Meatless Monday Challenge

Creamy Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate for Two

on September 3, 2023
last updated May 14, 2024
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Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate combines the warmth of hot cocoa with the aromatic spices of pumpkin pie, and earthiness of real pumpkin.
Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate garnished with whipped cream, cinnamon stick, and star anise

Have you ever wondered how to elevate your fall beverage game beyond the classic pumpkin spice latte? Enter this Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate, where velvety cocoa meets the warm embrace of autumn spices in a mug of pure coziness and bliss.

Chocolate and pumpkin is truly a dynamic duo, and when you condense these flavors down into a sippable treat in liquid form, you’re doing Fall right!

This homemade hot chocolate recipe is easy to whip up with just six simple ingredients. It comes together quickly and blows any storebought mix out of the water!

In this recipe you’ll learn how to make small-batch hot cocoa from scratch, and how to easily infuse just the right amount of pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor to make it shine.

You’ll also be given the option to use a pre-made hot chocolate mix if you prefer, plus stove-top and microwave techniques to make this as easy as possible for you!

Close up of star anise and cinnamon stick garnishing hot chocolate in a pumpkin mug

As an environmental scientist, I approach sustainability in the kitchen with a mindset of small changes can make a bigger impact over time. For something like hot chocolate, I like to think about how I can minimize my impact while still indulging my craving.

Homemade is the way to go! It allows you to control the quality of each ingredient you use and also take control of the waste you are producing with packaging.

Green tip: Making your own sauces, spice blends, and mixes is a great way to avoid extra plastic packaging, or mixed material canisters and packets that often cannot be recycled. It also allows you to avoid unnecessary food preservatives that are harmful pollutants.

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate Ingredients


Here’s everything you need:

  • Milk. You can use skim, reduced fat, or whole dairy milk or any unsweetened, unflavored non-dairy milk of your choice.
  • Chocolate chips. I highly recommend dark chocolate chips to make sure your hot chocolate doesn’t turn out too sweet, but if you have semi-sweet on hand, that works, too!
  • Pumpkin puree. This will give you that authentic pumpkin flavor, plus decadent, rich, and creamy hot cocoa. Now, if you want to leave this out, you can still get a really tasty, spiced hot chocolate. But I highly recommend adding the real pumpkin!
  • Pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have any on hand, I’ve got you covered in this article on Every Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute (including how to make your own).
  • Granulated sugar. Just a little bit to sweeten your hot chocolate.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder. For a richer chocolate flavor.
ingredients for pumpkin spice hot chocolate - sugar, pumpkin puree, dark chocolate chips, milk, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice

Hot Chocolate Powder Vs Cocoa Powder

Hot chocolate powder and cocoa powder are not interchangeable. Cocoa powder is pure unsweetened powdered roasted cocoa bean, and is used as a raw material in baking to add rich tones and deep chocolate flavor.

Hot chocolate powder, on the other hand, is a mixture of cocoa powder, sugar, and oftentimes, dried milk powder. Using it in place of cocoa powder will cause your bakes to be less chocolatey and sweeter and can compromise the texture.

If you have hot chocolate powder on hand and do not have cocoa powder, follow the directions for using hot chocolate mix in this recipe rather than subbing it for the cocoa powder.

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Hot Chocolate with Pumpkin Spice Tips and Tricks


Start with the Milk and Chocolate

Add your milk (any dairy or unsweetened and unflavored nondairy milk works!) and chocolate chips to a small pot or large saucepan over medium heat. Heat and stir frequently until the chocolate chips are melted (about 3 minutes).

Make sure to continue to stir as you heat to keep the milk from curdling. The goal here is to simultaneously heat the milk safely and successfully melt the chocolate chips. After this step, the chocolate should be seamlessly integrated into the milk.

Adding chocolate chips to a pot with milk to melt and combine
Add the milk and chocolate chips to a pot and heat over medium, whisking frequently to melt and combine.

Stir in the Pumpkin, Spice, Sugar, and Cocoa Powder Next

Once your chocolate chips are melted and seamlessly combined with your warm milk, add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, granulated sugar and the cocoa powder. Continue to heat and stir to completely dissolve and combine the pumpkin puree.

I highly recommend using a whisk to stir! This helps to ensure there are no lumps in your hot cocoa. Keep whisking over the heat until the hot cocoa is nice and smooth.

Adding granulated sugar to hot cocoa with pumpkin spice
Next, add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, and cocoa powder and continue to heat and whisk until smooth.

Using Hot Chocolate Mix Instead

If you have hot chocolate mix on hand and want to make Hot Chocolate with Pumpkin Pie Spice from a mix, you absolutely can!

Just make two servings of hot cocoa according to the directions on their packaging and add your pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.

If you’re making two individual mugs of hot chocolate with one-serving packets, I recommend making the hot chocolate first. Then, stir in about 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree and 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice into each. Then heat again and stir in the add-ins.

Oftentimes, hot cocoa mixes will offer options to use either water or milk as the base. I highly recommend using any milk of choice for best results.

Adding pumpkin spice whipped cream to hot chocolate with pumpkin
Garnish your hot chocolate and serve immediately before any settling occurs. Try it with this Pumpkin Whipped Cream!

