Whether you make it from a mix or from scratch, hot cocoa is always a special treat to help warm up on a chilly winter day. It’s a delicious pick-me-up the whole family can enjoy! Your go-to may be to enjoy your hot chocolate plain, but why not try something new! Here are a few ways to make your next cup of hot cocoa anything but boring:

Melt in some new flavors

Chocolate and mint are a classic combination. Melt a candy cane or starlight mints into your hot cup to add an essence of mint to your cocoa. Other hard candies can be great additions, too. Try butterscotch or Werther’s Original hard candies to add a creamy sweetness to the chocolate flavor.

Try some yummy mix-ins

If you’re looking for a creamy taste of the season with your cocoa, consider adding a splash of egg nog. Do you have a favorite flavored coffee creamer? Like with coffee, flavors like cinnamon, French vanilla, and even hazelnut can bring something new and different to your cocoa. While you’re raiding the coffee bar, consider foaming up your cup with a frother. If you’re making your cocoa from scratch, try using maple syrup or caramel syrup to sweeten things instead of sugar.

Top it off

Whether sprinkled on top or mixed in, cinnamon is a fun addition to any hot drink. If you’re adventurous, try some cayenne pepper or chili powder to bring a different kind of heat on a cold day. Flavors in powdered form, such as vanilla or even malted milk, are fun to try as well.

Make it fun!

If you’re into the classics, you may already put whipped cream on your cocoa, but what about a dollop of Cool Whip instead? Or even a flavored whipped cream? Instead of marshmallows, try a Boston favorite and stir in a spoonful of Marshmallow Fluff. You can even get fun dehydrated mini marshmallows, just like in the Swiss Miss packets! Or, turn your warm beverage into a creamy and decadent dessert by adding some ice cream.

No matter how you serve it, hot cocoa is a winter staple for kids and adults alike. Enjoy these new takes on an old classic as you warm up this winter season!

Hannah DeLisle-Stall
Hannah grew up in rural central Massachusetts and now lives in a teeny tiny town in the Berkshires. Hannah has BS and MS degrees in engineering and has spent most of her career working as a manager in the manufacturing industry — where there are few women, and even fewer moms. She is currently a Senior Manager in the Aerospace Manufacturing industry, working on parts that go into Commercial and Military Airplanes. Hannah and her husband met during college, when they were both volunteering at a local food bank. After graduating, building their careers, traveling, and even living on opposite coasts for a few years, they were married in 2015 and welcomed a son in 2019. Together, they love to camp, travel, and hone their DIY skills. In 2023, they completed a 3-year project to design and build their family's forever home. Hannah loves to volunteer, especially with organizations that help women and mothers advance their careers.