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Get toasty from the inside out with champurrado, a delicious variation of Mexican hot chocolate! Deep, melty chocolate meets warming spices and brown sugar, all thickened with corn flour for a velvety smooth sip. Perfect for chasing any winter blues away!

If you’re looking for more warm beverages to cozy up with, try Mexican hot chocolate, wassail, or crockpot apple cider!

Champurrado in a brown mug. It's filled with star anise and surrounded with cinnamon sticks.

What is Champurrado?

Imagine a hot chocolate so thick it hugs your spoon, packed with chocolatey goodness and spiked with warm spices like cinnamon and anise. That’s champurrado, a warm Mexican drinking chocolate that you’re going to absolutely love.

Sweetened with brown sugar and thickened with corn flour, it’s rich and sweet. A type of atole, (corn-based beverage) champurrado has a unique texture that you won’t be able to get enough of. So grab your favorite mug and let’s make some!

Ingredients in Champurrado

For the ultimate experience, I recommend using piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar) and Mexican chocolate tablets here. You can usually find them in your local grocery store or online. The flavor they create is so amazing!

  • Whole Milk: A creamy base for the drink. You can also mix in some half and half to make it extra creamy and luscious.
  • Water: Just enough to get things simmering.
  • Piloncillo: Dark brown sugar with a molasses kick for deep sweetness. If you can’t find piloncillo, you can also use regular brown sugar.
  • Cinnamon Stick: To infuse warm, spiced flavor into the champurrado.
  • Star Anise: Tiny pod that adds a touch of licorice flavor.
  • Cloves: Another spice to give this drink the perfect warm flavor.
  • Mexican Chocolate: Rich, dark tablets to make this drink extra chocolatey.
  • Masa Harina: Corn flour that thickens up the champurrado. This is what makes it so good!
  • Vanilla: For some extra flavor. I recommend using Mexican vanilla or pure vanilla extract!
  • Salt: Just a pinch to bring out all of the delicious flavors!

Use Mexican Chocolate Tablets

Don’t settle for regular cocoa powder. Grab those rich, dark Mexican chocolate tablets for the best flavor! Abuelita brand knows what’s up.

How to Make It

Champurrado is pretty simple to make, but it does need time to simmer and thicken. This is what makes it so delicious! Don’t try to rush the cooking process.

  1. Add Liquids to Saucepan: Pour the milk and 3 cups water into a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add Sugar and Spices: Add the piloncillo, whole cloves, star anise, and the cinnamon stick. Heat until it starts boiling then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until the piloncillo has dissolved.
  3. Melt Chocolate: Add 2 Mexican chocolate tablets. Whisk occasionally for 5 minutes until the chocolate has melted.
  4. Prepare Masa Harina: In a medium bowl, add 1½ cups warm water then whisk in the masa harina until combined.
  5. Strain: Pour the masa harina mixture into the sauce pan through a fine mesh strainer. Straining the mixture is important to achieve a smooth texture! Quickly whisk in the mixture to prevent any clumping.
  6. Simmer and Thicken: Increase the heat to bring the champurrado to a boil. Once it starts boiling, then reduce the heat to a simmer, whisking continuously. After 8-10 minutes the mixture will thicken. Once it starts to thicken, cook an additional 5 minutes.
  7. Serve: Remove the champurrado from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before serving.
Adding the chocolate, sugar and spices to the milk mixture.

Cook Low and Slow

Once your champurrado mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer. Gentle heat lets the flavors mingle and the masa thicken perfectly. You don’t want anything to scald!

A pot of champurrado being served with a wooden ladle.

How Long Does Champurrado Last?

If you have leftover champurrado, let it cool down and then transfer it to an airtight container. It will stay good in the fridge for up to 4 days! Pop it in the microwave or warm the beverage over the stove on medium-low heat when you’re ready to enjoy it again.

Pouring the beverage into a mug.

More Delicious Drinks to Make This Winter

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Champurrado

By: Alyssa Rivers
Get toasty from the inside out with champurrado, a delicious variation of Mexican hot chocolate! Deep, melty chocolate meets warming spices and brown sugar, all thickened with corn flour for a velvety smooth sip. Perfect for chasing any winter blues away!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 ounces piloncillo, or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 pods star anise
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 3-ounce discs Mexican chocolate (Abuelita brand)
  • cups warm water
  • ½ cup masa harina
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla, or vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions 

  • Pour the milk and 3 cups water into a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the piloncillo, whole cloves, star anise, and the cinnamon stick. Heat until it starts boiling then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until the piloncillo has dissolved.
  • Add 2 Mexican chocolate tablets. Whisk occasionally for 5 minutes until the chocolate has melted.
  • In a medium bowl, add 1½ cups warm water then whisk in the masa harina until combined.
  • Pour the masa harina mixture into the sauce pan through a fine mesh strainer. Straining the mixture is important to achieve a smooth texture! Quickly whisk in the mixture to prevent any clumping.
  • Increase the heat to bring the champurrado to a boil. Once it starts boiling, then reduce the heat to a simmer, whisking continuously. After 8-10 minutes the mixture will thicken. Once it starts to thicken, cook an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove the champurrado from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 59mgPotassium: 249mgFiber: 2gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 222IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 185mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Beverage
Cuisine: Mexican
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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