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Spiced Pumpkin Hot Cocoa with Maple Whipped Cream

October 18, 2009


We had our first snow here overnight Thursday. Friday morning, we awoke to trees (many with their fall leaves still hanging on) and grass coated with about an inch of white, fluffy powder.




And while Ithaca definitely isn’t considered a tropical clime, this storm set a record for the earliest snowfall of an inch or more. Maybe that’s Mother Nature’s way of telling us we’re in for a cold winter?




Waking up and feeling like I was suddenly in winter(!) meant only one thing: I had to make hot cocoa that afternoon. It was all I could think about all day. And my hot cocoa urge, coupled with my desire to consume anything made with pumpkin lately (more on that to come), resulted in this delicious cup of spicy, warm goodness: Spiced Pumpkin Hot Cocoa.


Think all the spices of pumpkin pie mixed into a rich cocoa drink, with pumpkin puree whisked into the hot milk. The pumpkin flavor isn’t overpowering, but it’s subtly there under the chocolate flavor — and mixed with the spices, it’s a wonderful cup. I whipped up some heavy cream, flavored with a little maple syrup, to top the mugs (and as you can see, the cocoa was pretty steaming hot when I spooned the cream on — hence the melted, soft cream topping. Well, it was still delicious!)

I know not everyone loves the combination of pumpkin and chocolate together, but it is one of my favorites and this hot cocoa will be my standby for the next few months (besides, the pumpkin adds fiber! and Vitamin A! What’s not to love??)


Spiced Pumpkin Hot Cocoa

an Eggs on Sunday original

view printable recipe

Makes 2 servings (if you halve the recipe, just use a little pinch of the nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.)

For the hot cocoa:
3 cups milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the maple whipped cream:
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons maple syrup

any of the following for dusting on top: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, raw sugar

In a saucepan, whisk together the milk, pumpkin puree, cocoa, spices and syrup. Heat until steaming, and divide among two mugs.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or by hand using a wire whisk, whip the heavy cream with the maple syrup until it forms soft peaks.

Top the mugs of cocoa with spoonfuls of the whipped cream. Sprinkle on a little cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and/or raw sugar if you like.

39 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2009 11:20 am

    Snow already, crikey! This gorgeous hot chocolate looks just fabulous to warm up on a freezing day…delicious 🙂

  2. Rachel permalink
    October 18, 2009 11:45 am

    Don’t hold out hope for fall yet! We had snow for days last week, and it was -25 (celsius) for most of that time, but now it’s all melted! And it’s above 0! But I know winter is still just ’round the corner – maybe I should make some pumpkin hot chocolate and embrace it?

  3. October 18, 2009 12:58 pm

    Yum! I saw your picture on tastespotting and just had to click. I love the idea of a pumpkin hot cocoa. I love anything pumpkin and hot cocoa is the perfect way to enjoy cool days. Thanks for sharing!

  4. October 18, 2009 1:08 pm

    Love the pictures of snow! I’m making this hot chocolate today since it’s freezing here in DC too (sadly no snow though).

  5. October 18, 2009 2:53 pm

    Oh man… can you come make me some of that right now!?? 🙂

  6. October 18, 2009 3:20 pm

    Wonderful! Will have to try this tonight. Here in western SD, we had 8″ of snow two weeks ago, and it’s only now all melted. Warm today. All the leaves froze (-3 Fahrenheit) and fell–CLUNK! No fall for us. 😦 But I’ll bet we’ll enjoy that cocoa. Thanks!

  7. Betsy permalink
    October 18, 2009 3:39 pm

    Wow, this looks so tasty! I love pumpkin and chocolate too, and the melted whipped cream just puts it over the top – yum!!! I love your snowy photo shots – beautiful Amy!

  8. October 18, 2009 5:02 pm

    I’m making this tonight, I can’t wait!

    Your photos are gorgeous, I can’t believe the snow! I think it really is going to be a very cold winter!
    We haven’t had any snow in the city yet.

