Hot chocolate is the classic drink to warm you up during a cold winter's day, to kick-start your morning or be a nice chocolatey treat. While all forms of hot chocolate are good in their own right, store-bought varieties can seem a little too sweet or bland. Nothing beats making hot chocolate from scratch, and we've found the recipe to whip up this great drink with ease.

Traditional Hot Chocolate Recipe

hot chocolate in a mug

This simple recipe from Hershey's for a traditional mug of hot chocolate is sure to hit your sweet tooth craving. Cocoa powder, sugar and salt are heated with milk and then stirred together to give a creamy texture. After removing the mix from the heat, vanilla extract is added and the whole mixture is whisked together to give make it a light, foamy drink. If you want to give the hot chocolate an extra layer of flavor, try putting in mint extract or cinnamon. This recipe makes about six servings, and each mug can be enhanced by sprinkling marshmallows on top.

Hot Chocolate Variations

hot chocolate with marshmallows and a book

Once you've got the basic hot chocolate mastered, you can begin experimenting with more diverse versions of the classic drink. Check out a few recipes to start expanding your hot chocolate horizons:

Cookies And Cream Hot Chocolate

Oreos and whipping cream are the only two major changes when it comes to this hot chocolate recipe. You'll just need a food processor or blender to grind up the Oreo cookies before sprinkling them on top with the whipping cream for an even sweeter treat.

Mexican Spiced Hot Chocolate

frothy hot chocolate with spice at the top

Spices are the name of the game when it comes to Mexican Spiced hot chocolate -- chili powder, cayenne and nutmeg give the traditional hot chocolate a strong kick. The heat from these spices complements the sweetness of the chocolate, and the cornstarch thickens the drink to give you a smooth, frothy finished product.

Spiked Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate with marshmallows

A wonderful choice for a cold night in, this recipe for a boozy hot chocolate only has three ingredients -- semi-sweet chocolate, hot milk and your choice of spirits (Bailey's Irish Cream or a peppermint schnapps is recommended). All you have to do is finely chop the chocolate and place it in a mug, then pour in the hot milk and let it sit for two minutes, stirring until smooth. After that, add your booze, give it another stir, and enjoy.

Christmas Orange Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate with cinnamon toppings

This recipe takes the traditional hot chocolate and gives it a citrus twist -- once you've made the basic hot chocolate mixture, slowly stir in the orange juice over medium heat, then add in the cinnamon and mix everything together. Pour it into a mug, garnish with some small marshmallows, and enjoy.

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