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5 Tips To Amp Up Your Hot Cocoa Game And 3 Chocolate-Free Recipes

That little pre-mixed packet just ain’t cutting it anymore? Here’s a handy guide to trick out your tasty hot cocoa treat, and few cozy alternatives to the classic hot cuppa cocoa.

Sarah Burns · 4 months ago

  • cooking

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That little pre-mixed packet just ain’t cutting it anymore? Here’s a handy guide to trick out your tasty hot cocoa treat, and few cozy alternatives to the classic hot cuppa cocoa.

Mix It Up!

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Malinda Peron / Getty Images

Take your hot cocoa from ho-hum to yum-yum with additions like whipped cream, maple syrup, or caramel sauce. Switch it up, and get creative when it comes to mix-ins!

Marshmallow Masterpiece!

CupcakesInJars on Etsy

CupcakesInJars on Etsy

I’m not knocking those little freeze dried marshmallows in the commercial brand packets, BUT if you haven’t tried making marshmallows from scratch, I implore you to give it a go! Not only do they add amazing flavor to any cocoa concoction, but they’re delicious on their own. They also make delightful, unexpected gifts.

Wanna try the homemade taste, but don’t have time for the homemade part? With six different delectable varieties, Cupcakes In Jars has something sweet for everyone on your “nice” list.

Dairy-free Friendly!

Peeradon Warithkorasuth / Getty Images

Peeradon Warithkorasuth / Getty Images

Most commercial cocoa powder is already dairy-free. While most baristas agree oat milk is your best bet for a creamier cocoa, any non-dairy milk of choice will deliver a delicious drink. Use a milk frother for a creamier texture.

Here's one I like:

Cocoa That’s the Bomb!

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MoxyInc on Etsy

Have you considered the literal taste explosion that is the hot chocolate bomb? Float this chocolate sphere in a mug of hot milk, and the shell melts away to reveal its tasty cocoa-ey interior. Give it a stir, and watch it all melt away into chocolatey goodness.

Don’t feel like making your own? You can buy them pre-assembled!

It’s Okay to Be Vanilla!

So chocolate’s not your thing — that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the decadent deliciousness! Here are three recipes that are basically hot cocoa’s cousins:

Hot Vanilla

brebca / Getty Images

brebca / Getty Images

A Hot Vanilla is a sweeter version of cozying up with a glass of warm milk. Simple, but satisfying, milk and honey is a never-miss combination. This recipe calls for 2% milk, but any non-dairy milk will do.

Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa

PavelKant / Getty Images

PavelKant / Getty Images

Cinnamon fans will love the sweet and spicy flavors of this Snickerdoodle Hot Cocoa. This recipe walks you through cooking up the cinnamon dolce syrup used in this drink, but it can also be used on pancakes, or as a sweet, carmel-ey dipping sauce.

White Hot Chocolate

john shepherd / Getty Images

john shepherd / Getty Images

Purists will argue white chocolate isn't really chocolate because it contains no cocoa solids, but it is made with cocoa butter, and it makes a totally fabulous White Hot Chocolate.