotle powder and cinnamon; 1/2 teaspoon each cardamom and ginger; 1/4 teaspoon each cloves and nutmeg. Mix all ground spices together. Start by adding 1/2 teaspoon of the mix per cup of hot chocolate, and increase to taste.

Add chile powder and cinnamon to make “hot” hot chocolate. Photo by Angela S | IST.

Syrup Shots

Some of the preceding ideas require advance planning, but you can always have a bottle or two of flavored syrups on hand for coffee, tea, desserts and hot chocolate. We wouldn’t use them on the designer hot chocolate because the heaviness of the syrup covers up the expensive cacao flavor. But they’re just perfect to add pizzazz to supermarket hot chocolate. There are dozens of flavors to have fun with, including banana, caramel, cherry, cinnamon, coconut, egg nog, orange, peanut butter, praline, peppermint, toffee, and toasted marshmallow. Remember that the syrups are sweet, so cut the sugar in the hot chocolate recipe in half. As with a cup of coffee, you can always add more.


Add your favorite flavored syrup. Photo courtesy Amoretti.


Continue To Page 3: Hot Chocolate Garnishes

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