This warm and spicy hot chocolate is a decadent blend of whole milk, dark cocoa powder, light brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, star anise, vanilla, and nutmeg.

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Top down view of prepared spiced hot chocolate garnished with whipped cream, star anise, and a cinnamon stick.

About Spiced Hot Chocolate

If you love hot cocoa but are looking to spice it up a bit, then this spiced hot chocolate is exactly what you’re looking for. I mean, c’mon – it’s already in the name!

This flavorful version of the classic takes everything that’s great about hot chocolate and adds a dash of warm heat thanks to the cinnamon and star anise.

Can you add alcohol?

Yes, you totally can!

Just wait to pour in the alcohol (whether it be Rumchata, Peppermint Schnapps, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Kahlua, Baileys, etc etc…) until you’re serving out the hot cocoa. Add as much as you’d like and, above all, enjoy!

Top down view of 2 glasses of prepared spiced hot chocolate with garnish.

Can you use out of date cocoa powder?

If you’re anything like me, you might only crave hot cocoa when you’re stuck in the house during colder weather. And in those cases, you might find you have all the ingredients… but that they’re expired. This recipe is especially tricky since it calls for dark cocoa powder, which is not used as much as the other versions.

So, can you still use it?

In most cases, the expiration date on baking ingredients is a “best by” date. After that time, the ingredients will lose their potency and flavor, but not necessarily be “bad” or unusable.

However, you always want to do a quick smell test. And if you feel confident about the smell test, you could even try taste testing it to be 100% sure (assuming you already know what the ingredient should taste like already).

BUT, use your best judgment here, folks. Only do a taste test if you’re betting on the fact that the ingredient is good and you need confirmation. Don’t needlessly consume something if all signs are pointing to it being a lost cause.

Can you eat star anise?

This recipe calls for simmering star anise pods in the chocolate mixture and then removing them before serving. In almost all cases, this is how star anise is used in cooking, as the pods are extremely tough (even after cooking) and would be difficult and unpleasant to consume.

You can still serve this drink with star anise as garnish (as pictured) – just be sure the recipient knows that the garnish is not for eating.

Close up of top of a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream, star anise, and a cinnamon stick.

How long is hot chocolate good for?

Once the hot cocoa has been prepared and cooled, it can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

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Other great chocolate recipes

How to make spiced hot chocolate

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Start off by mixing together the milk, light brown sugar, dark cocoa powder, and salt. You can do this either in a mixing bowl or in the saucepan you’ll use to heat up the hot chocolate – whichever is easiest for you.

Step 2 – If you haven’t already, transfer the hot chocolate mixture to a saucepan and warm it over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, vanilla, and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 3 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Top down view of prepared spiced hot chocolate garnished with whipped cream, star anise, and a cinnamon stick.
5 from 1 vote

Spiced Hot Chocolate

5 mins prep + 10 mins cook
272 kcal
Yields: 2 drinks
This warm and spicy hot chocolate is a decadent blend of whole milk, dark cocoa powder, light brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, star anise, vanilla, and nutmeg.

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, add milk, light brown sugar, dark cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk until ingredients are incorporated and there are no clumps.
  • Warm saucepan over medium heat. Add cinnamon sticks, star anise, vanilla, and nutmeg. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • Before serving, choose your potency for the spiciness. For a mild flavor, remove saucepan from heat and serve immediately. For a strong flavor, remove saucepan from heat, cover, and let sit for 15-20 minutes, then serve. For a potent flavor, remove saucepan from heat, allow to cool, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (reheat again before serving).
  • Remove whole spices (cinnamon and star anise) and serve immediately. Garnish with whipped cream and more nutmeg and dark cocoa powder (optional).

Nutrition

Serving: 1drink | Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 482mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 409IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 346mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy
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