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Cinnamon Spiced Hot Cocoa 🌱☕️— and Shoot Settings

Hi everyone! so this is a really rough recipe. We’re not using precise measurements here. Instead we’re going to season it all to taste. But don’t be intimidated. Rely on your taste buds and trust them. :)

This is a great recipe any time and especially great if you want to impress your friends. Great for cold nights in the cabin or woods, or anytime you’re craving an hot drink. :)

I always try to incorporate some cinnamon into my hot drinks because it’s a super spice thats so good for you. Just google the health benefits.

This is a cocoa drink but you can easily make a coffee version of this. So here goes :D


Total time 7-10 mins

Serving: 6-8oz or 1 serving


  • Cocoa powder about 1 1/2 tbsp (add more for strong flavor and thickness)

  • Plant milk (I used almond. I think soy would be creamier) 1/4- 1/3 cup approx . You might have some left over

  • Organic sugar about 1 tsp (can use maple syrup as well)

  • Cinnamon - sprinkle on as topping

  • Cinnamon stick - 1 stick

  • Star anise - 1 star

  • Optional: vegan chocolate chips 3-5 approx (this will add even stronger flavor and make your drink thicker and creamier as well)

  • You will need a milk frother or something to beat some foam into the milk (chopsticks or manual beater, or even a coffee or tea press to pump the milk and create foam. I used my $1.50 milk frother that I bought from Daiso. It works wonderfully.)


  1. Fill your mug about 3/4 of the way with milk and mix in the cocoa powder.

  2. You can either warm your cocoa on stove top or nuke it in the microwave like I did. If you choose the microwave method warm it for 30-45 seconds at a time for about 1 1/2 minutes total depending on your microwave. Give it a stir each time. Add sugar to taste. You can froth it if you'd like for foamy, bubbly effect. I did this very minimally.

  3. Next, you can heat your milk on stove top or microwave as well. I chose to warm it in an ibrik over stove top so that I can see and monitor the done-ness of it. You can start at medium heat and then change it to low heat so it doesn't burn. The entire process should only take several minutes and no more than 5 minutes.

  4. Once it starts to bubble a little you can turn off the heat and remove it from the stove. Then use your frother and froth until desired amount of foam. Be careful not to splatter and burn youself. It should foam up pretty easily. The froth will become stiff and hold it's foam. You can then spoon the foam on top of the hot cocoa.

  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon

  6. Add a cinnamon stick and star anise as garnish and serve

TIP: the star anise will release a very sweet spice flavor so I like to remove it before drinking or I like it steep no more than a few minutes before removing. This is totally up to your preference. The cinnamon stick will continue to release it's flavor the longer you have it in there but the flavor is mild so I just leave it in my drink and use it as a stir.

Enjoy! :)



Shot around 3pm natural light

North facing window - no diffuser , no reflectors

Table set up about 10" below the window

Shoot angles: 45 degrees, top down

Aperture about 5.6 for the drink shots, less for the spice shot

Shutter 1/50 handheld

ISO 800 - 1000

White Balance : cloudy

Canon 5D mark 4



Come say hi, check out more photos and recipes and follow me on Instagram, where I frequently hang out:

Food &  Blog account: @jengo.daily https://www.instagram.com/jengo.daily/

Portrait account: @ jengo_photo https://www.instagram.com/jengo_photo/

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