Champurrado: Thick Mexican Hot Chocolate

In case you are wondering, champurrado is basically Mexican hot chocolate married with an atole, a traditional masa-based Mexican hot drink. Masa harina is the flour used for making corn tortillas, and is also used to thicken this rich, chocolate drink.

Traditionally, champurrado (chom-poo-rah-doe) is sweetened with piloncillo, a Mexican unrefined brown sugar, and often flavored with anise seed, and/or vanilla bean. It’s served most often at Christmas time with tamales, or as a breakfast drink served alongside churros.

I’ve professed my love for Mexican food before, and I’ve also told you about this marvelous magazine I found, BHG’s Ultimate Mexican. I recently made the Spicy Grilled Chicken with Baja Black Beans and Rice and it was marvelous. Among the other ear marked pages, was this enticing recipe for champurrado.

I’ve read elsewhere that this deliciously thick and creamy drink is widely available from Mexican food vendors, and honestly I’ve never noticed it. I decided to try this because of the Mexican chocolate I had sitting in my pantry after making the amazingly satisfying Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream a couple of months ago.

I took it one step further and decided to try it cold as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it warm, especially on this chilly, rainy day, but I realize I’m a bit out of season with this post, so I wanted to give you a more seasonal option as well.

While it was still good cold, it seemed a bit heavy as is. So I added a splash of milk to lighten it up. Much better, though it does dilute the sweetness a little. This would be amazing in a mixed drink or a martini!

Amanda’s Notes:

1) The recipe below makes 4 servings. I cut it in half without any problems. I also did not have any anise seeds, but I did have some star anise, so I ground some of that up instead.

2) If you want a bit more bite, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper!

printable recipe

1/4 cup masa harina (corn tortilla flour)
2 cups warm water
2 cups whole milk
1 disk (3.25 oz)Mexican chocolate, chopped
3 oz piloncillo cons, chopped or 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground anise seeds (I used star anise)

In a large saucepan, slowly add masa harina to the warm water, whisking until combined. Add milk, chocolate, piloncillo, and ground anise seeds.

Heat over medium heat just until boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and sugar is dissolved, whisking occasionally. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

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43 Responses to Champurrado: Thick Mexican Hot Chocolate

  1. 1
    jose manuel says:

    Se ve delicioso este chocolate, excelente. Un saludo

  2. 2
    Chow and Chatter says:

    looks great like the hot choc in Barcelona yum

  3. 3
    Marie says:

    That loooks very good Amanda! I never used to like Hot Chocolate, but am learning to enjoy it later in life!

  4. 4
    Life Artist ~ says:

    yummy yum!

    thank you for sharing!

    check my Mars coffee recipe
    best wishes = )

  5. 5
    Von says:

    this sounds so interesting! I love hot chocolate so I have no doubt that I would love this….
    first I've gotta find out where I can get masa harina……=]

  6. 6
    Amanda says:

    Von – it should be available at pretty much any grocery store, even WalMart carries it. Look in the Mexican food aisle, not the baking aisle :)

  7. 7
    Felicia says:

    I'm so glad you posted this. I was just talking to a friend of mine about wanting to try to make my own hot chocolate.. Yay!!

  8. 8
    Katrina says:

    Mmm, chocolate! ;)

  9. 9
    5 Star Foodie says:

    Perfect! I love the idea for a chilled version, definitely welcome right now!

  10. 10
    Tasty Eats At Home says:

    Wow, yum. I love using piloncillo. Could totally get in to these.

  11. 11
    Sue Sparks says:

    I like the "thick" part of this:) I'm going to try it! Thanks for sharing!

  12. 12
    Bob says:

    Intriguing, I need to try it. Can you taste the masa?

