Recipe: Red Velvet Hot Cocoa

During the holidays, I became sort of addicted to one of the seasonal offerings at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf -- Red Velvet Hot Cocoa.
It tasted exactly like it sounds like it would. Melted, delicious red velvet cake-in-a-cup. Plus, it's pink. It could have had one every day if I could (and I could afford it). So when the holidays passed and my beloved Red Velvet Hot Cocoa disappeared from the menu, I was devastated and decided to figure out how to make it at home myself. 
I learned that Red Velvet Hot Cocoa at Coffee Bean is made from a mix, which they don't sell (unfortunately). So next, I tried searching online... and BINGO! I found lots of recipes, but they all seemed to be based off the Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream recipe from A Cozy Kitchen, pictured above.

While A Cozy Kitchen's cocoa didn't look exactly like the Coffee Bean's -- it was dark red instead of creamy light pink -- I figured it probably couldn't be that different.
Unfortunately, I wasn't exactly "Wow"-ed by the recipe, because it didn't taste anything like what I wanted it to be. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, chocolatey, and creamier than regular hot cocoa, but it didn't taste like liquid cake. I have to say, though, I didn't follow the recipe exactly. I decided to skip the cream cheese whipped cream in favor of the light canned stuff to save a few calories, but I think I'll definitely try it next time. I also used lowfat milk instead of whole milk, but I don't think that affected the flavor too much.
I still need to figure out how to make the cocoa taste more like Coffee Bean's -- maybe I'll try it next time with white chocolate?
Red Velvet Hot Cocoa with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream 
Serves 4
For the hot chocolate:
  • 4 cups of milk
  • splash of water
  • 3/4 cups of premium semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
  • 1 teaspoon of red food coloring paste
For the whipped cream:
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of whipped cream cheese
 In a medium mixing bowl or a stand-up mixer, pour in heavy whipping cream and sugar.  Whip on medium with the whisk attachment for 2-3 minutes.  Just before it peaks, add the teaspoon of whipped cream cheese and whisk for another 2 minutes. Taste the whipped cream and add more cream cheese to taste. If you like it more tart, I’d say add another 1/2 teaspoon, just be careful to not over whip or you’ll have butter on your hands in no time.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat.  Add a splash of water and the chocolate chips, constantly stirring gently .  When almost melted, add the red food coloring paste and stir some more.  The color should be a deep red, similar to the picture above.  When the chocolate chips are all melted, pour the hot chocolate in four mugs and top with the whipped cream.


  1. Just a heads up; CBTL has started to sell the Red Velvet online!


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