Champurrado Recipe


While Mexico isn’t known for having the coldest winters in the world, cool weather is cool weather, and even if there’s no snow on the ground, who doesn’t love some hot chocolate as the days get shorter?

Anyone can throw some basic hot chocolate together, but what about something more adventurous? Something that will warm your belly and wow your guests? Look no further than a good champurrado recipe, Mexico’s answer to hot chocolate.

What Is Champurrado?

Champurrado is Mexican hot chocolate; it’s the cornmeal drink atole, only with chocolate added. While atole is delicious, we all know that chocolate makes everything better.

Champurrado usually appears at holiday parties. Sometimes, there’s some rum splashed in. It provides the comfort of a mug of hot chocolate but with a Latin twist that comes from using masa harina.

What Is a Champurrado Shot?

Unlike hot chocolate, champurrado— so-called Mexican chocolate milk— isn’t always enjoyed in a mug as you sit peacefully by the fire. As a party drink, champurrado makes a fun shot. Once you’ve made a batch of champurrado, it’s perfectly acceptable to dole it out in a few mugs or into several shot glasses.

A tray of champurrado shots can make a real splash at any party, even if they don’t have alcohol.

Champurrado Recipe

About ingredients

¿Cómo hacer champurrado? 

More than just a mix and some hot water, champurrado consists of Mexican chocolate, water, masa harina, and a splash of vanilla, among others. We’ll give you the ingredients list, but once you make a few batches of your own, you may decide to tweak the portions to your tastes.

For instance, many people like to add milk or replace the water entirely, although the traditional champurrado recipe is water-based.

What You Need Note:

  • Milk. For the richest, most full-bodied champurrado, use whole milk. Lower fat options, like 2% milk, are acceptable, and almond milk is a great substitution if you’re looking o make a vegan version of this delicious drink.
  • Mexican chocolate. This chocolate isn’t the same as a Hershey bar, nor is it the semi-sweet morsels your mom used in her chocolate chip cookies. Abuelita Mexican chocolate is a popular choice, though there are others. Find it at a Hispanic grocery store in your neighborhood.
  • Piloncillo. A type of unrefined brown sugar popular in Mexican cuisine, piloncillo has a rich sweetness, but if you can’t find it, ⅓ cup of brown sugar works as a fine substitution.
  • Masa harina. Made from dried maize, masa harina is a type of corn flour that plays an essential role in making tamales and corn tortillas. Look hard for this stuff. You can substitute white flour, cornmeal, or corn starch (the masa harina acts as a thickening agent), but the taste won’t be authentic.
  • Splash of vanilla extract. Mexican vanilla is always the best choice for any recipe calling for vanilla, but especially a good champurrado.
Champurrado Recipe

Champurrado Recipe

Champurrado usually appears at holiday parties. Sometimes, there’s some rum splashed in. It provides the comfort of a mug of hot chocolate but with a Latin twist that comes from using masa harina.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 1 person
Calories 300 kcal


  • 4 c. Milk
  • 6 oz. Mexican chocolate (2 pieces)
  • 3 oz. Piloncillo
  • ¾ c. Masa harina
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 c. Warm water


  • In a large saucepan, combine the milk, piloncillo, and a pinch of salt (which is optional but adds flavor), and add a cinnamon stick.
  • Heat the milk mixture to a boil, then simmer to dissolve the piloncillo, which should take about 10 minutes.
  • Next, add the Mexican chocolate. You don’t have to stir it constantly, but you do need to stir a bit. The chocolate will melt fully in about five minutes.
  • While the chocolate melts, combine the masa harina with the warm water in a mixing bowl. If you have a KitchenAid mixer, put it to use, but a handheld egg mixer will suffice. Beat the mixture until it’s creamy.
  • Once the chocolate has melted, remove the cinnamon stick and add the vanilla extract.
  • Then, slowly stir in the masa mixture. If you beat it sufficiently, you should have few lumps, but be on the lookout for them.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high to bring the champurrado to a boil.
  • Immediately reduce the heat to simmer, and don’t stop stirring. Simmer and stir for about seven minutes or until the brew thickens.
  • Simmer for five more minutes, then serve in a punch bowl with a ladle into individual mugs or shot glasses.
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Tips & Tricks for Champurrado Recipe

Once you’ve had champurrado, you may decide to make changes to personalize the drink.

Champurrado Recipe

Here are a few suggestions for tailoring this drink to your taste buds:

  • Adding cloves or an orange peel can spice up the brew, but feel free to try your personal touch.
  • For a vegan incarnation of champurrado, Hernan Mexican chocolate is an option, but there are other brands. Also, use almond milk or water instead of dairy.
  • If you’re using white or brown sugar instead of the piloncillo, keep in mind that it melts faster. Step two should only take about five minutes.
  • Champurrado is a hot drink, so don’t burn yourself! And remember that it will stay hot longer since it’s a thick liquid.
  • If you want to add rum, stir it in after you’ve brewed the batch.

Nutrition Information of Champurrado Recipe

An exact calorie count is hard to give since the serving size can vary widely. We can safely say that a mug of champurrado contains about 300 calories, but a shot will have fewer. Due to the masa harina, the drink contains lots of carbs— that same mug might have as many as 50g.

Depending on the brand of Mexican chocolate you use, expect at least a couple of grams of saturated fat per serving, as well.


A good champurrado recipe can set your holiday party apart, or it can give you warmth and comfort on a cold day. It’s a hearty, delicious beverage and the kind of thing you’ll want to make again and again.

Join the Conversation

  1. MssAditood says:

    A good recipe!

  2. Ok, I normally don’t leave reviews on recipes even if I loved it but I just have to say this recipe was amazing, hands down

  3. ratherbeswimmin says:

    I made this for my family, and it was a big hit.

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