  13. 13
    Amanda says:

    Hi Bob – not at all. it does get thicker the more it cools. As it thickens it gets more of a porridge type consistency. However, once I chilled it in the fridge it thinned out again. I stored it in a covered container and gave it a good shake before drinking. :)

  14. 14
    Barbara Bakes says:

    I haven't had the pleasure of drinking champurrado. It looks wonderful.

  15. 15
    Leslie says:

    WOnderful..and drinking chocolate is pure heaven

  16. 16
    triolus says:

    Being an avid chocolate milk and cocoa fan, I'm gonna have to try this very soon. I think the corn flour would really bring a new flavor to the cocoa, and I'm considering adding a slight bit of hot pepper powder.

  17. 17
    Ingrid says:

    Happy Mother's Day!

  18. 18
    Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] says:

    This looks sinfully good!! Yum. I'm going to have to look for a substitue for masa harina, I'm sure I won't find it here!

  19. 19
    OK Chick says:

    I love Mexican Hot Chocolate! There's a place in Portland, OR that serves the best, Moonstruck.

  20. 20
    John Snediker says:

    Great posting, the difference between Champurrado and Atole is the type of corn used, campurrado uses maseca like you mentioned and atole uses more like corn starch. Great recipe you nailed it, I have a cup of Champurrado right now and even still my mouth waters looking at your pictures!

  21. 21
    Amanda says:

    Thanks so much john!

  22. 22
    marla {Family Fresh Cooking} says:

    Love this thick mexican hot chocolate!

  23. 23
    Cindy Lou Who says:

    I'll give this a try, as I can no longer find the (Nestle brand) instant Champurrado mix in a canister in the stores where we currently live, not even the Mexican markets carry it anymore, and my husband who is from Guatemala loves this drink. I too, found it to be tummy warming and more filling than regular hot chocolate.
    However, I recall reading the ingredients on the canister, of which it included cinnamon & I didn't see said ingredient in this recipe.

  24. 24
    Amanda says:

    Hi Cindy! This recipe uses Mexican chocolate, which actually has cinnamon in it, so there's no need to add additional cinnamon :) Enjoy!

  25. 25

    […] CHAMPURRADO Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  26. 26
    Ronee says:

    Do you think corn starch would work to thicken?

    • 26.1
      Amanda Formaro says:

      Masa harina is your best bet. I’m sure cornstarch would work, but I’m not sure that the ratio would be the same, nor the flavor.

  27. 27
    Lupita says:

    It really looks delicious, I will try the recipe hoping I get good results.

  28. 28
    Ronee says:

    Ok thank you…the masa harina is the masa used for tamales right? This Christmasis my first time making both. :0)

  29. 29
    Jennifer says:

    Can this be cooked in a crock pot? Or only over the stove?

  30. 30
    Beth says:

    Delicious! I had this at a close friends house and I tried making it at home. I used regular Cornmeal instead of masa because I didn’t have any, but don’t be scared to try it! It comes out great (:

  31. 31

    hi i like this website to get some cooking recipe?

  32. 32
    Jessica says:

    For an awsome twist you should add cinnamon sticks! That’s the only way I can drink champurrado and I’m mexican!

  33. 33
    Bethany says:

    I LOVE CHAMPURRADO! Fall’s around the corner here and I’m all excited! Here’s to bonfires and this stuff! :) The pouches of hot chocolate mix DO NOT COMPARE to champurrado, or even simply dissolving a tablet of Abuelita in milk. What I like about Abuelita is that when the chocolate is dissolved, the drink doesn’t need any sugar….its sweet on its own! Major plus especially for my mom who is diabetic and not too much sugar added for my 2 girls (can we say sugar high?) :)

  34. 34
    leslie stack says:

    love champarathads can you send me a recepie so i can make my own

  35. 35
    Nola says:

    sounds great!! I’m going to try adding a bit of chocolate tequila for “girls night” just for a little added fun. Any other spiked suggestions would be welcome.

  36. 36

    […] Champurrado: Thick Mexican Hot Chocolate by Amanda’s Cookin’ […]

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