Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate
Want the best hot cocoa recipe ever? I thought you might! This spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate is my all-time favorite. It's made with real chocolate, spiced with cinnamon and vanilla, and has a little kick from a chili pepper. It's the best!
Cozy up, friends! I've brought us mugs of steaming hot cocoa.
This isn't your ordinary hot chocolate recipe. This is hot chocolate for grownups.
It's thick and rich and gives your tongue a deliciously spicy kick with each sip. Hot cocoa should always be Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate.
This delicious drink/ cocktail/ dessert (you choose!) is made by melting real dark chocolate into milk – or in my case, almond milk. Using chocolate instead of cocoa powder means the hot chocolate turns out nice and thick and has a rich flavor that you just can't get with the powdered stuff.
Once the chocolate melts, it's infused with vanilla, cinnamon, and spicy chili pepper. The longer you let the chili pepper sit in the pot, the spicier your Aztec hot chocolate will be. I like to let it sit for at least 10 minutes to maximize the spiciness.
You can keep it on the mellow side if that suits your taste.
I need to let you in on a little secret. This is all about making faux homemade marshmallows. ← Yes, that is a thing.
Did you see those little marshmallow squares up there? They're not real. Or they're not real homemade marshmallows, anyway.
They were a happy accident born out of wanting to have homemade marshmallows in the pictures and being too lazy to make them. Truth!
You can make your own lazy marshmallows by melting some storebought ones then pouring the caramel flecked batter into a parchment paper-lined tray. Once they cool, you can cut them into pieces and pop them in your spicy Aztec hot chocolate.
Even though they swap their fluffiness for chewiness, they are still delicious.
Or try topping your spicy hot chocolate with some dairy-free marshmallows!
From your love life to hot chocolate, a little spiciness makes everything better. The Aztecs knew this; they were the inventors of a spicy chocolate drink called xocoatl. Rather than sweeten their chocolate with sugar, they added fiery chilies for a spicy and bitter drink.
They were onto something.
Warm, thick and super chocolaty, this hot chocolate is a lot like dessert. The dark chocolate mellows the chili's spiciness while the cinnamon adds warmth without the heat. I prefer mine on the bitter side; adjust the sugar to your taste.
I can imagine serving this in tiny ornate glasses after a dinner party. It would be equally welcomed sipped from a thermos while snowshoeing. What I'm wishing for now is a fireplace to curl up in front of with a mug of this spicy hot chocolate and a good book. My imagination will have to fill in for the fireplace.
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Favorite Winter Drinks:
- Spiced Cranberry Hot Toddy
- Super Creamy Almond Butter Latte
- Christmas Cranberry Margarita
- Magic Turmeric Tea
- Nutella Latte – 2 ways
- A Delicious Mulled Wine Cocktail
Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate
- 2 cups milk, I like almond but regular dairy milk would work, too
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Dash of salt
- 1 chili pepper, split in half and seeds removed
- 1-4 tablespoons coconut sugar, depending on taste (you can sub brown sugar or honey)
- Optional: 2 shots of brandy or Grand Marnier
- Melt the chocolate with a little of the milk in a small pot over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining milk, the cinnamon, vanilla, and dash of salt. Add the chili pepper to the pot and bring the pot almost to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 10 mins. Remove and discard the chili pepper.½ cup chopped dark chocolate, 2 cups milk, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 chili pepper
- Whisk in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and taste until it is a sweetness you like. If you are using the brandy or Grand Marnier, add it to the pot1-4 tablespoons coconut sugar, Optional: 2 shots of brandy or Grand Marnier
- Pour the spicy Aztec hot chocolate into mugs and serve!
If it wasn’t so very rich and fattening, I could drink this hot cocoa all day long!!! In a pinch, Abuelita or Ibarra Genuine Mexican Hot Chocolate is delicious, already has sugar and cinnamon in it. BTW, instead of the optional 2 shots of brandy or Grand Marnier, just add the peel (no pith) from from an orange, tangerine or mandarin orange if desired. I freeze and save them as I eat the fruits year round, and often throw some peel in black coffee too! Much better when you have to go out driving or to work after your cocoa!!
Thank you for this recipe. I’ve never thought of adding spice to hot chocolate but it totally works.
I’m not too familiar with chili peppers…what kind should I use?
We use chili de arbol They are small, red chili peppers that are widely available. Hope that helps!
Waaaaaaaaay too much cinnamon. Makes it sludgy and overpowering. Highly suggest adding the Cinnamon with the sugar ar the end bit by bit.
SOunds good would like to try
this recipe looks delicious! i was hoping if i could use cocoa powder instead of dark chocolate.. please reply!!
The cocoa powder would definitely change it. I would stick with dark chocolate. 🙂
The best hot chocolate I ever had! Not just spicy, but very nicely balanced with the cinnamon and vanilla. Thank you for this truly beautiful recipe.
That makes me so happy to hear! Hooray!
I can’t believe I’ve ever made hot chocolate any other way! The spiciness is amazing. Thank you for the great recipe!
It really is the best, isn’t it?!!
We just made this and it’s so good! The spiciness is a great combo with the chocolate. Thanks!
The spice makes it, doesn’t it? I’m so happy you liked it!
I used Redstone’s Aztec bar…already has chili’s and spice.
Saved some steps. Easy and great, thanks!
My english is not great but i must tell you something.
Your photo form this post is in polish website http://www.papilot.pl/porady-kulinarne/20294/Przepis-na-zimowe-kakao-Cynamon-miod-imbir-tworza-jego-wyjatkowy-charakter.html
And i think that is stolen photo… So If you want write to them to get them removed.
Thank you so much for letting me know. I really appreciate it! I’ve contacted them so hopefully they will be decent and take it down. Or link back to this site. Fingers crossed!
Not at all, I do not like this behavior. I also run a blog and it bothers me steal this.
P.S. Your chocolate must taste delicious.
This is an awesome recipe! I love the historical background of “Hot” Chocolate, and the picture is awesome. I’ll definitely want to try this one!
I’ve tried this Aztec Hot Chocolate at a friend’s place before and it is super tasty and I strongly recommend it for all chocolate lovers!!!
This looks gorgeous – love the addition of spice and that you’ve used real chocolate. Yum 🙂
This sounds fantastic! I’ve tried adding some spice to my hot chocolate before, but I’m going to try your recipe next. I love the different kinds of spice from the pepper and cinnamon – sounds delicious!
Thank you so much! Let me know how you like it 🙂
Thanks for this! When looking for hot chocolate recipes, lots of people want to use cocoa. :p Hot cocoa is nice, but hot chocolate doesn’t use the cocoa, it uses the actual chocolate.
I agree, hot chocolate with real chocolate is so much better. It is more rich and creamier than cocoa could ever be. Hope you enjoy the recipe!
I found out about your blog through the food writing course online.
Another food blog I’d like to share with you: http://www.kloppskitchen.com/
-a fellow foodie
Thanks for passing on the link to Klopp’s Kitchen. Is he a friend of yours? Checked out the website and it’s really great.
You are welcome! Mr. Klopp is actually a friend of my boyfriend. I’ve been feeling inspired lately, so I hope to start my own food blog soon. 🙂 I look forward to your next recipe!
Hey M, Let me know if you start your blog. I’d definitely like to read it 🙂