Spiced Hot Chocolate Recipe

Spiced Hot Chocolate Recipe
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

I went to a chocolate museum in Cusco, Peru, where I learned that hot chocolate originated in South America where it was made with spicy chillies and with no milk.

I found this fascinating – both the practice of using chillies and that hot chocolate was originally made without milk.

Spiced Hot Chocolate Recipe

Prep time:
Makes 1 mug

I’ve been making my own hot chocolate for a long time because I’ve always been allergic to milk and most cafes and restaurants make hot chocolate with milk.

I have a special trick to make hot chocolate rich and creamy without milk, and I love the wonderful flavor and nutritional boost spices bring.

You can use some non-dairy milk if you want, but I like this hot chocolate perfectly well with just water.

The key is in mixing the cocoa powder with maple syrup. You can sweeten this with unrefined granulated sugar, but you won’t get the same creaminess unless you use a liquid sweetener.

I also often make this with carob powder instead of cocoa, in which case I use a bit less maple syrup because carob is naturally much sweeter than cocoa powder.

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  • 1 Tbsp pure cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (or 1/4 tsp ground)
  • 1 mug boiling water (optional – leave 1/4 cup or so of the water out and stir in non-dairy milk)


  1. Put the cocoa and maple syrup in a mug and stir until it makes a paste.
  2. Stir in whatever spices you like, and then pour in the water and/or non-dairy milk and stir until fully combined..


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