  9. October 18, 2009 5:13 pm

    This looks perfect for a cold and snowy (what, already???) night in front of a warm fire.

  10. oneordinaryday permalink
    October 18, 2009 5:31 pm

    sounds delicious

  11. October 18, 2009 5:34 pm

    Looks so warm and inviting.

  12. October 18, 2009 6:03 pm

    thank you for the post, we had pumpkin pancakes with chocolate chips topped with maple agave syrup. Warmer weather here in So.Cal, can’t wait to try your recipe.

  13. October 18, 2009 6:10 pm

    you are a genius. i am making this tonight, no questions asked. thanks!!

  14. Nancy permalink
    October 18, 2009 6:13 pm

    Wow, this looks AMAZING. Can’t wait to try it. Also, loved the tree/snow photos..

  15. October 18, 2009 9:19 pm

    Mmmmm. We’re having perfect hot chocolate weather as well. It snowed here today quite unexpectedly.

  16. October 19, 2009 7:58 am

    I love this! Thanks!



  17. October 19, 2009 1:35 pm

    pumpkin hot cocoa?? YUM 🙂

  18. October 19, 2009 2:51 pm

    This sounds absolutely amazing! I want a mug full right now! I am definitely trying this out ASAP! Thanks for sharing!

  19. October 20, 2009 1:12 pm

    Looks so yummy…i think I’ll make it tonight

  20. October 20, 2009 3:20 pm

    i’m not jealous of that snow! i’m dreading the day it appears here.

    however, i am jealous of that hot cocoa. that sounds just heavenly…I would take a few inches of snow for a cup of that! 🙂

  21. October 20, 2009 5:31 pm

    It hasn’t snowed yet, but I drank the first hot cocoa of the year yesterday, and tonight I will have this pumpkin version!

  22. October 22, 2009 3:03 pm

    How creative! Sounds incredible!

  23. October 22, 2009 3:10 pm

    Pumpkin + chocolate = perfect! The first winter after I met my husband, I made him my classic pumpkin chocolate chip bundt cake. He said he loved pumpkin, but after the first bite said “WTF are chocolate chips doing in there!”

    Even after all these years, he won’t try it again!

    Making this tomorrow – I love pumpkin!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  24. October 23, 2009 7:02 am

    sounds like the cure-all for the fall!

  25. littlemissminny permalink
    October 23, 2009 7:26 am

    Wow, snow. That’s soon 🙂
    Ok, I want that pumpkin hot cocoa. I need to make a mental note and make one cup of that soon! Tnx for the idea

  26. October 23, 2009 9:44 pm

    Wow! pumpkin chocolate cocoa looks fabulous! A perfect treat on a cool autumn day.

  27. October 24, 2009 10:38 am

    I love the photos of the snowy trees! October through December is my favorite time of year!

  28. DGM permalink
    October 24, 2009 7:59 pm

    Yum! My daughter and I just sat down to two steaming cups of pumpkin hot cocoa. Soooooo decadent and yet healthy and comforting. Thank you!

  29. October 28, 2009 9:36 pm

    This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it this weekend. Thanks for posting!!

  30. Karen M permalink
    November 17, 2009 11:37 am

    I can’t wait to try this one, too! But it will have to be with some combination of almond and coconut milks, since I can’t have dairy (as well as wheat or soy), and cashews don’t digest as well.

    In any case, I love pumpkin and chocolate together.

  31. CoolBeans permalink
    April 20, 2010 7:30 pm

    Wow that looks good! Trying the recipe tonight! I’m sure we’ll love it! ;D

  32. August 3, 2010 9:27 am

    What a nice way to warm up the day! I bet that was a first of many ‘winter warmers’

  33. December 12, 2010 10:26 pm

    Oh my gosh!
    Thanks for posting this!!
    I mentioned pumpkin cocoa to someone before I ever saw a recipe, and they thought I was crazy!!
    You have taken my thought of it to the next level!!


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