RecipeSpicy Hot Chocolate

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 180
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Total Fat: 11 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 6 g
    • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 20 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
  • Total Sugar: 15 g
    • Natural Sugar: 0 g
    • Added Sugar: 15 g
  • Sodium: 190 mg

This cup of hot cocoa is hot…and I don’t mean just the temperature. Sure, it’s steamy, but it’s also spicy. Like every delicious cup of hot cocoa, it’s sweet, thanks to the chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon but it also provides a spicy kick from the addition of cayenne pepper. That means you get the best of both worlds in a single scrumptious cup—rich, velvety cocoa (hello, sweet) and fiery heat of heat (hey there, spicy!). And if you prefer a milder cup, try this Almond Hot Cocoa instead. Whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings nonnegotiable. Trust me, it will be love at first sip. 

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes about 3½ cups
  • •    3 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • •    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • •    ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper* 
  • •    ¾ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • •    ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • •    1 pinch salt
  • •    Whipped topping (optional)
  • •    Dark chocolate shavings (optional)

*For a less spicy kick, reduce cayenne to ⅛ teaspoon


Add the almond milk, ground cinnamon and cayenne to a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Warm over medium-high heat until the milk begins to gently bubble around the edges. 

Add the chocolate chips, vanilla and salt into the pan, and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Adjust the heat to low, cover the pan, and let it sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. 

Pour the hot cocoa into three mugs. Top each with an optional squirt of whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

For a thicker and richer beverage, make the full recipe ahead of time and stash in the fridge overnight. It’ll start to thicken up. Then, pour into mugs and reheat in the microwave. Or, you can reheat the whole batch in a small pan on stovetop. 

Nutrition provided for 1¼ cups. 

Try this Chocolate Peppermint Bark!