This easy Mexican Hot Chocolate will warm you up from the inside out. Made with canela (cinnamon sticks) steeped in water to infuse flavor, warmly spiced Mexican chocolate, and the milk of your choice, this cozy beverage is the perfect pick for sweater season. 

For an adult version, try it spiked by adding a splash of Kahlua or peppermint schnapps for a rich, decadent, and boozy cocktail. You can also go way over the top by serving some of my Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies on the side. YUM!

Mexican Hot Chocolate barro cazuela and cup with marigolds on the side    

My easy Mexican hot chocolate is similar to champurrado, but it isn’t flavored with anise or sweetened with piloncillo. Don’t worry, though. Just because it is a bit simpler to make doesn’t mean it is any less delicioso.

About This Recipe

Whether you’re looking for a way to warm up after a day on the slopes or just want something new to snuggle up with on the couch, my easy Mexican hot chocolate is the way to go. With just five ingredients and five minutes of active time, you can have a beverage worthy of any winter wonderland scenario!

ingredients to make mexican hot chocolate -- Abuelita and artisanal chocolate, milk, corn starch, canela

I made this drink for our Día de los Muertos Celebration video. It was a chilly Colorado day when we filmed the video, but luckily this drink warms you up from the inside out.

Made with spiced Mexican chocolate and steeped with canela, this is not your mama’s hot chocolate. While it might take a bit more time than making a packet of Swiss Miss, I can guarantee you’ll be grateful for the extra effort.

Since you are making this yummy beverage from scratch, feel free to swap in any milk that you please. We usually opt for dairy milk, but oat, almond, or soy would work just as well.

You can also make this warming drink ahead of time to make sure it’s ready right when you need it! Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to five days, though I can’t imagine it’ll last that long.

What is the Difference Between Champurrado and Mexican Hot Chocolate?

Champurrado is a chocolate drink with a bold taste of corn from the masa harina (corn flour); the consistency is like that of a thin cream of wheat. This easy Mexican hot chocolate is less thick than champurrado, but can still coat the back of a spoon like a champ. Drink one mugful and your chocolate cravings will be completely satisfied!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Abuelita cup with marigolds on the side

How To Make

Bring 8 cups of water to a boil with the cinnamon sticks; remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.

Discard cinnamon sticks and return water to medium-low heat. Add Mexican chocolate stir until dissolved.

In a separate cup, dissolve corn starch in ¼ cup of cold water. Stir to prevent clumps and add to pot, stirring as you pour it in.

Add the milk and let it come to a slow boil, being careful to turn off heat as soon as it boils. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Enjoy!

artisan mexican chocolate skulls for dia de los muertos with marigolds on the side

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mexican chocolate?

Mexican chocolate is made by grinding cacao nibs, sugar, and cinnamon, and has a more granular texture than what most Americans are used to. Depending on the brand, other flavorings like chiles, allspice, or nutmeg may also be added.

What is the best Mexican chocolate to buy?

The two most popular brands of Mexican chocolate available in the U.S. are Ibarra and Nestle’s Abuelita. They are commonly found in large supermarkets and in Latin grocery stores. Another popular brand is Taza, an organic variety with different flavor options.

I love purchasing artisanal chocolate, but generally I buy Abuelita, because that is the brand I grew up with.

What is the difference between Mexican hot chocolate and regular hot chocolate?

If you grew up in the US, you likely make your hot chocolate by emptying a packet of hot chocolate mix into a mug and topping it with hot milk or water. While this recipe for Mexican hot chocolate takes just a bit longer because you’re using real Mexican chocolate, the results are well worth the extra time.

Also, unlike American hot chocolate, this Mexican beverage is scented with cinnamon, making it extra cozy when the weather is chilly.

Finally, Mexican hot chocolate is thicker than traditional hot chocolate because it uses cornstarch. You can’t taste the extra ingredient, but the consistency is luscious.

What do you garnish it with?

I personally serve my Mexican hot chocolate as is, no frills attached. I promised you easy, right? All that said, feel free to add your own twist – a dollop of whipped cream (or cinnamon whipped cream?!?), a handful of marshmallows, a dusting of ground cinnamon or grated chocolate, or a cinnamon stick as a swizzle would all be welcome additions.

Watch this video to see how simple this Mexican Hot Chocolate is made.

More Warming Drinks

If you tried my delightfully spiced Easy Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe, please be sure to rate and review it below!

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Mexican Hot Chocolate in Mexican barro

Mexican Hot Chocolate

4.86 (7 ratings)
This easy Mexican Hot Chocolate will warm you up from the inside out. Made with canela (cinnamon sticks) steeped in water to infuse flavor, warmly spiced Mexican chocolate, and the milk of your choice, this cozy beverage is the perfect pick for sweater season. 
For an adult version, try it spiked by adding a splash of Kahlua or peppermint schnapps for a rich, decadent, and boozy cocktail. You can also go way over the top by serving some of my Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies on the side. YUM!

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Bring 8 cups of water with cinnamon sticks to a boil; remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.
  • Discard cinnamon sticks and return water to medium-low heat. Add Mexican chocolate stir until dissolved.
  • In a separate cup, dissolve corn starch in ¼ cup of cold water. Stir to prevent clumps and add to pot, stirring as you pour it in.
  • Add the milk and let it come to a slow boil, being careful to turn off heat as soon as it boils. It will thicken a little and will be creamier with whole milk.

Video

Notes

  • For an adult spiked hot chocolate, add a splash of Kahlua or peppermint schnapps for a rich, decadent, and boozy cocktail.
  • Feel free to substitute your favorite dairy free milk
Calories: 145kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 30mg, Potassium: 108mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 49IU, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 1mg

Photography by Jenna Sparks 
Originally published: October 2014