There always comes a point in the winter months where you have a few extra candy canes laying around. Whether they were stashed away in your stocking, handing from a tree, or just sitting around in a fun candy dish, candy canes in surplus this time of year.
So, I thought let’s make use of these candy canes and work them into an easy hot chocolate recipe for a warm and cozy peppermint hot chocolate! This hot chocolate is loaded with fresh and minty candy cane flavor and the perfect recipe whether it ends up being a signature drink at your holiday party or a quick and easy weekend treat.
While most recipes for peppermint hot chocolate call for peppermint extract (which you can absolutely sub in if you are fresh out of candy canes), but recipe is unique because it melts down candy canes to create the perfect minty base.
I love hot chocolate recipes. Intensely Rich Hot Chocolate Coffee in 5 minutes is always a favorite but if you’re feeling a little fancy or want some fun edible presents to hand out to people, Easy, Fun & Festive DIY Hot Cocoa Bombs are a must!
Why You’ll Love this Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Festive! Peppermint hot chocolate is loaded with candy cane flavor making them a favorite during winter months and holiday festivities. The combination of rich chocolate and refreshing peppermint creates wintery flavor profile that is perfect for the holiday season.
Refreshing Twist. Peppermint adds a refreshing and cooling flavor to the hot chocolate. The contrast between the warmth of the chocolate and the coolness of the mint is deliciously delightful. Candy cane hot chocolate is like a cozy, warm hug with a refreshing twist.
Ingredients for Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Milk forms the base of your hot chocolate, providing creaminess and richness to your drink. It adds a creamy texture and helps balance the strong cocoa flavors.
Cocoa powder is responsible for the chocolatey flavor of the hot chocolate. It blends beautifully with milk to create a smooth consistency.
Chocolate chips provide additional creaminess and sweetness to your hot chocolate. They melt when heated, adding a luxurious texture and enhancing the overall chocolate flavor.
Honey, Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup
Honey is a natural sweetener and serves as an alternative to refined sugar. It not only sweetens the hot chocolate but complements the richness of chocolate and balances the peppermint’s refreshing taste. Feel free to sub in your favorite sweetener!
Candy canes are the key ingredient that gives your hot chocolate its refreshing minty flavor. The peppermint flavor gives a burst of freshness that pairs deliciously with the chocolate.
Pinch of Salt
A pinch of salt in your hot chocolate helps to balance the sweetness, making the chocolate taste richer and more intense.
How to Make Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Make the Candy Cane Syrup
Place the candy canes (I like to break them up) and water in a small pot. You may want to use a pot big enough to eventually fit the other ingredients.
Turn the stove on medium-high and stir consistently until the candy canes melt and the mixture becomes syrupy.
Add the other ingredients
Add the milk, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, sweetener, and a pinch of salt over medium heat.
Heat and Stir
Continue to heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate chips are completely melted and the hot chocolate is steaming hot. Do not let it boil.
Serve up your Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and let it cool slightly before enjoying. Top with whipped cream, marshmallows, and crushed candy canes.
Can I Use Mint Extract instead?
Absolutely! If you’re fresh out of candy canes or can’t find them anymore in stores, just stir 1 teaspoon of mint extract into the hot chocolate.
How to Store Leftovers
Cooling Down: Allow the leftover hot chocolate to cool down to room temperature. Do not leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Refrigeration: Transfer the cooled hot chocolate to an airtight container or a covered pitcher. Store it in the refrigerator.
Reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy the leftover hot chocolate, gently reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. Stir it occasionally to ensure even heating. Be cautious not to bring it to a boil, as it may change the texture and taste of the hot chocolate.
Stovetop: Pour the cold hot chocolate into a saucepan and heat it over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until it’s heated through.
Microwave: Reheat small portions in the microwave using short 20-30 second bursts, stirring in between each interval until the desired temperature is reached.
How long does Leftover Peppermint Hot Chocolate Last?
Consume the reheated hot chocolate within 2-3 days after storing it in the refrigerator. It’s important not to keep it for too long to maintain its quality and safety.
- 2 candy canes (50g)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cups any milk of your choice (I’m partial to whole milk)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- Make the Candy Cane Syrup: Place the candy canes (I like to break them up) and water in a small pot. You may want to use a pot big enough to eventually fit the other ingredients. Turn the stove on medium-high and stir consistently until the candy canes melt and the mixture becomes syrupy.
Add the other ingredients: Add the milk, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, sweetener, and a pinch of salt over medium heat.
Heat and Stir: Continue to heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate chips are completely melted and the hot chocolate is steaming hot. Do not let it boil.
Serve: Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and let it cool slightly before enjoying. Top with whipped cream, marshmallows, and crushed candy canes.
No candy canes? No problemo! If you’re fresh out of candy canes or can’t find them anymore in stores, just stir 1 teaspoon of mint extract into the hot chocolate.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 319
- Sugar: 42.3g
- Sodium: 19511mg
- Fat: 10.7g
- Saturated Fat: 5.9g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 49.4g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 9.3g
- Cholesterol: 20mg