from USA TODAY 10Best

10 things you need to add to your hot chocolate this season

It's the season of fluffy throw blankets, fuzzy socks, fireplaces and hot chocolate. If you're looking for ways to keep your mug of cocoa interesting, try these 10 toppings or add-ins.

Candy canes

For a hint of holiday cheer, add a candy cane to your hot cocoa and use it as a stirring stick to help melt in the peppermint-y flavor. You could also crush up the candy canes and put them on top.

Cherries and cherry juice

Who doesn't love the combination of cherries and chocolate? To incorporate a cherry flavor, add a cherry syrup, extract or the juice of maraschino cherries (from the jar). Garnish the cocoa with a cherry to really punch it up.


A spoonful of Nutella will melt right into your toasty hot chocolate, imparting a delicious hazelnut flavor.

Crushed Oreos

To put a cookies n' cream spin on your cocoa, crush up some Oreo cookies and put them on top with some whipped cream.

Cinnamon, nutmeg or star anise

Add some spice to your cocoa with cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and/or star anise. To really give it a kick, just add chai spice.

Maple syrup

If you want to add a dash of sweetness and unique flavor to your mug of cocoa, add a bit of maple syrup to taste.

Caramel or butterscotch sauce

Drizzle some caramel or butterscotch sauce on top of your hot chocolate for a hint of cozy flavor.

Graham cracker and marshmallows

Make your hot chocolate into a s'mores hot chocolate by simply adding graham cracker and marshmallows. You can add graham cracker crumbs around the rim or on top, or put shards of graham cracker in your cocoa.

Orange peel

Some folks are skeptical of putting orange and chocolate together, but it's a pretty classic flavor combination. Infuse your hot chocolate with citrus by adding some orange peel on top.


Want to add even more caffeine to your cocoa? Stir in a bit of espresso to kick it up a notch.

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