4 servings

Hawaij Hot Cocoa with Cinnamon Whipped Cream Recipe

Brrrr, it’s cold outside. But we know exactly what you need to warm up: some spicy, hawaij hot cocoa.

Hawaij is an important, if not nearly sacred, Yemenite spice blend. Hawaij is one of the most important ingredients in Yemenite cooking, with both savory blends using coriander, turmeric and cumin for soups, or ginger, cardamom and cinnamon for coffee. You can make your own blends or buy it in specialty spice stores or online.

This hot cocoa was so delicious with cinnamon whipped cream, and it had the perfect amount of spice to warm up on even the coldest days. To see us make this warming hot cocoa watch here:

If want to try some other Yemenite dishes, check out the iconic, buttery kubaneh bread with grated tomato and this Yemenite vegetarian soup.

Hawaij Hot Cocoa with Cinnamon Whipped Cream


For the hot cocoa:

2 cups milk

1 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (can also use leftover Hanukkah gelt)

1 scant Tbsp cocoa powder

1-2 tsp hawaij spice blend (see below)

2 Tbsp sugar

pinch of salt

cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)

For the hawaij spice blend:

1 1/2 Tbsp ground ginger

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1/2 Tbsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground clove

pinch nutmeg

For the whipped cream:

2 cups heavy cream

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon


To make the hawaij mix, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. It can be stored in airtight container.

To make cinnamon whipped cream, combine all ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. You can also place ingredients in large bowl and use a hand mixer. Place mixer on low setting for one minute, then increase to high for 2-3 minutes until whipped cream begins to form stiff peaks.

To make hot cocoa, place milk, sugar and chocolate chips/pieces in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk until chocolate begins to melt.

Add cocoa powder. 1-2 tsp hawaij spice mix and pinch of salt. Continue to whisk until all chocolate is melted, spices are incorporated and milk just begins to simmer.

Remove from heat. Add hot cocoa to mugs. Top with whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon sticks if desired.

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