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A cup of spiced hot chocolate with whipped cream, ground spice and star anise garnish
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5 from 4 votes

Chai Spiced Hot Chocolate

Spiced Hot Chocolate is a sweet yet delicate blend of frothy milk, white chocolate and Indian spices. This white hot chocolate recipe is indulgent and warming. Make up a batch and warm up on demand.
Prep Time10 mins
Infusing time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Drink, Non-alcoholic Drink
Cuisine: Worldwide
Servings: 2 serving
Calories: 246kcal


  • 400 ml Whole milk
  • 45 g White chocolate
  • 8 Black peppercorns
  • 6 Cloves
  • 4 Allspice
  • 1 Cinnamon stick 15-20 cm
  • 2 Green cardamom pods
  • ½ Nutmeg clove
  • 1 Star anise
  • 4 Slices ginger thinly sliced (1mm)
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract

To serve

  • Whipped cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon
  • Cinnamon stick


  • Begin by lightly crushing the whole spices in a pestle and mortar (but do not grind them to a powder). Start with the black pepper, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and star anise, then transfer to a bowl and do the same with the cinnamon. Finally, crack the cardamom pods open
  • Put the cracked spices in a pan along with the ginger and milk. Heat until scalding, then turn the heat to the lowest setting and cook for 5 minutes, but do not let the milk boil
  • After 5 minutes turn off the heat and cover the pan either with a lid or a plate. Leave to infuse for 45 minutes (or longer for a more pronounced spice flavour)
  • Strain the milk through a fine-meshed sieve (or use a nut bag if you have one) then put into a clean pan along with the chocolate and vanilla extract
  • Heat gently, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has melted and the liquid is piping hot
  • (Optional) Use a handheld blender to froth the milk - just a couple of short pulses will turn the liquid frothy. Ensure your pan is large enough to do this without it spilling over the sides. If the liquid comes more than halfway up the pan transfer to a larger pan/ jug before blending. Reheat if necessary
  • Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream (if using), a scattering of freshly grated nutmeg or some ground cinnamon and a cinnamon stick
  • Serve immediately


Cooking Tips

  • The milk needs to infuse for a minimum of 45 minutes to pick up the wonderful attributes that the spice blend has to offer
  • Crush the spices lightly in a pestle and mortar but avoid grinding them to a powder
  • Vary the level of spices used - add a little more pepper and cloves for a more pronounced level of spice heat or add a little more nutmeg, vanilla or cardamom to enhance the character of these less fiery elements
  • For a milder version use fewer spices and of course, it's easy to drop one spice out if you do not get along with its flavour
  • Treat my spice list as a guide rather than gospel in this white hot chocolate recipe - play around with different spices that you really enjoy
  • Increase the amount of white chocolate in the recipe with caution. It is easy to add too much which creates an overly sweet drink and detracts from the spice profile

Make it Vegan

You can use any non-dairy milk for this chai hot chocolate. Keep in mind that each milk will display its own flavour profile and this may affect the overall flavour of the drink.
Coconut milk would make quite a decadent version with a luxurious, slightly thick texture and makes a great pairing with the chai spices


The infused milk can safely be heated through once. To make a batch of this chai hot chocolate for later use, go ahead and infuse the milk with the spices, but then let cool and store in the fridge until required. At this point, heat through and add the white chocolate before serving
If you have completed the recipe in full, so have already heated the milk twice, serve the leftovers chilled over ice. It makes a delicious milk shake. 

Using Milk or Dark Chocolate

Nothing bad will happen if milk or dark chocolate is used, but it will affect the overall taste and sweetness of this drink. Specifically, the level of the spice flavour may not be so bold, especially if using dark chocolate.


Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 330mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 331IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 271mg | Iron: 1mg