Christmas is right around the corner, and I’m currently on a plane heading for Bavaria, Germany to see family!  I love Christmas in Bavaria.  It’s a magical place to be this time of the year.  I’m downright giddy thinking about being bundled up outside at a Christmas market with a warm drink in my hand, and surrounded by happy people and lovely old buildings.  If you ever get the chance to visit Germany during the Christmas season, I highly recommend it!

I think one thing that struck me on my first trip was that Christmas was much less commercialized than here at home.  You won’t see Santa or his reindeer.  No candy canes and homes brightly lit up like the Griswold’s.  Don’t get me wrong, I do kinda love all those things, but this was different in it’s own amazing way.

One of the traditions I noticed while visiting was that the Christmas tree doesn’t go up until Christmas Eve.  It’s often hidden and decorated by parents, and then brought out for the children on Christmas Eve.  Speaking of trees, if you say this phrase, “Ja so ein schöner Christbaum!” (basically, “what a beautiful Christmas tree!”) you’ll likely be offered a small glass of schnapps.  Oh, those Bavarians…  I’ve been told this could be a regional thing, so if you find yourself in southern Germany during Christmas, give it a try!

My inlaws live in a tiny village south of Munich, very close to the Austrian boarder.  I got a kick out of seeing their little community band walking through the streets playing their instruments.  It’s common for them to walk from house to house and play music for everyone.  Often times, they’ll all be offered a drink and a donation.  You can imagine as the day goes on, the music may not be as crisp as it was at the beginning of the day. 😉

Oh Germany, I can’t wait to see you!

So while I’m standing outside drinking warm Apfelpunsch (apple cider) and gluewein (spiced wine), I thought you needed a beverage to warm you up, too!  This peppermint hot cocoa is dairy-free and SO rich and creamy!  Top it off with some simple whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of some HFCS-free peppermint candy and it will really get you in the holiday spirit!

Peppermint Hot Cocoa {Dairy-Free}

Course: Drinks
Servings: 2
Author: Suzie Bauer


  • 1 1/2 cups Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup Filtered Water
  • 5 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 pinch Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Peppermint Extract

Whipped Coconut Cream

  • 13.5 oz can of Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract


  • In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, water, cacao powder, maple syrup and salt.
  • Using a whisk, stir until combined and heat for about 10 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.
  • To make the whipped coconut cream, place the can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight, or at least 8 hours. Do not shake the can! You want the fat to separate from the water. Place a metal bowl and whisk attachment for a stand mixer (or beaters for a hand mixer) in the fridge to chill. Carefully open the can of coconut milk from the bottom, and pour off the water, leaving the cream in place. Now add the cream to the mixing bowl, along with the honey and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high for 10-15 minutes until fluffy. You may need to stop the mixture occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Serve hot cocoa with a dollop of cream over the top and a sprinkle of peppermint candy.