Spiced hot chocolate

Is there anything better than a belly-warming, deliciously spiced hot chocolate on a brisk morning? Try this recipe that’s guaranteed to beat the chill.
Cook Time 10 minutes
Steeping 1 hour
Course Drinks
Servings 4
Dairy Free, Gluten Free


  • 3 cups milk cow’s, almond, rice, soy
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ground chilli or cayenne pepper pinch
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3-4 star anise


  • In a medium pot over low heat, whisk together milk, cocoa, maple syrup/brown sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and chilli/cayenne. Stir in cinnamon sticks and star anise and bring to a simmer.
  • Remove pot from heat. Cover and leave to steep for at least 1 hour (when it has cooled, place in the fridge). Just before going on your picnic, warm the spiced hot chocolate over a low heat – adding more sweetness to taste, if you like – and pour into a Thermos.


Whether you’re curled up at home or heading out for the day, this hot chocolate recipe is all you need to warm up. Starring vanilla, nutmeg, chilli, cinnamon and star anise, this spice combo becomes a flavour explosion when mixed with creamy milk and chocolatey cocoa.
Prepare this spiced hot chocolate the night before and leave the flavours to develop before reheating on the stove and pouring into a Thermos just before you leave. You can even make this up to a few days in advance; leave in the fridge and just warm up on the morning you want to drink it. The longer you leave it to steep, the more intense the spice flavours will be.