Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
Pumpkin spiced hot chocolate is a warming cinnamon and orange-infused dairy concoction with real pumpkin puree and white chocolate chips. A cloud of spiced whipped cream on top finishes it off.

Updated: Jul. 10, 2024

Pumpkin spiced white hot chocolate is a warming concoction of spice-infused dairy, real pumpkin puree, and white chocolate chips. It’s creamy and sweet, with the irresistible spiced pumpkin flavor that heralds autumn. Thanks to the addition of canned pumpkin, there’s nothing stopping you from sipping this one until spring arrives.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

  • Heavy whipping cream: Whipped cream on top and mixed into the base of this spiced pumpkin hot chocolate makes it seem like a fancy coffee shop drink. The recipe includes instructions for making your own whip for the topping, but you can also substitute the kind in a can.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar provides a foundation of sweetness in both the whipped cream and the pumpkin base of this hot cocoa recipe. You can adjust the amount to reach your desired level of sweetness.
  • Vanilla extract: Because this is a white chocolate hot cocoa base, the flavor of vanilla is key in this recipe. Pick up one of our recommendations for the best vanilla extract brands. You could also use homemade vanilla extract instead or scrape in the seeds from half a vanilla bean pod.
  • Milk: While any type of dairy or non-dairy milk will work in this recipe, 2% milk is our typical go-to. You can use whole or even mix in some half-and-half for an indulgent result.
  • Cinnamon sticks: Adding cinnamon sticks infuses the milk for this spiced pumpkin hot chocolate with warmth.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: A spice blend that contains ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and several other warm spices, a pie spice blend is an easy way to add lots of flavor with one jar,
  • Orange zest: Citrus zest adds lovely freshness to this sweet beverage. Don’t forget to strain out the filaments of zest as you serve the hot chocolate.
  • Canned pumpkin: While many beverages bearing the name pumpkin are simply soused with a spiced syrup, we add real pumpkin puree to this recipe for a dose of sweetness, lovely texture and pale orange color.
  • White baking chips: White chocolate chips melt into the beverage and give it a sweet flavor and a velvety texture.

Directions 

Step 1: Make whipped cream

In a medium bowl, beat the cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla and beat it until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until serving.

Step 2: Infuse milk with spices

In a 6-quart stockpot, heat the milk, cream, cinnamon sticks, pie spice and orange zest over medium heat until bubbles form around sides of pan.

Step 3: Add pumpkin

Whiskthe  pumpkin, sugar and baking chips into milk mixture until blended. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Discard the cinnamon sticks. Pour the spiced pumpkin hot chocolate into mugs and top them with whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice and serve immediately.

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate Variations

  • Add coffee: Make a riff on a pumpkin spice latte by stirring in a shot or two of espresso to each serving.
  • Swap types of chocolate: Add a layer of cacao flavor by trading the white baking chips for semisweet or dark chocolate chips instead.
  • Spike it: Add a shot of spiced rum, Kahlua or pumpkin spice vodka or liqueur to each mug.

How to Store Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Once cooled, store leftover pumpkin spice hot chocolate in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Store the whipped cream separately.

How do you reheat Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate?

Heat the hot chocolate in the microwave or in a saucepan over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until it’s nice and hot.

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate Tips

Can you reduce the quantity of this recipe to make fewer servings?

Absolutely. Most of the ingredients divide in half neatly and into quarters without too much trouble. You’ll have leftover pumpkin if you decide to cut the proportions of this recipe down, but perhaps that’s just the excuse you need to make a pumpkin dessert.

Can you use a slow cooker to make pumpkin spice hot chocolate?

Absolutely. Start by adding all the ingredients except the whipped cream topping into a 3-quart slow cooker. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Cover and cook on low for two hours, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from scalding.

What should you serve with pumpkin spice hot chocolate?

You can’t go wrong with homemade marshmallows or pumpkin cookies.

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Prep Time 30 min
Yield 14 servings (1 cup each)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • HOT CHOCOLATE:
  • 8 cups 2% milk
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white baking chips
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Additional pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until serving.
  2. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat milk, cream, cinnamon sticks, pie spice and orange zest over medium heat until bubbles form around sides of pan.
  3. Whisk pumpkin, sugar and baking chips into milk mixture until blended. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Discard cinnamon sticks. Pour into mugs; top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 511 calories, 38g fat (24g saturated fat), 111mg cholesterol, 102mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (35g sugars, 1g fiber), 8g protein.

My mom makes this hot chocolate with pumpkin, spices and white chocolate. We usually drink it on Halloween, but it’s delish at Christmas too. —Sasha King, Westlake Village, California
Recipe Creator