This Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate is made with real pumpkin purée, a simple homemade hot cocoa mix, real milk, and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice. It’s like the holidays never left!
We’ve had a pretty cold winter here in the land of sunshine, in Southern California. Not to compare it to certain parts of the country, but considering that I grew up in the tropics, 60°F is freezing to me. I need a mug of Pumpkin Hot Chocolate to warm my hands morning and night!
How to make Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
I used to live by hot cocoa mix, but ever since I discovered how easy it is to make hot cocoa from scratch, I parted ways with the store bought version because it is one less jar in my overcrowded pantry!
What you need to make this recipe
This pumpkin spice hot chocolate recipe requires 7 ingredients and takes roughly 10 minutes to make.
- Pumpkin puree – add the real stuff for real pumpkin flavor. Make sure to use pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
- Pumpkin pie spice – a pinch of this stuff gives it that signature “pumpkin pie” taste. Use the store-bought version or your homemade mix if you have any leftovers from holiday baking. Or simply add a pinch of each — cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cardamom, fennel — if you have them readily available.
- Milk – I like whole milk but 2% will work too. You can also use lactose free milk if you’re lactose intolerant. I haven’t tried milk alternatives in this recipe, but make sure to pick one with mild flavor so it doesn’t compete with the pumpkin flavor if you must.
- Cream – I usually add this to both the hot cocoa for added richness and also use it to make whipped cream topping for the hot chocolate. If you are lactose intolerant, substitute lactose free milk and skip the whipped cream or explore lactose free/dairy free whipped cream alternative.
- Cocoa powder – you can’t make hot chocolate without cocoa. You can use either natural or Dutch-process.
- Sugar – you need sugar to sweeten the hot chocolate, regular granulated sugar is fine. You could also use brown sugar for additional flavor depth, or try maple syrup if you want a non-refined sugar option.
- Vanilla extract – I usually add a splash of vanilla extract to the whipped cream. If you’re skipping whipped cream or using canned whipped cream or other whipped cream alternatives, adding a splash of vanilla extract to your pumpkin spice hot chocolate itself will enhance the flavor. Stir in at the end when you take the hot cocoa off the heat.
More tips for the best pumpkin hot chocolate
- For even more chocolate flavor, add chopped dark chocolate while your pumpkin hot chocolate is cooking on the stove top.
- For a pumpkin white hot chocolate version, replace the cocoa powder and sugar with ½ cup of chopped white chocolate instead. Taste your hot cocoa while cooking and add more white chocolate if desired.
- If making a large batch for a party, you can keep it hot in a slow cooker.
What to serve with pumpkin hot chocolate?
- I assure you it is completely acceptable for breakfast. Make it a complete breakfast with Buttermilk Pumpkin Pancakes and a slice of Frittata, with coffee for you, and pumpkin spice hot cocoa for the kids.
- It is more than perfect for snack time with a couple of Dulce de Leche Cookies or Almond Shortbread Cookies.
- Serve it after dinner with a slice of Apple Tart for dessert.
More hot drinks to warm your hands
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 20 ounce whole milk
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
Fresh whipped cream
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- A splash of pure vanilla extract
- To make whipped cream, add heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla to a medium mixing bowl and beat vigorously with a whisk until soft to medium peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- To make hot chocolate, add cocoa powder, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice to a small bowl. Pour heavy cream over the cocoa powder mixture and mix with a spoon until a thick paste forms.
- Heat milk and pumpkin puree in a small pot over medium heat until it starts to simmer, stirring occasionally. Scrape the cocoa powder paste from the bowl and add it to the simmering pot, mix with a whisk until completely dissolved.
- Pour hot chocolate into two mugs. Top with fresh whipped cream, and a few sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice.
This post was originally published on 10/28/2017. The post has been updated and republished on 1/15/2020.