By the time December 1 rolls around, we're counting down the seconds until the big day. If you're like me, you're always searching for another way to get festive, especially with food. I love hot chocolate because it's as easy as you want it to be. My favorite cocoa is the classic Hershey's recipe, but there are so many other amazing options out there, like this one! And, if you're pressed for time, you can always fall back on the ever-reliable instant cocoa for a quick Christmas sugar fix! Grab your favorite holiday mug and get ready to get cozy with these quick and easy hot cocoa mix-ins! 

Samantha Johnson

1. Peppermint Extract

Use peppermint extract for a classic and refreshing twist on your seasonal fave! Be careful with this stuff though, a little bit goes a long way. I recommend starting with 1/8 of a teaspoon and going from there

2. Mini Chocolate Chips

The only thing better than chocolate is MORE chocolate. You can get super creative with what kind of chips to mix in to your cocoa: milk, dark, white, cinnamon, peanut butter, Heath bar... the sky is the limit!

Samantha Johnson

3. A Big Dollop of Cool Whip

A big ol' scoop of Cool Whip helps cool down a steaming mug of cocoa for a sweet and classic treat.

4. Caramel Sauce

Easy and yummy! A jar or bottle of caramel from the grocery store will do just fine. Stir some in to taste and enjoy!

5. Coffee or Espresso Powder

This is one of my favorite tricks. As a student, caffeine is an absolute necessity. I love mixing a packet of instant hot chocolate into my morning coffee for a 30-second mocha!

6. Cayenne or Chili Powder

Nothing beats the classic sweet and spicy combo! For cocoa with a kick, add a dash of cayenne pepper or chili powder- or both!

7. Mint Chocolate Chips or Crushed Andes Mints

Another way to add some yummy peppermint to your cocoa is to mix in mint chocolate chips or Andes mints!

8. Peanut Butter

Okay, hear me out: you love peanut butter cups, so why not try mixing some peanut butter into your hot chocolate. It's unique and delicious!

#SpoonTip: melt some peanut butter in the microwave for an easier mix-in!

9. A Scoop of Your Fav Ice Cream

Make your hot chocolate into a classic affogato by adding a scoop of ice cream! There are SO many flavors to choose from. I recommend something chocolate based, like cookies and cream!

Samantha Johnson

10. A Teaspoon of Raspberry Jam

Raspberry and chocolate are one of my all-time favorite combinations. Add some easy raspberry flavor with a little bit of your favorite jam! You can even garnish your mug with a few berries if you want to get fancy.

Samantha Johnson

11. Butterscotch Syrup

If hot chocolate alone isn't sweet enough for you, mix in a bit of butterscotch syrup!

12. Marshmallow Fluff

Mini marshmallows in cocoa are a go-to. Step it up a notch with a couple spoonfuls of marshmallow fluff! 

13. Orange Zest

For an easy, refreshing take on cocoa, grate some orange peel straight into your mug!

14. A Dash of Sea Salt

Perhaps the easiest mix-in on this list, adding a dash of sea salt to your hot chocolate gives you that amazing sweet and salty combination in 0.5 seconds!

15. Nutella

Similarly to the peanut butter, melt some Nutella in the microwave to easily stir some into your cocoa!

16. Malted Milk Powder

Enhance your cocoa with a spoonful of malted milk powder- you can even garnish the rim of your mug with some crushed Whoppers!

17. Almond Extract

Adding 1/8 of a teaspoon of almond extract to your mug gives a sweet and novel variation to classic cocoa.

18. Eggnog

If you're a fan of eggnog, you can't go wrong with adding a splash to your hot chocolate for a classic holiday drink!

19. Chai Tea Concentrate

Splash a few teaspoons of chai tea concentrate into your cocoa for a mug as warm and cozy as your favorite Christmas pjs!

20. Pumpkin Puree

If you're a card-carrying member of the Pumpkin Spice Latte Lover's Club, this one is for you! Mix a teaspoon or two of canned pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie filling into your cocoa for a cozy fall twist.

21. Maple Syrup

Bring your hot cocoa to the next level with a sweet spoonful of maple syrup!

Samantha Johnson

22. Hazelnut Coffee Creamer

Flavored coffee creamer is a super easy- and delicious- hot cocoa mix-in! Pick your favorite flavor and stir some in for a yummy upgrade to your basic cocoa. I recommend trying hazelnut or a seasonal pick!

23. Gingerbread Spice

Combining a few dashes of classic gingerbread spice into your cocoa can really help amp up the Christmas spirit! I recommend trying cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves, and nutmeg and mixing in to taste. If you want to get fancy you can use some of the leftover maple syrup to rim your mug in gingersnap cookie crumbles!

Samantha Johnson

24. Crushed Candy Canes

Nothing says 'Christmas spirit' like candy canes! Crush some and stir it into your hot chocolate for a classic holiday treat.

25. Maraschino Cherry Juice

If you were a fan of Starbucks' Cherry Mocha, this one is for you! Add a dash of maraschino cherry juice to breathe some life into your basic cocoa!

With only 25 days until Christmas, we've all got to make our time count! Make the most of your December by trying as many new hot cocoa variations as possible!