Get Your Heat On: Spiced Hot Chocolate

Mexican hot chocolate has held onto the spicy origins, including a dash of chili or cayenne pepper to enhance its warming properties.
Spiced Hot Chocolate

Spiced Hot Chocolate

Spiced hot chocolate is the perfect place to start your return from a long day hard at work or play in the frigid winter wind.

Spiced hot chocolate is the perfect place to start your return from a long day hard at work or play in the frigid winter wind.

Hot cocoa has its roots with the ancient Mayans, but their version bears little resemblance to the modern day belly warmer. Grinding cocoa beans with water, cornmeal and chili peppers into a lukewarm paste, it was in high demand as an energy booster and an elixir of health. The Aztecs continued the tradition and Montezuma was reputed to have consumed up to 50 cups a day of the thick, spicy beverage.

We’ve come a long way. Hot cocoa is a cold weather favorite, but is generally served as a simple, creamy blend of cocoa and sugar. Chocolate cake in a cup. But Mexican hot chocolate has held onto the spicy origins, including a dash of chili or cayenne pepper to enhance its warming properties. Spiced hot chocolate has returned to fashion in the last few years with the addition of those heat bringers as well as other seasonal flavors like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or ginger.  We’re on board.

This recipe for spiced hot chocolate is the perfect place to start your return from a long day hard at work or play in the frigid winter wind. We kept it sweet. You’ve earned it.

Spiced Hot Chocolate

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream

Combine milk, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, cayenne and vanilla in a saucepan.

Bring to a hot temperature, but not boiling (about 180 degrees), stirring frequently.

Pour into cups and top with a dollop of whipped cream to serve.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Boozy Chocolate-Covered Cherry Hot Cocoa Recipe

Shake off a cold-weather chill with this warm and creamy cocktail that tastes just like decadent chocolate-covered cherries.

Hot Buttered Rum

Gather your friends around the fireplace for this truly traditional winter favorite cocktail.

Hot Peppermint Rod

This peppermint-infused cocktail will warm you up, thanks to hot water and a healthy helping of vodka.

Bring the Heat: Crock Pot Texas Brisket Chili Recipe

Cook up this stick-to-your-ribs cool-weather classic.

Boozy Peppermint Patty Hot Cocoa

This warm cocktail pairs the chill of peppermint with the warmth of steamy hot cocoa. Topped with crushed peppermints and whipped cream, it's sure to please.

Mexican Hot Cocoa and Puff Pastry Cinnamon Sticks

These puff pastry cinnamon sticks are super-simple and the perfect complement to homemade hot chocolate. To make the Mexican hot cocoa in a traditional way, consider investing in a handy milk-frothing tool called a molinillo.

Vern Yip's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

HGTV designer Vern Yip is a star in the kitchen, too. And he shared one of his favorite recipes for Saturday family breakfast with HGTV Magazine!

Spiced Chai Tea Recipe

Warm your guests as the nights get cooler with a kettle of homemade chai tea. Spicy, sweet and creamy, this yummy drink can be enjoyed with or without an extra kick of bourbon.

Chocolate Zucchini Cookie Recipe

Eating your veggies never tasted so sweet.

More Recipes to Get You Out of Your Roasting Rut

We’re on a mission to get you out of the same-ole, same-ole root vegetables routine.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.