Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

garnished nutcracker mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows and gingerbread man in mug

This Gingerbread Hot Chocolate is the ultimate holiday beverage! Made with a quick and simple gingerbread syrup, it’s spiced, warming and the perfect amount of sweet. 

Alright y’all…I know that December is the time for soups and all the peppermint treats and Christmas cookies…but can we just talk about something that I especially love that doesn’t get enough credit during the cold? 

HOT CHOCOLATE. Yup, it’s officially hot chocolate season here in our house and I am so very happy that it’s here! 

Why You’ll Love This Drink: 

It’s the perfect combination of chocolate and gingerbread – the sweetness of the chocolate pairs perfectly with the warm spicy kick of the ginger, cinnamon and a few other spices. It is sure to warm you up on the coldest Winter evening! 

The gingerbread syrup really makes this drink special….it’s a flavor bomb of goodness! And the best part? You can use the rest of the syrup on other things…add it to your coffee, make a cocktail, whatever you heart desires! 

gingerbread syrup in glass mason jar in the sunlight

This drink is so incredibly creamy! I used whole milk but you can use your favorite…either way, when it’s warm and combined with the cocoa and sugar and gingerbread spices…it’s delightful! 

close up of head of gingerbread man in mug of hot chocolate

The sticky sweet marshmallow topping is just the BEST! 

And of course, you *must* add a gingerbread man on top. Not only does it look adorable, eventually, he will fully be submerged in his hot cocoa tub and it results in gingerbread cookie bits in each sip…yes please!

So let’s get into what you need to make this delightful beverage! 

Ingredients You Need: 

Milk – I really enjoy using whole milk for this recipe because I think it makes it extra rich, however, use whatever milk your heart desires! 

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – really important that it’s unsweetened – this will make sure it has that pure cocoa flavor without any additives.

Water – the base of our gingerbread syrup.

Brown Sugar – this will help sweeten the hot chocolate!

Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Nutmeg, All Spice – these spices are the perfect combo to make the gingerbread syrup taste just like the cookies you know and love!

Vanilla Extract – extra cozy flavor!

Marshmallows – optional, but my favorite way to top hot chocolate! I also like using whipped cream. 

Gingerbread Men Cookies – a must for garnishing this decadent drink!

How to Make Gingerbread Hot Chocolate in 5 Simple Steps: 

  1. Begin by making the gingerbread syrup! In a small pot, combine the water, brown sugar, vanilla extract and spices. Whisk together and let come to a boil on the stove. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so and then remove from the heat. 
  2. Pour the finished syrup into a mason jar to cool, rinse out the pot with water, and then add in the milk and cocoa powder to the same pot. Whisk together and let heat on medium to high heat until it’s heated to your liking – around 5 minutes or so was my sweet spot. hot chocolate in pot in the sunlight
  3. Add 2 tbsp of syrup to the hot chocolate and whisk together. Taste with a spoon straight from the pot and add additional syrup or sugar if needed for extra sweetener. 
  4. Crush a few gingerbread cookies at the bottom of your favorite festive mug. Add the hot chocolate right on top. Garnish with marshmallows, a gingerbread man and of course, some more cookie crumbs. 
  5. Drink immediately while warm and ENJOY every chocolatey sip!

Ingredient Substitutions/Variations: 

If you want to make this ultra decadent, do half milk, half heavy whipping cream! 

If you want to use fresh ginger instead of ground, I recommend making sure it’s peeled and minced – use about a 1 inch piece and then be sure to strain it out of the syrup before you use it. 

Feel free to add in MORE sugar to sweeten the hot cocoa. For me, I found that the gingerbread syrup was enough but if you need more, do it! 

overhead shot of mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows and 2 gingerbread men on top

You could substitute the brown sugar for molasses in the syrup for ultra gingerbread flavor. 

If you’re not a fan of marshmallows, top with whipped cream!

For a fun boozy option, add in some Bailey’s or Kahlua. 


Can I make this ahead of time? Yes! Just store both the gingerbread syrup and hot fridge in the fridge – when you’re ready, heat it up on the stove or in the microwave. It should keep for up to 2 days in the fridge. 

The gingerbread syrup should stay good for up to a week in the fridge! 

If you want this adorable mug, Ben bought it for me at Williams Sonoma…it’s SO cute. 

THESE are the gingerbread cookies I used for this recipe (affiliate link!) 

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do, my friends! Happy hot chocolate season! 

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are a few other hot chocolate recipes you might like: 

Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate 

Spiced Chai Hot Chocolate 

Coconut Hot Chocolate 

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

5 from 1 vote

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

This Gingerbread Hot Chocolate is the ultimate holiday beverage! Made with a quick and simple gingerbread syrup, it’s spiced, warming and the perfect amount of sweet. 

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy hot chocolate, easy hot chocolate, gingerbread hot chocolate, hot chocolate recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 person


Gingerbread Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (use 1.5 tsp if you want an extra kick!)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Hot Chocolate

  • 1 cup milk (of your choice - I used whole milk) 
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • marshmallows or whipped cream for garnish
  • gingerbread men for garnish


Making Gingerbread Syrup

  1. Heat the stove eye on medium/high heat. In a small pot, add in the water, brown sugar, spices and vanilla extract. Whisk together and let this come to a boil in the pot on the stove.

  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Once done, remove from the stove and pour into a glass mason jar to let cool. Carefully rinse the pot and place it back on the stove.

Making Hot Chocolate

  1. In the same pot, on medium heat, add in the milk and unsweetened cocoa powder. Whisk together and let warm to your preference - mine took about 5 minutes or so.

  2. Once warmed, add in 2 tbsp of the gingerbread syrup and whisk in. Taste and add more if desired. Or if needed, add additional sugar!

  3. Crush gingerbread cookies into the bottom of your favorite mug and then pour the hot chocolate on top. Garnish with marshmallows and gingerbread men. Enjoy immediately!

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