This Red Velvet Hot Chocolate is made with a touch of cream cheese, so it has the perfect red velvet taste and texture! It is definitely going to win over the hearts of everyone this Halloween. It is not only delicious but has just the right amount of spooky! 

This Red Velvet Hot Chocolate - A straight shot of the hot chocolate in a skull shot glass. | From

Happy Halloween! This October has been packed—between making moldy tarts and floating eyeballs, naked spiderweb cakes and sparkling devil’s food cakes, pumpkin patch cookies and pumpkin-shaped cakes, it’s been a month absolutely full of spooky sweets and ghoulish goodies. So what could possibly be left to make at this late date?

Four words for you: Red Velvet Hot Chocolate. Four more words for you: make it right now!

I wanted to save an easy recipe for last. This is one you can whip up in just a few minutes, and enjoy it while watching a scary movie, or warm up with it after a chilly trick or treating session. I’m also including a recipe for almond witch finger cookies, because you haven’t lived until you’ve dipped an edible finger in a glass of blood-red chocolate milk. (Tell me again how Halloween became a children’s holiday? This is gruesome stuff!)

This Red Velvet Hot Chocolate- A shot of a cookie being dipped into the red velvet hot chocolate. | From

Let’s tackle the red velvet hot chocolate first. I looked at a few recipes online (because the golden rule of food blogging is that if you have an original idea, you’re sure to find that it’s been done by a dozen other people before you), and was disheartened to see that they all appeared to be regular hot chocolate with red food coloring added. That might be red hot chocolate, but it’s certainly not red velvet hot chocolate.

This Red Velvet Hot Chocolate - A straight shot of multiple skull glasses filled with hot chocolate. | From

To me, the signature characteristics of red velvet cake are the buttermilk and light cocoa flavor of the cake. Without the buttermilk in the batter it’s just a boring, not-very-chocolatey cake, so I wanted to find a way to incorporate the unique buttermilk/cocoa flavor into the drink. Rather than using actual buttermilk (because that sounded iffy) I blended a little cream cheese into the milk before heating it. Voila! The milk was thicker and richer, and it had a flavor that called to mind not only the red velvet cake, but also the signature cream cheese frosting!

This Red Velvet Hot Chocolate - A collage of the hot chocolate, witch cookie fingers, and roses. | From

The cream cheese isn’t overwhelming—I only use 3 oz for 20 oz of milk—so it’s not like you’re drinking frosting here. But it does add a wonderful texture and just a hint of cream cheese flavor that blends nicely with the semi-sweet chocolate. Overall the hot chocolate’s flavor is complex and not too sweet, perfect for enjoying in small sips throughout the night.

This Red Velvet Hot Chocolate - A shot of multiple skull glasses filled with hot chocolate, and witch finger cookies on the side.| From

As for the red color, well, you should keep scrolling if you’re not a food coloring fan. If natural coloring is your thing I’m sure you could use beet-based color, or something equally virtuous, but I went for good old fashioned Americolor Super Red gel. A few squirts of gel turned my dark hot chocolate into a burgundy masterpiece. If you want a bright red color, you can replace some or all of the dark chocolate with milk chocolate, or swap in some white chocolate instead. I thought the brownish-red did an admirable job of imitating blood…a Halloween drink necessity!

This Red Velvet Hot Chocolate - A shot of the hot chocolate spilled out looking like blood. | From

As for the witch finger cookies, well, I just couldn’t resist making these Halloween classics! My version is sort of an almond sugar cookie, with almond meal and almond extract. They’re soft and tender, with a bit of a crunch on the outside that works well with the crunchy, blood-red almond fingernail. These do require some chilling time if you want them to hold their shape, so they’re not a great last-minute recipe, but if you have a few hours, make them to dunk in your red velvet hot chocolate!

This Red Velvet Hot Chocolate - A shot of a witch finger cookie being dipped into the hot chocolate. | From

Biscotti and coffee is soooo last year. Now it’s all about finger cookies and red velvet hot chocolate. Get on this train!

This Red Velvet Hot Chocolate - A shot of the hot chocolate over flowing with a witch finger cookie inside. | From

Happy Halloween, friends! Have fun and stay safe.

I demonstrated how to make these treats on Facebook Live! If you’d like to watch the live video, click here!

