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Upgrade Your Hot Cocoa With These 8 Ideas

Like candy canes and sugar plums, cocoa is a staple of winter cuisine, but even old standbys can use a little something extra now and then.

Why not wow your guests at your next party or pamper yourself with a special treat this season by indulging in these spins on a classic winter drink?


cocoa-tips-cinnamonA sprinkle of cinnamon can add a spicy kick to any mug!

Ice Cream


Add one small scoop of ice cream for an extra creamy cup of cocoa. Vanilla and chocolate are easy wins, but other seasonal flavors like peppermint or sugar cookie will surprise and delight.

Store-bought ice cream is full of junk. Try this 6-ingredient, homemade recipe instead.


cocoa-tips-marshmallowsYou can’t go wrong with marshmallows. Whether you use two jumbo-size or a sprinkle of mini marshmallows, this addition will make a mug of cocoa extra-special.

Mix up your marshmallows by adding creative flavors. Learn how here.


Caramel is always in season! Add 1/4th cup of caramel sauce for a new spin on a classic Christmas favorite.

Whipped Cream

cocoa-tips-whipped-creamClassic and for good reason. Used canned whipped cream to add a topper to your mug of cocoa that will make any barista jealous of your serving skills. Maybe finish with some red and green sprinkles for extra Christmas cheer?

Vegan friends can still enjoy whipped cream! Here's a genius dairy-free whipped cream recipe.

Chili Powder

For cocoa with a kick, try adding a pinch of chili powder. It will warm you through and through! If you’re feeling especially adventurous, try combining one pinch of chili powder with a half teaspoon of cinnamon for delicious and easy Mexican hot chocolate.

Peppermint Sticks

Cool, refreshing, and invigorating, peppermint is one of the holiday season’s key flavors. Use peppermint sticks as stirrers for your cocoa to get a true taste of winter in each cup.

Take the peppermint flavor to the next level with this Peppermint Hot Chocolate recipe.


For especially cold nights or get-togethers with your least favorite in-laws, one shot of Frangelico, peppermint schnapps, brandy, or rum will lend a little extra cheer.

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