12/12/2013 09:03 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

15 Ways To Instantly Upgrade Your Hot Chocolate (PHOTOS)

We all know that hot chocolate is one of the few saving graces of winter. Along with fireplaces, sweaters and long-simmering stews, a piping hot mug of cocoa is one of the things that gets us through the coldest, darkest months of the year. December 12 is National Hot Cocoa Day, and in light of that fact, we want to kick your hot cocoa up a few notches.

We all have a basic hot chocolate recipe that we love. That is a perfect foundation to build upon. What makes good hot chocolate great? Upgrades, dudes. Below, you'll find a few of our favorites.

  • 1 Homemade Marshmallows
    Brown Eyed Baker
  • 2 Toasted Marshmallow Cream
  • 3 Cinnamon & Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 Booze
    Pass The Sushi
    Whiskey, peppermint schnapps, Cointreau -- your imagination is your only limit... as long as you're an adult.

    Get the Rich n’ Thick Adult Hot Chocolate recipe from Pass The Sushi
  • 5 Churros
    Annie's Eats
  • 6 Mini Gingerbread Houses
    Megan Reardon
    You can go ahead and pretend you've ever seen anything as cute as this, but we're pretty sure you haven't.

    Get the Mini Gingerbread Houses recipe from Not Martha
  • 7 Nutella
    Gimme Some Oven

    Get the Nutella Hot Chocolate recipe from Gimme Some Oven
  • 8 Candy Canes
  • 9 Coconut
    How Sweet It Is
    This recipe features both coconut milk in the hot chocolate itself and a toasted coconut rim on the mug. COCONUT MANIA.

    Get the Crockpot Coconut Hot Chocolate recipe from How Sweet It Is
  • 10 Crushed Oreos
  • 11 S'Mores Fixings
  • 12 Mint
  • 13 Salted Caramel
    A Beautiful Mess
    Salted caramel is already in everything else. Might as well add it to your hot chocolate!

    Get the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate recipe from A Beautiful Mess
  • 14 Chai
  • 15 Giving It Away As A Gift
    Cook The Story
    They say it's better to give than receive, so once you've perfected your hot chocolate recipe, jar it up and send it on its way!

    Get the Mexican Hot Chocolate Powder Mix recipe from Cook The Story

If we missed your favorite way to spike, dip, dunk or otherwise adorn your hot chocolate, let us know what it is in the comments!

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  • Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate
    Ditte Isager
  • Lavender Hot Chocolate
    Rick Poon
    Get the Lavender Hot Chocolate recipe from à La Mode
  • Vanilla Hot Chocolate
    This Week For Dinner
    Get the Vanilla Hot Chocolate recipe from This Week For Dinner
  • Classic Hot Choolate
    Simply Recipes
    Get the Classic Hot Chocolate recipe from Simply Recipes
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate
    Jennifer Iserloh
  • Orange Hot Chocolate
    Knitted Bliss
    Get the Orange Hot Chocolate recipe from Knitted Bliss
  • Gail's Spiced Hot Chocolate
  • Mulled Wine Hot Chocolate
    Citrus & Candy
    Get the Mulled Wine Hot Chocolate recipe from Citrus & Candy
  • Spiced Hot Chocolate
  • Triple Hot Chocolate
    Souvlaki For The Soul
    Get the Triple Hot Chocolate recipe from Souvlaki For The Soul
  • Spiked Hot Chocolate
    Marcus Samuelsson
  • Hot Chocolate Affogato
    Get the Hot Chocolate Affogato recipe from Stone Soup
  • Thick & Rich Drinking Chocolate
  • Vegan Coconut Almond Hot Chocolate With Vegan Whipped Cream
  • White Chocolate Chai
    Anna Williams
  • Nutella Hot Chocolate
    The Hungry Housewife
    Get the Nutella Hot Chocolate recipe from The Hungry Housewife
  • Baked Hot Chocolate
    Kate Morgan Jackson
    Get the Baked Hot Chocolate recipe from Framed Cooks Okay, okay. It's more of a brownie than hot chocolate... but we couldn't resist.