🩸More Spooky Desserts for Halloween

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate in a glass mug with mini marshmallows on top

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

This easy Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate is the perfect hot chocolate recipe for a crowd! It’s super rich and creamy, comes together quickly in the Crock-Pot, and uses ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
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Close up of a mug of Crème Brulee White Hot Chocolate.

Creme Brulee White Hot Chocolate

This rich creamy Crème Brulee White Hot Chocolate is flavored with delicate white chocolate, a hint of brown sugar and a whole lot of vanilla bean paste. It's topped with crunchy caramel and tastes like crème brulee in liquid form!
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Red Velvet Hot Chocolate in a clear skull-shaped mug on a white serving platter.

Halloween Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

5 from 6 votes
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate is the perfect drink for cold and spooky nights! This Halloween hot chocolate recipe uses cream cheese for a not-too-sweet red velvet flavor and luscious creamy texture.
Prep10 minutes
Cook10 minutes
Total20 minutes
Yields4 servings



  • Place the milk and cream cheese in a blender and blend them together until smooth. If you have a stick blender, you can just place them in a saucepan and blend them together right in the pan.
  • Pour the milk-cream cheese mixture into a medium saucepan, and add the chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, and salt.
  • Place over medium heat and warm the milk, whisking occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and your mixture is smooth.
  • Whisk in the red food coloring, adding more until you get a color you like. Serve hot!
  • Red Velvet Hot Chocolate can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to use. Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove.

Recipe Notes

If you’d like a sweeter hot chocolate (or a brighter red color) you can substitute milk chocolate for some or all of the dark chocolate, or replace some of the dark chocolate with white chocolate.

Measuring Tips

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?


Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 276mg | Potassium: 515mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 596IU | Calcium: 238mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.
Witch Finger Cookies standing upright in a clear glass.

Witch Finger Cookies

1.50 from 2 votes
Witch Finger Cookies are a classic Halloween treat! These tender almond-flavored sugar cookies are shaped into fingers and topped with a blood-red almond fingernail for a creepy finishing touch.
Prep30 minutes
Cook10 minutes
Total40 minutes
Yields48 cookies


  • 48 whole blanched almonds, see Note below
  • 2 tsp red gel food coloring, I used Americolor Super Red
  • 8 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 oz powdered sugar, (2 cups)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 15 oz all-purpose flour, (3.5 cups)
  • 2.5 oz almond flour, (¾ cup)
  • 1 tsp salt


To make the almond fingernails:

  • Use a small food-safe paintbrush and red gel food coloring, and paint the top of each almond until it is bright red. Let them sit on a sheet of paper towel and dry. The almonds can be painted several days in advance.

To make the cookies:

  • Whisk together the flour, almond meal, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.
  • Combine the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat them together on medium speed for about 1 minute, until fluffy and well-combined.
  • Add the egg and both extracts, and beat on medium-low speed. It is natural for the mixture to look separated at this point.
  • With the mixer running on low, add the flour to the dough, and mix just until most of the flour streaks disappear. Stop the mixer and finish mixing with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl very well. The dough should be soft and smooth but not sticky.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Take a walnut-sized ball of dough, (if you have a scale, I used about .75 oz per cookie) and roll the dough between your palms until it is a long thin snake, about 4-5 inches long.
  • Place the dough on a baking sheet and press a red almond into one end for the fingernail. Press your finger about halfway down the dough to widen it for the knuckle. Use a toothpick to press horizontal lines into the cookie under the almond, and across the knuckle. Repeat until all of the cookie “fingers” have been shaped.
  • Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. The cookies should lose their raw shine and look puffed up, but they will not take on much color. Cool them completely on the baking sheets.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. If some almonds fall off during storage, you can always stick them on using a little melted candy coating as glue.

Recipe Notes

If you can’t find blanched almonds, you blanch your own regular almonds. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the almonds, and let them boil for 60 seconds. Strain the almonds, run them under cool water, then squeeze them between your fingers to quickly remove the almond skins. Pat them dry before coloring them red for this recipe.

Measuring Tips

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?


Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 123IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.

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Meet Elizabeth!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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    1. Hi Dannii! I promise this recipe does not disappoint. It’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy red velvet.

    1. Thanks Matt! I’d love to hear what you think of adding red wine to it. Might be a great variation!

    1. Hi Sandy! You can definitely use less milk and make it a dipping sauce. The cocoa is really thick to begin with . . . I’d call it sauce adjacent . . . and the cookies taste really good when they’re dipped in it. I’d say to add the milk a little at a time until it’s just the consistency you are looking for. Good thinking.