Imagine you're sitting in your apartment and there's a blizzard raging right now. You gaze out your window at the white mess beyond, but in your hands is a steaming mug of hot chocolate to help warm you from the winter chill from within. What's on top of that hot cocoa? The truth is, any number of hot chocolate toppings belong on top of a cup of the delicious beverage!
You can throw many toppings on some homemade hot chocolate yourself at home, and some events even have hot chocolate bars so you can explore the many possibilities. Let's take a look at some of the options out there to make the best hot chocolate even better with some delicious add ons and mix-ins.
What Are the Best Toppings for Hot Chocolate?
This is the most obvious choice. Even the most basic boxed hot chocolate mixes often offer mini marshmallows in the recipe. You can even throw on some fruit-flavored marshmallows to really change things up! This makes a Christmas morning or treat-yourself hot chocolate moment even more indulgent.
2. Chocolate Chips
Any number of chocolate chips pair well with hot chocolate — dark chocolate, white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and more.
3. Peppermint Sticks
For your next holiday party, consider adding a single peppermint candy cane stick or crushed peppermint sticks to your favorite hot chocolate. Maybe have a DIY hot cocoa bar with all the fun topping options!
4. Whipped Cream
This is another usual suspect for a hot cocoa topping. Warm up with hot cocoa and flavored whipped cream if you want something a little different!
5. Peanut Butter
Have you ever tried peanut butter on or in your hot chocolate? You can add regular, powdered, or even peanut butter chips to a hot chocolate recipe to add just a bit of variety.
6. Bailey's Irish Cream
For a boozy version of this traditional hot beverage, add some Bailey's or a similar alcoholic drink. This is fun for an adults-only hot chocolate bar idea.
A butterscotch topping you might add to ice cream can work well with hot chocolate, too. Or, you can find an alcoholic butterscotch beverage to mix in for another "adult" version of the drink.
8. Chocolate Sauce/Chocolate Syrup
If you just want to make your cocoa as chocolatey as possible, consider adding simple chocolate syrup or chocolate sauce as a topping.
If you like toffee in your chocolate bars, doesn't it stand to reason that it would be pretty good in hot chocolate as well?
10. Sea Salt
Adding a little bit of sea salt as a topping can elevate your hot chocolate to the next level with one simple ingredient.
11. Pirouette Cookies
To really make your hot cocoa recipe fancy, consider adding a pretty pirouette cookie as a sort of garnish. The rolled wafer cookies will make you feel like the fanciest drink maker around.
There are plenty of other toppings you can add in to a cup of hot chocolate — it all comes down to your own preference for flavor! A pinch of cocoa powder, a drizzle of caramel sauce, a splash of whipping cream, peppermint schnapps, vanilla extract, bits of chocolate shavings, pieces of pretzel, cinnamon sticks, sprinkles, and so much more. When it comes to toppings for this hot drink, the possibilities are really endless.
Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
This post was originally published on December 15, 2020.
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