Making Pumpkin Hot Chocolate in the Microwave

If you don’t want to dirty up a saucepan or pot, you can easily make this Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate in the microwave!

Add the milk, chocolate chips, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, and cocoa powder to an extra-large mug, microwave-safe cup, or a dish (a Pyrex measuring cup works great here!).

Microwave on high for 90 seconds and use a fork, whisk, or milk frother to vigorously mix until smooth.

If the chocolate chips are still not completely melted and integrated after 90 seconds, continue to microwave. Hit it with 30-second intervals, whisking in between, until your milk, chocolate, and other ingredients are fully combined.

Green tip: Organic farms rely on biodiversity to generate rich soil, avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which means no toxic runoff. Consider organic ingredients for this recipe if you can.

Making Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa for One

This recipe makes enough pumpkin spice hot cocoa to fill two standard mugs or one extra-large mug.

So, if you just want one single serving of pumpkin hot chocolate, it can easily be halved. You’ll need 1 cup milk, 3 tablespoons chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon each of sugar and cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree, and 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

Follow the same stovetop or microwave instructions outlined above.

Homemade Pumpkin Hot Chocolate Serving Ideas

This decadent homemade hot chocolate with pumpkin is already brimming with flavor as is. Still, if you want to add a little pizazz, here are some of my favorite topping ideas:

pumpkin shaped mug with pummpkin spice hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and Fall spices

How to Properly Store and Reheat Leftover Homemade Hot Chocolate

This decadent Homemade Hot Cocoa will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat, add to a pot over medium heat and stir frequently until it just starts to simmer. You can also reheat it in the microwave on high for 60-90 seconds until thoroughly heated.

You will get some settling of pumpkin puree and other ingredients on the bottom, so make sure to stir well.

Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? It’s always best to avoid food waste by properly storing, reheating, and then consuming your leftovers.

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Why You Should Make this Creamy Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate for Two


  • It’s super chocolatey. The addition of real chocolate chips in this hot cocoa brings that chocolate factor up a notch.
  • It’s extra creamy. The added pumpkin puree enhances the texture in this velvety smooth, thick and creamy, decadent hot chocolate.
  • It’s festive. The pumpkin pie spice and real pumpkin gives this hot cocoa an Autumnal flare when you’re craving it, any time of year.

If you’re loving this Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate and want more pumpkin desserts, check out these Pumpkin Banana Muffins with Crumble Top and Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting.

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate garnished with whipped cream, cinnamon stick, and star anise

Creamy Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate for Two

5 from 3 votes
Marley Goldin
Print Save Rate
A cozy and indulgent autumn treat, Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate combines the comforting warmth of hot cocoa with the aromatic spices of pumpkin pie, and earthiness of real pumpkin, creating a delightful seasonal beverage that's perfect for sipping by the fire.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 servings

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate from Scratch

  • 2 cups milk of choice (dairy or unsweetened plant-based)
  • cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate from Hot Chocolate Mix

  • 6 tablespoons hot chocolate mix (1 packet hot chocolate mix usually = approx. 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
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Instructions
 

From Scratch Stovetop Method

  • To a pot or large saucepan, add the milk and chocolate chips over medium heat. Continue to heat, whisking frequently until chocolate chips are melted and integrated into the milk (about 3-5 minutes).
    Melted chocolate chips mixed with warm milk in a pot
  • Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder and continue to heat and whisk, until your hot chocolate is smooth with no lumps.
  • Pour equal amounts into two mugs. Garnish and serve hot immediately.
    Pumpkin shaped mug filled with pumpkin spice hot chocolate with little pumpkins in the background

From Scratch Microwave Method

  • Add the milk, chocolate chips, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cocoa powder, and sugar to an extra-large mug or heat-safe glass (a Pyrex measuring cup works great!) and stir a couple of times to distribute the ingredients throughout the milk.
  • Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Whisk to combine all the ingredients into the milk. If the chips aren't completely melted, continue to microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until smooth.
  • This will make enough for two servings or one extra-large serving. Enjoy this in your extra-large mug or split the hot chocolate into two standard mugs. Garnish and serve hot.

Hot Chocolate Mix Method

  • Make two servings of hot chocolate according to the instructions on the packet or cannister. Use milk, even if the instructions offer an option to use water.
  • Add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice and stir. Heat for an additional 30-seconds and stir again to dissolve.
  • Pour equal amounts into two mugs. Garnish and serve hot.

Pro Tips

  • Adding pumpkin puree gives your Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa a thicker, creamier texture, and authentic pumpkin taste. That being said, you can still get a delicious Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate while omitting the pumpkin puree if you don’t have any on hand or if you aren’t ready to open a whole can to use just a couple of tablespoons in this recipe.
  • Complete this decadent beverage by serving it this with Pumpkin Whipped Cream!
  • If, like me, you’ve got a weakness for a cozy warm mug of hot chocolate, you *definitely* shouldn’t check out all my other Hot Chocolate treats, it would be too dangerous!

Share This Recipe

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
Keyword Hot Chocolate, Hot Cocoa, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Spice, Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
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