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15 Things to Put in Hot Chocolate (Besides Mini Marshmallows)

It's cold outside and just the right time for hot cocoa. Give this classic drink a delicious new spin with different toppings like Nutella, pumpkin spice and orange zest.

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Hazelnut Mocha haute chocolatePhoto: Taste of Home

Nutella

We know Nutella fans can’t get enough of the spread. Add a touch of Nutella to your hot cocoa as it heats. If you want to go a little further, add a splash of Frangelico to your cup!

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Pumpkin Spice haute chocolatePhoto: Taste of Home

Pumpkin Spice

No reason to limit pumpkin spice to just your latte. Stir a bit of leftover canned pumpkin into your mug along with pumpkin pie spice.

Check out other ideas for what to do with your pumpkins.

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Photo: Taste of Home

Vanilla or Almond Extract

Your favourite extracts for baked goods also add sweet magic to homey drinks. Try vanilla almond hot chocolate for a taste that’s out-of-this-world good!

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Snickerdoodle haute chocolatePhoto: Taste of Home

Spice

An easy way to add extra flavour to any cup of cocoa—be it out of the box or homemade—is to add a touch of your favourite spices. A sprinkle of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg or even cayenne can all be welcome warming additions.

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Chai haute chocolatePhoto: Taste of Home

Chai

Combine one favourite cozy drink with another. Steep a bag of chai tea in your hot chocolate for added spice and flavour. Top with a little extra cinnamon for more of a kick!

Here are more amazing ways to use spices around the house.

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Photo: Taste of Home

A Splash of Your Favourite Tipple

Hot chocolate is a guilty pleasure on its own, but spiked hot chocolate takes the treat to a whole new level. Just add a splash of Kahlua, bourbon, whiskey, amaretto or Irish cream.

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Chili-Orange haute chocolatePhoto: Taste of Home

Chili and Orange Zest

Wake up your senses with a chili-orange hot cocoa. Add a pinch of chili powder, cayenne and orange zest to your favourite packaged hot cocoa.

You’ll wish you knew these brilliant household uses for orange peels sooner.

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Heavenly NutmegPhoto: Taste of Home

Flavoured Marshmallows

We know you keep a bag of the basic mallows on hand, but hot chocolate is an excellent excuse to snatch a few bags of the flavoured ones.

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Creamy White haute chocolatePhoto: Taste of Home

White Chocolate

If you’re a white chocolate fan, skip the cocoa in your go-to hot chocolate recipe. Instead use white baking chips and a splash of vanilla extract. Bonus points if you coat the rim in more chocolate and pretty sprinkles!

Don’t miss this recipe for peppermint white hot chocolate.

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Photo: Taste of Home

Coffee

Turn your hot chocolate into a mocha-like drink by adding coffee or espresso. Want an easy way to get that cocoa-coffee fix? Sub coffee for the hot water or milk with your powdered cocoa mix.

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Salted Caramel & Banana haute chocolatePhoto: Taste of Home

Caramel, Butterscotch or Dulce de Leche

We love these sticky sweet toppings. You can add their sweetness and flavour to your cocoa. Just stir in a spoonful into your favourite mix or homemade cocoa recipe.

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Photo: Taste of Home

Peppermint

No matter how frigid the temperature, the refreshing, delicious icy taste of peppermint is a hallmark of the season. Stir in crushed candy canes or peppermint candies, mint chocolate chips, a drop of mint or peppermint extract, or fresh mint leaves.

Top off your drink with this recipe for classic candy cane butter cookies.

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Biscoff haute chocolate

Biscoff Cookie Spread

Get your hot cocoa and cookie fix all in one cup. Whisk in Biscoff creamy cookie spread until smooth. Pour into mugs; top with sweetened whipped cream and a Biscoff cookie.

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Maple

Warm and cozy just met its match. Try maple hot chocolate alongside your favourite Saturday morning pancakes and syrup.

Pair your hot cocoa with 30 recipes for winter desserts that’ll make you feel cozy.

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More Chocolate

Is your packaged hot cocoa mix leaving a little to be desired? Add more flavour by stirring in a teaspoon or two of baking cocoa or even stirring in a little chocolate syrup. This will amp up the chocolatiness and make it the perfect vehicle for all those marshmallows.

Next, check out the 20 best hot chocolate recipes to warm up this winter.

Originally Published on Taste of Home