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cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows

Hot Chocolate with Fall Spices

by Karen D. Insignares
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Cozy Up to A Cup of Hot Cocoa

I may not live where it snows, but with babe demanding that the air is below 70ºF, I think I’m justified in wanting some Hot Chocolate in the winter months, or any month. But you know me, it can’t just be a packet of Swiss Miss, it has to be that real luxurious stuff with real chocolate chips melted into whole milk. In this recipe, we kick it up a notch by adding lovely aromatic spices that elevate a simple cup of hot cocoa to a sumptuous cup of fragrant chocolate bliss.

cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows

Cooking Tips and Substitutions

The Milk

I really I prefer using whole milk for this recipe. The thick and creamy texture of the milk adds an extra layer of warm silkiness to the drink. But! I have, on several occasions, made this recipe with almond milk and 2% reduced-fat milk, and they come out wonderful as well. So, feel free to use your dairy of preference, just definitely not water… don’t do that, that’s weird.

cup of hot cocoa with melted marshmallows on top

The Spices

I have been using freshly ground nutmeg and whole cloves for this recipe, but I’m sure you can use pre-ground spices. If I had them, I would use whole cinnamon sticks though, and possibly let the milk simmer for a longer time to deeply infuse that flavor.

Overflowing cup of hot chocolate with melted marshmallows

Even when following a recipe, you should make things to your taste, If you want a more powerful taste of cinnamon, add more cinnamon! Go for it! 

The Marshmallows

If you’re looking to impress your friends, grab a blow torch and scorch the marshmallows for that “roasted on an open fire” effect. You can even replace the marshmallows with whipped cream and sprinkle it with chocolate shavings or more cinnamon. 

Hot Chocolate with Fall Spices

A warm cup of hot chocolate infused with fragrant cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
Recipe by Karen D. Insignares
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 3 cups


  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg ($0.01)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon ($0.01)
  • 5 cloves ($0.05)
  • 3 cups milk ($1.11)
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips ($1.08)
  • Mini Marshmallows ($0.20)


  • On low heat, add spices to a pot and toast for a minute. Toasting the spices will release more of the fragrance.
  • Add the milk and bring to a soft simmer.
  • Add chocolate chips, stirring until melted.
  • Strain out the whole cloves and serve with mini marshmallows.

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