Orange and chocolate is a magical combination. They work so well together because the chocolate is intense and rich, while the orange is fresh, fruity and zesty. This orange hot chocolate is simple, it’s zesty and it’s rich in chocolate flavor with a hint of warming cinnamon. A true comforting cup of deliciousness that is perfect with a donut or a cookie for dipping!
This hot chocolate with orange and cinnamon is the perfect Easter drink. I don’t know about you, but during Easter, Norwegians go up to their cabins, go skiing and drink hot chocolates and eat oranges for lunch out in the mountains. Or snuggled up by the fireplace when you get back to the cabin. Either way, a forever winning combination!
How to make this simple and zesty orange hot chocolate
Add a cup of milk to a saucepan, over medium heat. Add in unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, zest of one orange, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Give it a stir, and once it starts to simmer and rise, add in the rest of the milk. Serve warm.
Taste, do you find it too bitter? Add in a little more sugar. Too sweet? – more unsweetened cocoa powder. If you find it too flavorful and rich – more milk. It’s impossible to ruin this delicious cup of orange hot chocolate! Strain it into four (or two large!) cups to avoid drinking the zest.
I like to serve it a little more bitter, because I love to top my hot chocolate with either sweet marshmallows or sweet whipped cream to balance it out. If so, I use 7 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder.
Winning Combinations of Flavors
It’s hard to explain, but some combinations of flavors just work better than others. Orange and chocolate are definitely one of those, hence why I adore this dark chocolate orange cake too. Other winning combinations are
- ginger + lemon: Ginger Lemon Iced Tea, The Penicillin Cocktail
- caramel + salt: Salted Caramel Sauce, Salted Caramel Macarons
- banana + peanut butter: Banana Peanut Butter Chia Pudding
- peppermint + chocolate: Peppermint Cream Cheese Truffles, Peppermint Filled Dark Chocolates
- cranberry + orange: Orange Cranberry Sauce, Orange Cranberry Sangria
- cherry + chocolate: Black Forest Cake
- bacon + cheese: Bacon and Cheese Dinner Rolls
- honey + mustard: Panko Chicken Burger or Lemon Chicken Winter Salad both with honey mustard dressing
- coffee + chocolate: Dreamy Creamy Chocolate Truffles, Guinness Coffee Caramel Brownies
- blackberries + lemon: Blackberry Lemon Crepes, Blackberry Lemon Curd Pavlova Nests
- honey + ginger: Sore Throat Tea, and the Penicillin above.
- pumpkin + white chocolate: Pumpkin White Chocolate Muffins
- apple + cinnamon: Apple Cinnamon Cake, Mulled Apple Cider
- peppermint + coffee: Peppermint Mocha, Peppermint Mocha Macarons
- pumpkin + warming spices: Pumpkin Spice Latte, Moroccan Butternut Soup
Are there any other classic and fab combinations I’m missing out? Let me know in the comments. Sometimes great combinations can be surprising too, like strawberry + basil and pomegranate + any meat (try it in this recipe!). I’m sure you’ll find your next favorite combination in this list. Enjoy!
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This recipe was originally published on Dec 19th 2017, but updated on Feb 18th 2020 for better photos and content.
Simple and Zesty Orange Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon
- 4 cups whole milk 1 liter. 1% also works.
- 5 tbsp sugar or to taste
- 6-7 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder or to taste
- zest of one orange
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch salt
- Add a cup of milk to a saucepan, over medium heat. Add in unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, zest of one orange, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Give it a stir, and once it starts to simmer and rise, add in the rest of the milk. Serve warm.
- Taste, do you find it too bitter? Add in a little more sugar. Too sweet? - more unsweetened cocoa powder. If you find it too flavorful and rich - more milk. I have it more bitter (about 7 tbsp) when I add sweet toppings like marshmallows.
- Strain it through a sieve before you pour it into cups to avoid drinking the zest!
Just for funs; here’s one of the old pics!