Autumn Spiced Hot Chocolate: For your next camping trip (or to keep in the pantry for your next Netflix binge!)

A couple of weeks ago, we went on our first overnight family camping trip. It was also MY first camping trip. The idea of sleeping rough, barely separated from The Elements has never appealed to me. All that dirt. Those uncomfortable stones. The wind, argh! For years, I’ve rejected my husband’s suggestions that we go hang out in a tent.

Then he managed to catch me at the right time. Knowing that I’ve been trying to slow down, to make time to read and write again, he pitched it in just the right way: camping in peace and quiet, free from obligations, sitting next to a fire reading my book and writing in my journal. He finally won me over. We did a night away in a valley just out of Canberra in a quiet camping ground. 

I have to say, despite my reservations, I really enjoyed it. That afternoon, we went for a short bushwalk, collected firewood and watched all the kids quickly form a crew, to run around and scamper over rocks. I did indeed sit next to the fire, and read and write.

I hardly slept at all, due to the strangeness and our restless children (and then it RAINED, which really freaked me out for some reason. I pretended to be asleep while my husband scurried around outside pulling our stuff back in under the awning). Yet I didn’t feel particularly tired the following day. I guess it was all that refreshing fresh air. 😉 Early on the Sunday morning, my husband offered to make us breakfast in bed. He fried up pancakes at the portable stove-top, while the kids and I watched through the tent door, cuddled up in our sleeping bags. He presented me with a steaming hot cup of tea. The birds were chatting and I saw the morning sunshine hit the top of the mountain behind him. And I thought, ‘Ohhhhhhh. I get it.’

Hubby had suggested that we go with the ‘bare essentials’ food-wise, and I was like, no, no, NOOO. I insisted that he let me live out my romantic fantasies of eating something hot with a spoon by a campfire, and drinking hot chocolate. Otherwise, what’s the point!?

So we did (and yes he did thank me). For snacks, we took fruit-free bliss balls, berry gummies from Simplicious, popcorn and fresh fruit. We pre-made a batch of my chilli con carne, which we warmed up over the campfire for dinner, and served with corn chips and grated cheese. We made a quick damper cooked in foil and smothered it in butter. For breakfast the following day, I had prepared a jar of Georgia’s Shake ‘n’ Go Pancakes, from her breakfast eBook Rise and Shine, a nourishing alternative to the store bought variety. I mixed up the dry ingredients in an old coconut oil jar before we left, so we only had to add a cup of milk and an egg, and shake it all up. We served them with butter, yoghurt, fruit and rice malt syrup, and a side of hot tea.

On the Saturday afternoon I made us a round of spiced hot chocolate, using a mixture I prepared at home, which I’d like to share here. I stored it in a little jar, so it was very easy to store and use for camping – but it’s also handy just to keep in the pantry for rainy Sunday afternoons or late-night treats. I also made a batch of Quirky Cooking Easy Marshmallows (using rice malt syrup instead of honey), which were sensational melted into a hot chocolate – and introduced me to beetroot powder, my new favourite thing! When we got back I made rocky road with the leftovers. 🙂

Autumn Spiced Hot Chocolate Mix

Makes enough for 8 – 10 serves.

  • 3 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp stevia granules (such as natvia) (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients in a small jar.

2. To make the hot chocolate, heat 200ml milk per person in a small saucepan over low-medium heat until lightly steaming. Add 1 – 1 1/2 tsp hot chocolate mix per person. Whisk like a mad thing.

3. Remove from heat before the milk comes to a boil and serve in mugs. I highly recommend serving with Quirky Cooking marshmallows! I made a batch with rice malt syrup in place of honey, and used beetroot powder to make pink marshmallows as she suggested (which also have a gorgeous flavour).



  1. Erin this is awesome and l’m so coming camping with you next time …. it sounds amazing, fires, writing, brekkie in bed, chilli, hot chocloate and sunrises! … how prepared were you!

    You could make this a “thing” an adult adventure …. where do l sign up!?

  2. Leanne says:

    Thank you Erin for this funnily enough too close to home share.
    I too remember first meeting Daniel, he wanted to take me on a camping holiday, not just an overnighter but an actual holiday. I too cringed and buckled and then of course thought of the romanticism of what could be … Turns out we now own a camper and our family loves it. Infant, I love it. I love the hot choc recipe, yummy gotta try it with the marshmallows. Quirky cooking is fantastic isn’t she!

  3. Hi Erin

    I was dreaming of hot chocolate and remembered your post on this and promptly got online to check it out…. so now I am about to make a batch.

    Can’t wait to try! 🙂

    Claire xx

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