January 30, 2023

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Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa – The Lemon Bowl®

Dark chocolate hot cocoa gets a little kick from cayenne and cinnamon to create this rich and creamy drink with a healthy dose of antioxidants.

Holding a mug of dark chocolate hot cocoa.

If you’re currently not a dark chocolate lover, I think I’ve got the recipe to change your mind. Regardless of if it actually gets cold or not where you are, winter just calls for hot cocoa. My new favorite discovery is dark chocolate cocoa powder. You can find it in any grocery store and it is a sure fire way to make sure you are eating the right type of heart-healthy dark chocolate. While I’ll use it to enhance yogurt or oatmeal, my favorite recipe for when it’s cold is my Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa.

Why Dark Chocolate?

  • Rich in antioxidants: The darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidant power. Studies have found that that antioxidant supplements do not work as well as those that are naturally occurring, like in cocoa powder.
  • Flavanoids: Dark chocolate contains flavanoids, a naturally occurring compound found in plant based foods that shield from environmental damage and repair damaged cells.
  • Higher nutritional value: Dark chocoalte is a great source of fiber, iron, and magnesium.

How to Make Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa

Adding cocoa powder to pot

Start your hot cocoa by adding your dark cocoa powder to a medium sized sauce pan.

Adding cinnamon to pot

Then sprinkle in the cinnamon.

Adding vanilla to pot

Add in your vanilla.

Adding honey to pot

As well as the honey to naturally sweeten things up.

Adding cayenne pepper to pot

Finish with a sprinkle of salt and cayenne pepper (although you could skip the cayenne if you really wanted to). Add some water and heat over medium, whisking until everything is creamy and smooth.

Adding milk to pot

Slowly stir in your milk (dairy or non-dairy will both work), and heat until bubbles start to form around the edge of the pot. You don’t want to leave it unattended, as you’ll want to continuously stir so that your hot chocolate never reaches a full boil.

Dark chocolate hot cocoa.

Carefully pour into mugs and top with some whipped cream, then serve and enjoy your Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is hot cocoa healthier than coffee?

It’s more nutritious than coffee, but traditional coffee typically has fewer calories while being much higher in caffeine.

What can I use if I don’t have cocoa powder?

If you don’t have cocoa powder, but have some unsweetened baking chocolate, you could also melt that down instead.

Does chocolate help with weight loss?

Dark chocolates can aid in weight loss, so the higher the cacao perecentage the better.

Dark chocolate hot cocoa.

More Chocolate Recipes

Drink It, Like It, Share It!

Did you try this recipe and like it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your drink.

Liz drinking dark chocolate hot cocoa

Anytime you want to curl up by the fire with a nice, warm drink, my Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa will become your favorite companion.

Your straw is waiting.

Dark choco hot cocoa

Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa

Dark chocolate hot cocoa gets a little kick from cayenne and cinnamon to create this rich and creamy drink with a healthy dose of antioxidants.

PREP: 5 mins

COOK: 10 mins

TOTAL: 15 mins

Servings: 4

  • In a medium sauce pan, whisk together cocoa powder, cinnamon, honey, water, vanilla, salt, and cayenne over medium heat until smooth and creamy.

  • Slowly add in milk and whisk continuously until bubbles start to form around the edge. Do not walk away – you want the cocoa to gently simmer, not boil.

  • Serve with whipped cream if you wish.

 Excellent source of calcium, good source of iron and Vitamin A.


Calories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 35.7gProtein: 9.3gFat: 1.2gSaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 400mgFiber: 4.1g


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Liz DellaCroce

Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families.

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