Just Desserts

Put another log on the fire, mix up a batch of these decadent drinks, and nestle in as you create some new downtime traditions.

Written by:Melinda Nelson
Photographed by:Steve Henke
Hot chocolate being poured into a mug over a counter with a Cambria Big Sur Mist quartz countertop.

Cambria design shown: Big Sur Mist™, Gensler product design consultant

Welcome to our cozy corner of indulgence where you can dive into the warmth of some heavenly hot chocolate recipes. From a classic rendition to a few daring twists, we take you on a journey of decadent drinks.

Haute Chocolate

Adapted from Bon Appétit and Brit + Co.

Master Recipe Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

  • ¾ c. water
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed), plus more for serving
  • 3 c. whole milk, oat milk, or almond milk
  • 6 oz. high quality semisweet or milk chocolate, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar or agave syrup to taste
  • Whipped cream or vegan whipped topping


Bring water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in cocoa powder until no lumps remain and add milk. Reduce heat to low, stir in chocolate and sugar, and simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking frequently until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour mixture into mugs, top with whipped cream or other topping, and dust with cocoa powder.

Plus Three Deliciously Daring Adult Variations!

Spicy Cinnamon RumChata

Adapted from fashionededible.com

After chocolate is melted, add 2 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and ½ c. RumChata to saucepan and stir until smooth. Finish with a dusting of cinnamon and cocoa powder.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Adapted from Wholefully

After chocolate is melted, stir in 1–2 c. good red wine—such as cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, or merlot—and add sugar to taste. Finish with a dusting of cocoa powder and grated fresh orange peel.

Hot Chocolate del Diablo

Adapted from Broma Bakery

After chocolate is melted, stir in 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ c. of Patron XO Incendio (a tequila-based chile chocolate liqueur), and add brown sugar to taste. Finish with a dusting of cinnamon and cocoa powder.

A dessert, spoon, and photo sit upon a Cambria Golden Dragon quartz countertop.

Cambria design shown: Golden Dragon™

Whipped White Russian

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients (per Serving)

  • 2 Tbsp. hot water
  • 2 Tbsp. instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 1–2 Tbsp. sugar or honey
  • 2–4 Tbsp. vodka
  • 2–3 Tbsp. Kahlúa or other coffee liqueur
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2–4 Tbsp. whole milk, almond milk, or oat milk


Combine the hot water, instant coffee powder, and honey in a deep bowl. Use an immersion blender or electric mixer to whip until light and frothy, about 2–3 minutes. Fill a glass with ice and add vodka, Kahlúa, and vanilla. Stir. Pour milk over and stir again to combine. Spoon the whipped coffee mixture over the top and serve.

 [Updated on 12/05/2023]

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