Champurrado (Mexican Hot Chocolate)

Champurrado is a type of atole, which is a warm & thick corn-flour based beverage. I would refer to this as the Mexican version of hot chocolate, but it’s very different from actual hot chocolate.

It’s champurrado season! Just in time to make for Christmas or New Years Eve. Champurrado is a warm, thick, and comforting drink during the fall and winter seasons.

It’s made with Mexican chocolate, milk, cinnamon, piloncillo (raw cane sugar), and corn flour. Sometimes cloves are added as well, but I am not a huge fan. 

Ingredients:

  • Mexican chocolate- I prefer the Ibarra brand if you can get your hands on it, but the Abuelita brand is more widely available. 

  • Cinnamon stick- get the Mexican brand that comes in bags in the Mexican spice aisle. 

  • Piloncillothis is whole cane sugar and comes in blocks shaped like cones. You can usually find this in the Mexican spice aisle. 

  • Masa harina (corn flour)- this can usually be found in the spices/baking aisle and will be labeled as masa harina, but Maseca is ok too (instant corn flour).

  • Salt- this is optional, but I add a bit of salt at the end. I think it brings out all of the flavors of the champurrado much better.

  • Milk- I like whole milk, but you can use a dairy free milk of your choice or even just water.  

  • Water (divided)- to dissolve the piloncillo and mix with the masa harina. 

  • Vanilla extract- for added flavor, this is optional.

Pro tip: 

When your champurrado has thickened, mix with an immersion blender to make it frothy. This does the same thing that a molinillo does (a tool used to frothing atoles), but most of us do not own one of those. 

The immersion blender makes it nice and frothy in under a minute, and it also ensures that there are no clumps of corn flour in your champurrado. 

Try my recipe for orejas to pair with your champurrado! I love dipping pan dulce into champurrado- conchas and orejas (palmiers) are my favorites. 

Champurrado (Mexican Hot Chocolate)

5 from 7 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups water divided
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 oz piloncillo about 1 piece of piloncillo
  • 4 cups whole milk or non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablets Mexican chocolate about 4.5 oz
  • 1/2 cup masa harina (corn flour)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract optional
  • pinch of salt optional

Instructions
 

  • Optional: toast the masa harina in a skillet until it slightly turns to a light beige color and is fragrant.
  • Blend with 1 cup of water until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat 1 cup of water then add the cinnamon stick and piloncillo until dissolved.
  • Add milk, then add the Mexican chocolate once it starts to steam. Take out the cinnamon stick but do not throw it away if you want more cinnamon flavor. (We will add it back later if you want). Stir frequently to make sure the chocolate dissolves and doesn’t get stuck to the bottom.
  • Once the chocolate is fully dissolved, add the masa harina mixture and continue to simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, mixing occasionally. You can add the cinnamon stick back in at this point.
  • Once the champurrado has thickened, add some vanilla extract (optional) and a pinch of salt (also optional) and mix with an immersion blender for better texture. It works like a molinillo to make it nice and frothy. Serve hot and enjoy!

*This post contains affiliate links to products that I actually use & recommend. I am not sponsored by these brands, but I do make a small commission from qualifying purchases made through these links.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Nayely

    I’ve been craving champurrado and have tried many recipes but none as perfectly authentic as this one! I can’t wait to make it again and try it with the orejas! Thank you Stella for your amazing recipes!

  2. Jorge

    5 stars
    Hi Stella! I love all the food that you make.
    I enjoy your recipes, and the breakdown on how to prepare them. This is one of my favorite things that I enjoy in the winter.
    Thank you

  3. Lucia Duran

    5 stars
    Growing up in the United States, I always missed the champurrado that my grandma used to make in El rancho. This recipe is just like my grandma’s champurrado.

  4. Jordan Copeland

    I can’t wait to try out this recipe! @jaybaby9

  5. Diana

    5 stars
    Love this champurrado recipe! It’s my go to now. My family loves it, thank you!

  6. Edward

    5 stars
    Stop buying champurrado and just make this recipe. Trust me. It’s consistently good every time and has been so perfect for this rainy weather!

  7. B Johnson

    5 stars
    great recipe. thanks for making recipes accessible to the common man. 😁

  8. Karina

    5 stars
    I love this authentic recipe and I’m so glad I found it because it doesn’t call for any condensed milk or evaporated milk that’s not needed. Me encanta esta receta porque es súper auténtica ya que no incluye la azúcar como la de la leche condensada y la leche evaporada. Gracias por compartir

  9. Tara

    5 stars
    I highly recommend toasting your masa, it gives it great flavor. I added cloves and a dash of cayenne pepper. Loved this recipe. I double it and strain out the spices and put in the fridge to heat one mug at a time.

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Hi, I'm Stella!

I come from a multicultural background, and cooking has been one of the best ways for me to stay connected to my heritage. My recipes are tried and tested, many of them passed down through family. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

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