Pumpkin Spiced Hot Cocoa

Corrine called me the other day and asked if I had a recipe for Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Hot Cocoa.
My reply: What's that?
I waited for the next cold day and drove to Starbucks. Big line. This is not Seattle. We only have one Starbucks in town (soon to be two). Note to me: be ready to wait wait wait when visiting Starbucks on a cold day in Btown. No drive thru. No bueno. I ordered myself a tall. When the barista finally handed me the cup (seriously 15 minutes later) I took a sip and knew I was in trouble. Cream. Spice.  Chocolate.  Pumpkin.
This is not a drink. It's dessert.

Theirs and mine. 

I've been back a few times for research/ homework, ABK style. Each time, tasting and comparing. This is serious work.
Back at the ranch, I looked online for "Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa". Found this recipe from Cookies and Cups and adapted it to my taste, adding a home made hot cocoa which was adapted from Alton Brown, Food Network. Combining these two recipes resulted in a homemade version of my new favorite pumpkin-spiced-chocolaty treat.
If you are out in your car and want to sip a dessert in a cup, stop by Starbucks. If you're cozied up at home, watching the rain or snow fall from inside your steamed up windows, mix up this treat. It's like comfort in a cup.
Fall style.

Pumpkin Spiced Hot Cocoa
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 cups low fat or whole milk ( I used skim)
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 cup hot cocoa mix, recipe below
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
whipped cream, chocolate syrup and additional pumpkin pie spice for garnish

Pour milk into a saucepan. Add pumpkin puree, dry cocoa mix and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
Cook over medium heat, whisking until smooth, and milk is hot. Do not boil. Remove from heat.
Pour in to mugs and top with whipped cream. Drizzle chocolate syrup and sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice.
Serve immediately.
2 servings

Alton Brown's Hot Cocoa
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup Dutch Process cocoa*
1 1/4 cup powdered milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a container with a lid in a cool, dry place.
When ready to use, place about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of mix into a mug, fill cup with hot water or hot milk. Mix and enjoy.

-*When buying Dutch Processed Cocoa, buy a good quality chocolate, it will greatly improve the flavors in the finished product.
-If you are in a hurry, or don't want to make your own hot cocoa mix, you may substitute a pre-made powder mix, such as Stephen's Hot Cocoa Mix (I suggest a dark hot chocolate mix).
-When making the hot cocoa, you may use hot water when mixing up to drink, but I like to mix with milk for extra rich flavor.


  1. I make my own hot cocoa mix Si. I think I NEED to go try your recipe out. Since you added it to skim milk...I'm going t count it as a diet drink. :)

    1. haha Bonnie this is a great recipe, a keeper for the cold days we know are coming our way too soon!

  2. This looks SO yummy! Can't wait to try it. Do you ever make your own pumpkin pie spice?

    1. Yep, she sure does!!! I have made it and love it!

    2. Cindie is right! I should have added that link to the recipe page! Thanks Cindie :)

  3. Yum!!! I may need one of these. The dangerous thing is, the new Starbucks that is going in on 5th South is conveniently on my way to the freeway every morning :P OOOoooo... and the Centerville Starbucks has an awesome, quick, drive thru :) That's the one I always go to.

    1. Hopefully the 5th South Starbucks will have a drive thru? When I need my cocoa fix while Im out I can stay in the car!


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