Ginger Hot Chocolate

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Two mugs of Ginger Hot Chocolate

At first I didn’t think we were going to have a winter this year, which for the record is totally fine with me. I’m more of the sweat over shiver type, even though bundling up in hats and mittens and scarves on top of scarves is one of my favorite pastimes.

But then, one day last week, winter did come and I’m still feeling a bit of a chill because of it. Though it only stayed for a brief moment and it’s already back in the 50s, it was still rough. So rough, in fact, that it required a new hot cocoa recipe. One of the ginger variety as you might’ve guessed.

Container of cocoa powder for making homemade hot cocoa

I have this friend named Lacy who loves ginger candies so much she can eat a whole bag before realizing what happened. She also runs marathons a lot. This is why I think she’s crazy.

Ginger candy. Honestly, I don’t get it. I popped a giant ginger square in my mouth after hearing Lacy loved it so much and I haven’t stopped regretting it since. Ginger has such a strong, spicy flavor, which is why I prefer it as a complementary flavor, not the main squeeze.

After some experimenting I found the perfect role for ginger to play: Ground ginger (or you could sub fresh) went into the hot cocoa itself and a ginger candy was used to line the rim of the serving mug. How perfect. That way every sip has a hint of ginger without being too overwhelming. The result, i think, was quite perfect.

Two mugs of dairy-free Ginger Hot Chocolate and a container of cocoa powder

This hot chocolate has a lovely warmth. It’s sweet, creamy and chocolatey and not-too-spicy due to a conservative amount of ginger. But, if you love the stuff like Lacy then by all means, pop a few ginger candies in your mouth while you’re making a batch and throw in a whole teaspoon of ginger instead of half. Go wild, I don’t make the ginger rules, I merely twist them to suit my taste.

I do, on the other hand, write the breakfast rules. Don’t, mess, with my breakfast. You have been warned.

Mugs of Ginger Hot Chocolate for a warming winter beverage

Ginger Hot Chocolate

A sweet and not-too-spicy hot chocolate with a hint of ginger. Perfect for cold winter nights or as a light dessert.
Author Minimalist Baker
Mugs of Ginger Hot Chocolate topped with whipped cream
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 2 (hot chocolates)
Course Beverage
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? Best when fresh


  • 2 cups milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond; coconut or cow’s would work well, too)
  • 1 cup water
  • Sweetener to taste (I used 1 packet non-bitter stevia, but agave, raw sugar, honey, etc. would work fine, too)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ground or fresh grated ginger (depending on preference)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 ginger candies (optional)


  • Heat the milk and water in a medium saucepan. Once it comes to a simmer, reduce heat slightly and whisk in cocoa powder, sea salt and ginger. Whisk vigorously to incorporate.
  • Once the cocoa is hot enough for your liking (about 3-5 minutes), remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Stir once more.
  • Take your ginger candies and rub them along the rims of your serving glasses or mugs. Eat or discard; they get mushy when added to the beverage.
  • Pour in hot cocoa and top with coconut cream, whipped cream or marshmallows – whatever you like.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 hot chocolates Calories: 71 Carbohydrates: 8 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 5 g Saturated Fat: 0.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 4.2 g

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My Rating:

  1. Claire says

    Hi Dana,
    I was wondering what brand of stevia you used? You say it is “non-bitter” but I struggle with stevia for precisely that reason, even though my family (and website!) are sugar free. I’d love to use stevia more, but still struggle with the bitter aftertaste!

  2. Happy Yogini says

    the intro to your recipe is so funny, it made me want to try it…. Oh…. and I am thinking of challenging myself to cook whatever treat I will be consuming in 2017…. should be interesting :-)

  3. Adrienne says

    Hmmm. Sounds delish! I am wondering, though, how this would be with Canton Ginger liqueur in it. I think I’ll try it this afternoon!!

  4. Natalie (@fashionatalie) says

    Oh!!!! I want to try this :-) I have been doing many iterations of hot drinks this season, too. Can’t wait to try this, ginger is one of my favorites.

  5. Christine Somers says

    I love ginger…so I understand Lacy’s attraction to it. This recipe sounds like the perfect warm drink for a cold winter’s day. I can’t wait to try it.

  6. Kathryn says

    I’m with you on the ginger/chocolate ratio. I like a little warmth and spice but my beloved chocolate is always going to have to be the star. This sounds like perfection in a mug.

  7. Rachel (teacher-chef) says

    I love the bite of ginger & am sure it would compliment the sweetness of the Chocolate so well – YUM! I think I will have a beverage soon :-)

  8. Izy says

    Oh geez, I remember the first time I ate a chunk of candied ginger – I severely underestimated its intensity and I started to choke on how hot it was! I’d baked with it before, but when you chop it up into little chunks, you don’t realise how spicy it can be :/ Anywho, I love the idea of pairing ginger with hot chocolate! Sounds like it should give a little more warmth without making your mouth burn for 10 minutes!

  9. Sarah says

    You are not alone with the breakfast rules. Or more specifically, the “i must have exactly what i want for breakfast or the day is ruined” rules.

  10. clara says

    I love ginger but don’t have a lot of experience with it. When you say ginger candies are you referring to candied ginger or another form? I have been looking for the best way to consume ginger but can only find candied ginger coated in sugar.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Clara, I guess there is a difference between ginger “chews” and ginger “candies.” The kind I call for in the recipe to “line the rim” with are the candied ginger coated in sugar.

  11. Eileen says

    Ha! I am on Lacy’s side here: the more ginger, the better. (Although I could also tell a story about my spouse just biting into an actual piece of ginger root as a teenager–evidently there were tears.) :) That said, I’ve never had ginger in hot chocolate before–looking forward to trying this!

  12. MariJean says

    Genius! I just bought some fresh ginger and was wondering what to do with it. I know now! :)


  13. Ashley says

    Hahahaa! I had a similar experience with ginger candy. Have you tried ginger chews?? They are super delicious (and have actually helped with a few upset stomachs). Anyway– I bought ginger candies when I was making all of the doughnuts and was going to chop them up and infuse the doughnut with them. After taking a millimeter sized bite, I immediately changed my mind. ACK! This hot cocoa however, sounds lovely. :)

  14. Kim of Mo'Betta says

    I adore ginger, but like you, I prefer it as a compliment, not a main attraction! I don’t think I could just eat candied ginger the way I do chocolates. (But mix the two together…I’m all in!)

  15. Julia says

    Ohmyword. I had a similar experience with ginger. All my in-laws love and consume it like candy. (What is wrong with them??) They convinced me to try a bite and I ate the teeniest bit I could find and still hated it!