Mexican Hot Chocolate (Atole Champurrado)

Mexican Hot Chocolate (Atole Champurrado) is a deliciously spiced drinking chocolate so thick and rich you’ll need a spoon!

2 clay mugs of Mexican Hot Chocolate Atole

Mexican Hot Chocolate (Atole Champurrado) is the ultimate hot cocoa

The Mexicans really ‘own’ chocolate more than any other culture. The cacao bean originated in Mexico and South America, and chocolate’s been consumed there for centuries. So really, this is the granddaddy of all hot chocolates. It’s flavored with cinnamon, star anise, and Mexican chocolate, but gets its velvety pudding-like consistency from masa harina.

spices for Mexican Hot Chocolate Atole

What you’ll need:

  • cinnamon
  • star anise
  • masa harina
  • Mexican chocolate
  • milk
  • brown sugar

You can find tablets of Mexican chocolate in the international aisle of the supermarket. It’s mixed with various spices, and sugar, and has sort of a grainy texture when you cut into it. The licorice flavored star anise is common in Eastern cuisines, but here it’s more of a specialty spice. Keep an eye out for it, but if you can’t find it, don’t worry, just use the cinnamon. I’ve talked a lot about masa harina, the finely ground corn meal made from lime treated hominy. You should find it either in the International aisle, or with the grains and flours. Don’t substitute corn meal, that won’t work.

Thick rich Mexican Hot Chocolate Atole

This is a very distinctive hot chocolate, probably unlike anything you’ve ever had.

clay mugs of Mexican Hot Chocolate Atole

If you’re used to hot chocolate out of a packet, you owe it to your self to try this. This is like a thick chocolate porridge. Almost breakfast in itself.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Atole

I adore hot chocolate drinks of all kinds, especially once the weather turns chilly. Here are a few of my other favorites:

3.31 from 53 votes

Chocolate Atole, Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate (Atole Champurrado) is a deliciously spiced drinking chocolate so thick and rich you'll need a spoon!
Course beverage
Cuisine Mexican
Cook Time 20 minutes
Yield 2 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 anise star
  • 1/8 cup masa harina
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablet Mexican chocolate about 3 oz
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


  • Bring the water, cinnamon stick and anise to a simmer in a saucepan. Turn off the heat and let steep for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the spices and turn the heat back on under the saucepan. Whisk in the masa harina, and when it is combined, add the milk, chocolate and sugar.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, whisking often. The mixture will come to a boil and thicken, When it is thick and smooth, pour in mugs. You will need a spoon!

Cook's notes

Slightly adapted from the Muy Bueno Cookbook
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Stressed Student
    October 28, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    5 stars

  • Reply
    November 20, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    5 stars
    Se llama Champurrado…:)

  • Reply
    brittney gardner
    February 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    5 stars
    Beautiful! Where on earth did you find those fantastic cups?

    • Reply
      August 22, 2013 at 7:34 am

      Thrift store!

  • Reply
    Marina {Yummy Mummy)
    October 11, 2012 at 7:19 am

    5 stars
    Looks sooo thick and delicious. I used to get drinking chocolate all the time in Italy in the winter and it was outrageously thick and so so good. I miss it. This looks incredible.

  • Reply
    Nantucket Daffodil
    October 10, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    5 stars
    Amazing. I could just stand there at the counter and drink instead of dinner. (chocolate that is :)…also…kept wondering why you weren’t showing up in my blog roll, then I realized I had left out “the” from the title and had someone’s old blog…I am about to fix this…I need to be up to date on you!!!!

  • Reply
    Thyme (Sarah)
    October 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    5 stars
    I just love your series on hot chocolates! I’m going to read the rest now. I’ve never heard of a combination like this one with the masa harina and the anise star. Ummm…I can only imagine the flavors of this!

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