As soon as the temperatures started cooling off a tiny bit, my girls declared it hot cocoa season once again! While we usually drink our cocoa straight-up chocolate flavor, we also enjoy experimenting with different spices and extracts. Of course, October calls for some delicious pumpkin spice hot cocoa!
- 3/4 cup warm milk (or milk alternative – we like unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey (or use regular sugar if you prefer)
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
These are the amounts we thought were tasty, but feel free to adjust to your liking! This recipe can be dairy-free and refined-sugar free, if you choose.
If you have pumpkin pie spice on hand, go ahead and skim past this part. Since they were toddlers, my girls have loved smelling and mixing all the different spices in our cabinet. We like to make our own pumpkin pie spice to have on hand.
DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
Grab a small container (with a lid) and combine these yummy spices:
- 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1-2 teaspoons ground ginger (my girls like less ginger)
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1.5 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cloves
Mix well, or put the lid on and shake it up!
Now that you have your pumpkin pie spice, it’s time for hot cocoa.
Warm your milk on the stove or in the microwave. In your mug, add the cocoa powder, sweetener of choice, and pumpkin pie spice.
Whisk or stir to combine well. Add the warm milk to the mug and stir. Enjoy!
This makes a flavorful, but not super-sweet hot cocoa. If your kiddos are used to packaged hot cocoa mix, you might have to increase the sweetener a bit. I can usually get away with adding a dollop of whipped cream to each mug, rather than more sweetener.
Yum! Don’t you think this would be the perfect drink to enjoy after a day at the pumpkin patch?