Thick and creamy pumpkin spice hot chocolate made with bittersweet chocolate, pumpkin puree, and warm spices is the perfect cozy drink for those chilly days. Super chocolatey and rich, this indulgent pumpkin spice hot chocolate will be your go-to all fall and winter long!
Hot chocolate is the ultimate cold-weather beverage and I look forward to whipping up my first batch as soon as that first cold snap hits. Add a little pumpkin puree and warm, cozy spices and you've got yourself a fall hug in a mug.
This pumpkin spice hot chocolate is so rich, creamy, and chocolatey and pairs incredibly well with our Pumpkin Bread Pudding! For more of our favorite fall recipes, check out our Southern Sweet Potato Pie and Apple Cider Donut Cake recipes next.
Table of Contents
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Real pumpkin flavor! This recipe uses canned pumpkin puree along with cozy spices like cinnamon and cloves for the most delicious pumpkin flavor.
- Thick and creamy! Heavy cream and whole milk are combined to create the most thick and creamy cup of pumpkin spice hot chocolate.
- Super chocolatey! Cocoa powder and chopped bittersweet chocolate come together to make this extra-chocolatey hot cocoa.
Important Ingredient Notes
A complete list of ingredients with measurements along with detailed recipe instructions can be found in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.
- Cocoa powder. You may use regular unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch-processed (dark) cocoa powder for this hot cocoa.
- Spices. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves are used to give this pumpkin spice hot chocolate the ultimate warm and cozy fall flavors. Feel free to use your favorite fall spices to flavor this hot cocoa and adjust the measurements to your liking.
- Milk. I recommend using whole milk for a rich and creamy hot chocolate. You may substitute low-fat milk but your hot chocolate will not be as rich.
- Heavy cream. I do not recommend substituting this ingredient if you would like thick and creamy pumpkin spice hot chocolate. For a thinner consistency, you may substitute half and half or whole milk.
- Pumpkin. You will need canned pumpkin puree for this hot chocolate recipe. Be sure not to use pumpkin pie filling! Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin is my favorite.
- Chocolate. I love to make hot chocolate with chopped bittersweet chocolate but feel free to use your favorite variety of chocolate instead.
How To Make Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
- Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, and spices in a medium saucepan.
- Heat the hot chocolate. Add the milk, cream, and pumpkin, and heat the hot chocolate over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
- Add the chopped chocolate. Add the chopped chocolate and vanilla and stir until the chocolate is melted.
- Garnish and enjoy! Ladle warm pumpkin spice hot chocolate into mugs, garnish with fresh whipped cream and cinnamon, and enjoy!
Variations and Substitutions
- Try different spices such as apple pie spice, allspice, or cardamom to switch up the flavor of this hot chocolate.
- To reduce the fat and richness in this hot chocolate, substitute low-fat milk for the whole milk or heavy cream.
- Make pumpkin spice hot cocoa with dark, semi-sweet, milk, or white chocolate instead of bittersweet chocolate.
Absolutely! Feel free to substitute 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for the individual spices in this hot chocolate recipe.
I recommend using whole milk to make homemade hot chocolate if you prefer yours creamy. You may also use 2% or skim milk to make healthier chocolate or half and half or heavy cream for extra rich and creamy hot chocolate.
Do not heat hot chocolate until is boiling but rather until you see small bubbles form around the edge of the pan and wisps of steam rising from the hot chocolate. Heating hot chocolate until it is boiling could scorch the dairy and ruin the flavor.
How To Store Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
Store leftover pumpkin spice hot chocolate by allowing it to come to room temperature, then refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat hot chocolate in the microwave or on the stovetop.
More Cozy Fall Recipes You Will Love!
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Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus more for garnish
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 ½ cups whole milk or low-fat milk
- 1 cup heavy cream see note
- ½ cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped, semisweet, dark, or milk chocolate also work
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fresh whipped cream for topping
- Whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium saucepan.
- Add the milk, cream, and pumpkin puree and whisk to combine. Heat the mixture over medium heat until hot but not boiling. You should see wisps of steam rising and small bubbles forming around the edge of the pan.
- Stir in the chopped chocolate and vanilla extract until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Allow the hot chocolate to cool for about 5 minutes then ladle into mugs and top with fresh whipped cream and cinnamon. Enjoy!
- To reduce the fat and richness in this hot chocolate, substitute low-fat milk for the whole milk and/or heavy cream.
- Store leftover hot chocolate by allowing it to come to room temperature, then refrigerating it in an airtight container for up to 3 days.