We can’t think of a better way to honor National Cuddle Up Day on January 6th than with a warm mug of hot cocoa. Wait, there is one way: We took a spin on the standard hot chocolate recipe using cacao as a base, with additions of maple and vanilla. It’s all inspired by and based off of the Coffee Maple Cacao LivBar! With or without a companion, this maple cacao hot chocolate will hug you into its warm aroma of cacao, maple, and vanilla on National Cuddle Up Day.
This hot chocolate recipe is super easy to make and yields creamy, not-too-sweet, yet rich and decadent hot chocolate. Maple syrup sweetens the pot naturally and melds smoothly with cacao. Vanilla bean paste from the pod creates a distinctly full flavor profile.
Any dairy free milk will do just fine in this hot chocolate. Think of your favorite creamy milk like oat, almond, rice or hemp milk. Full-fat coconut milk will be the creamiest, but heaviest option.
The sweetness in this dessert drink comes mostly from the maple syrup. The lack of processed sugars plus superfoods cacao and maca put the hot beverage several steps above powered hot cocoa from a packet. Both are packed with nutrients and minerals like fiber and vitamin C. Cacao is simply the base of chocolate, which makes its known nutrients surprising to some. Read a bit more on the health benefits and antioxidants contained in cacao here.
We prefer a whip of dairy free cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon for an extra cozy Cuddle Up topping to this hot chocolate. Then, if you’re feeling extra indulgent, pair the superfood maple cacao hot chocolate with a batch of our Coffee Maple Cacao Mini S'mores— Bites of warm Coffee Maple Cacao LivBar sandwich a square of dark chocolate and broiled marshmallow.
Superfood Maple Cacao Hot Chocolate
1 tsp maca
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste (or sub vanilla extract)
Pinch of sea salt
Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add the dairy free milk, dark chocolate, and maple syrup.
Once the mixture is about simmering, whisk in the cacao, maca, cinnamon, and vanilla bean paste.
Whisk frequently until everything is dissolved and well-incorporated. Stir in a pinch of salt at the end.
Pour into your serving glass and top with dairy-free whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.