You’ve made your hot chocolate in your favorite mug, and now you’re ready to make it truly amazing. Here are some ideas for hot chocolate toppings, dustings & flavorings.
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Marshmallow Hot Chocolate Toppings
The best hot chocolate toppings are marshmallows piled sky-high. They can come in flavors to enhance your chocolate, and in shapes or sculptures for even more fun.
Sometimes you can buy marshmallows premade in fun shapes like this snowflake (available on Amazon and in most stores.)
Or make marshmallows a special shape yourself.
Want to make the marshmallow in your hot chocolate match the theme of your party?
(These mini cookie cutters have a shape for every holiday and season & can be used for vegetables or cheese for kid’s lunches too.)
Find or create special shapes for every seasonal holiday.
Check your local grocers during each holiday season to find all sorts of different shaped marshmallows.
Log shaped marshmallows in fall.
Find or create cute bunny, Easter egg and chick marshmallow sculptures for your Easter hot chocolate.
Show the love on Valentine’s Day or any day with heart shaped marshmallows, either purchased that shape or cut with cookie cutters.
(Amazon has small heart marshmallows.)
Of course you want a hot chocolate after trick or treating on Halloween. It’s chilly out there! Add a ghost shaped marshmallow with eyes and mouth drawn on with edible ink pen.
Marshmallow sculptures take it to the next level.
For the truly creative: a cute mouse marshmallow sculpture peeks above the rim of a hot chocolate mug. (Heat marshmallow or use touch of canned frosting as glue to make them stick together.)
Okay, now that we’ve scared you, take a look at one that’s a lot simpler but just as fun. A snowman made of marshmallows with pretzel arms & legs. (Use pretzels to fasten marshmallows together.) Smiling face and buttons made using an edible ink pen.
We just have to show you this fun gingerbread man in a hot chocolate hot tub!
Requires a small mug so cookie doesn’t sink to the bottom, and teeny marshmallows as hot tub bubbles.
This is so great! And so easy to do.
This is simple, but still fun. Draw a snowman face on a large marshmallow with an edible ink pen. Use an orange cookie icing pen for carrot nose. (Want it even easier? Wilton sells snowman hot chocolate trimming kits at Walmart, Amazon, and most grocery stores. It comes with a snowman face marshmallow and peppermint stir stick.)
Don’t stop at the smiling snowman face for your hot chocolate marshmallow – especially for Halloween!
Create monster marshmallows with homemade marshmallow recipe (see America’s Test Kitchen YouTube video.)
Or, skip making the marshmallows and just put the candy eyes in the hot chocolate!
Don’t want to risk ruining your marshmallow sculpture in the hot chocolate? Put them on bamboo skewers above small marshmallows. You can do the same with cookies and candies.
Marshmallow Size Matters
How to toast marshmallows at home: put marshmallows on baking sheet, broil in oven until browned (a few seconds), remove from oven and turn with tongs, then broil on the other side until golden brown.
Hot Chocolate Toppings & Dustings
Besides marshmallows, there are many toppings for hot chocolate:
- whipped cream
- chocolate or caramel sauce
- cookie crumbles (gingerbread, shortbread, oreo, sugar cookie)
- chocolate shavings or chips (white chocolate too)
- sprinkles & candy shapes
- dusting with cocoa
- maple syrup
(To get mountains of whipped cream like this, you need to apply it using a special tip on a whipped cream dispenser.)
Put ice cream in your favorite flavor on top of your hot chocolate:
- mint chocolate chip
- Oreo or chocolate bar flavors
Top with whipped cream and your favorite toppings & it’s almost a dessert!
Marshmallows aren’t the only favorite topping. Whipped cream comes next, whether you use the easy spray-on whipped cream or make your own. See our easy recipe.
The star sprinkles add a festive touch.
Using a grater on the slice blade, grate enough chocolate curls for the hot chocolate you’ll be serving. If you use the larger slice blade, the chocolate lasts longer directly on top of the hot chocolate.
You can also use a paring knife or vegetable peeler. All 3 methods demonstrated in this video.
Add Christmas cheer to your hot chocolate by stenciling a design on top with cocoa powder.
Use or cut a stencil in a shape that matches your mood or party theme.
Place the stencil over your cocoa mug and shake a little cocoa powder over it until the shape is filled in. (Notice that the whipped topping doesn’t go past the rim of the mug.)
Voila! You now have a gourmet hot chocolate.
A dusting of cocoa adds to the fun of the moment. But all dustings aren’t just for designs or appearance, like with cocoa. Dusting with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, can add flavor to every sip.
Hot chocolate is perfect for latte art – you’re pouring hot milk into the mug anyway! Use the same technique as with a latte to make the tulip, rosetta, swan, flowers and more. (Follow the pro who knows, Barista Kim on YouTube, to see how to create the flower above and more.)
Garnishes are added on top of the whipped cream or marshmallows, on wooden sticks to stay above, or hanging off the rim of the cup to keep them from getting soggy or flavoring the hot chocolate itself.
Choose a cookie garnish that matches your party theme. You can use a cookie you made for the party in the whipped cream (as above) or make special rim cookies (right).
Just cut a slit before baking.
Find a chocolate shape that matches the theme of your party or holiday to garnish your hot chocolate, like this chocolate Easter bunny & eggs on the marshmallows. So cute!
Did you know?
Hershey’s Kisses* have a special chocolate kiss just for hot chocolate. It’s filled with marshmallow creme.
You’ve seen the candy eyes floating in the hot chocolate for Halloween. Put your favorite candies on top, or the expected seasonal candy.
Crushed candy cane adds flavor and holiday spirit to hot chocolate.
Other Favorite Snacks
Garnish a hot chocolate with a special treat like this caramel popcorn to create a signature hot chocolate recipe.
The saltiness of pretzels lends itself to hot chocolate, especially with caramel sauce. Put them on top of the marshmallows or whipped cream so they retain their crunch.
How you drizzle is as important as what you drizzle. These marshmallows with plaid drizzle add a unique appearance to the hot chocolate. Can how you drizzle add to your party theme?
Rimming the Glass
Add a special touch to your signature hot chocolate recipe by rimming the glass just like a cocktail.
To rim with chocolate, caramel, or candy sauce:
- In a saucer that’s slightly bigger than the circumference of the mouth of your mug, pour sauce. Turn your mug upside down so the mouth of the mug dips into the sauce. Lift straight out. (The deeper to sauce in the dish, more is retained on the glass.)
- If you want to add a texture, sprinkle cookie crumbs, candy sprinkless or fine nut pieces on the sauce on the side of the mug. (Try not to get it inside the mug as this will change the flavor & texture of the hot chocolate itself, and is very difficult to get out of the glass.)
To rim with sugar or sprinkles:
- Pour the sugar or sprinkles in a saucer.
- Insert an orange wedge on the rim of the glass and turn all the way around.
- While rim is still wet, turn glass upside down so mouth is dipped into the saucer.
- Lift straight up and let dry before pouring hot chocolate – without touching rim of glass.
- cinnamon sticks
- wafer cookie straw
- licorice sticks
- candy cane or peppermint stick
Candy canes aren’t just for Christmas hot chocolate! Put 2 together into a heart for Valentine’s Day hot chocolate – with heart shaped marshmallows, of course.
How to Make Pink Hot Chocolate
Melt 1/2 c white chocolate chips, add strawberry ice cream syrup until shade of pink you desire, then add milk and heat as usual. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles, or your usual hot chocolate toppings.
Want more? See all of our hot chocolate recipes.
Want even more? See our new hot chocolate recipes & ideas.
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