Mexican Hot Cocoa


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Warm yourself up from the inside out with our authentic Mexican Hot Cocoa recipe. This rich and indulgent drink combines the comforting flavors of chocolate, cinnamon, and a hint of chili for a unique and satisfying experience. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of creating this traditional Mexican beverage. Get ready to savor the warmth and complexity of flavors that Mexican Hot Cocoa has to offer. Whether enjoyed during the chilly winter months or as a delightful treat any time of the year, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your household.

Mexican hot cocoa, also known as “chocolate caliente,” is a warm and comforting beverage with deep-rooted origins in Mexico. Its history can be traced back to ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Aztecs and Mayans, who were among the first to cultivate and use cacao beans to make a rich, frothy chocolate drink.

The indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica created a chocolate beverage by grinding roasted cacao beans and blending the paste with water, spices, and sometimes chili peppers. They sweetened it with honey or agave nectar. This early form of chocolate was considered a precious and sacred drink, often reserved for special occasions.

With the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, cacao was introduced to Europe and underwent various transformations, eventually evolving into the chocolate we know today. However, in Mexico, the tradition of making chocolate from scratch, using cacao, spices, and sweeteners, remained alive.

Mexican hot cocoa is distinct because of its blend of traditional Mexican flavors. Cinnamon, vanilla, and, in some variations, a touch of chili powder or cayenne pepper, contribute to its unique taste. The result is a warm, spicy, and slightly sweet beverage that provides comfort and indulgence, whether enjoyed on a chilly winter day or as a treat during celebrations like Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Mexican Hot Cocoa

Mexican Hot Cocoa, also known as "champurrado" or "chocolate caliente," is a beloved traditional Mexican beverage. It is made by combining rich chocolate with warm milk, cinnamon, and a touch of chili for a delightful balance of sweetness and spice. This velvety drink is often enjoyed during the holiday season, but it can be savored all year round. With its unique flavor profile and comforting qualities, Mexican Hot Cocoa is a treat that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Mexico. Join us as we explore the art of making this beloved beverage from scratch.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 15 mins Total Time 20 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 4 Calories: 366.86 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk over medium-low heat until it starts to steam. Do not let it boil.

  2. Add the chopped dark chocolate to the milk and whisk until it melts and combines with the milk.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, chili powder (if using), and salt.

  4. Gradually sprinkle the cocoa powder mixture into the saucepan while whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming.

  5. Continue whisking the mixture over medium-low heat until it thickens slightly and reaches a simmer. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes.

  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the hot cocoa through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any remaining lumps.

  7. Pour the Mexican Hot Cocoa into mugs and garnish with whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, or chocolate shavings, if desired.

  8. Serve immediately and enjoy the warm and comforting flavors of Mexican Hot Cocoa.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 366.86kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19.05g30%
Saturated Fat 11.01g56%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Cholesterol 31.08mg11%
Sodium 154.7mg7%
Potassium 598.37mg18%
Total Carbohydrate 40.87g14%
Dietary Fiber 3.41g14%
Sugars 34.71g
Protein 10.28g21%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • For a spicier kick, increase the amount of chili powder or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Experiment with different types of chocolate, such as milk chocolate or a combination of dark and milk chocolate, to find your preferred flavor profile.
  • If you prefer a sweeter hot cocoa, add more sugar to taste.
  • For a richer and creamier texture, use whole milk or substitute some of the milk with heavy cream.
  • Customize your Mexican Hot Cocoa by adding a dash of vanilla extract or a sprinkle of nutmeg for extra flavor.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve Mexican Hot Cocoa as a comforting beverage during chilly evenings or as a special treat during holiday gatherings.
  • Pair it with traditional Mexican pastries like conchas or churros for a delightful combination.
  • Enjoy it with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top for added indulgence.
Allergen Information:

Mexican hot cocoa can be made to accommodate various dietary needs, but it's essential to be mindful of potential allergens:

  • Dairy: Many traditional Mexican hot cocoa recipes call for milk, making it unsuitable for those with dairy allergies. To create a dairy-free version, use almond milk, soy milk, or any other non-dairy milk alternative.

  • Gluten: While cocoa powder is naturally gluten-free, the addition of thickeners or flavorings in certain cocoa mixes might contain gluten. Ensure your ingredients are gluten-free if you have a gluten sensitivity or allergy.

Wine or Drink Pairing:

Mexican hot cocoa is typically enjoyed on its own, as it is a delightful and complex beverage on its own. However, if you want to pair it with something, consider:

  • Churros: For an authentic Mexican experience, enjoy Mexican hot cocoa with churros, a traditional fried-dough pastry. The combination of the cocoa's warmth and the crispy churros is a match made in heaven.

  • Vanilla Ice Cream: A scoop of vanilla ice cream in your Mexican hot cocoa can add a contrasting cold and creamy element, creating a delightful dessert-like experience.

  • Tequila or Kahlúa: If you're in the mood for a spirited twist, consider spiking your Mexican hot cocoa with a shot of tequila or Kahlúa for a warming adult beverage.

Storage and Leftovers:

Mexican hot cocoa is best enjoyed fresh, but if you happen to have leftovers, here's how to handle them:

  • Refrigeration: Store any leftover Mexican hot cocoa in a covered container in the refrigerator. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring to regain its creamy consistency.

  • Spices: Note that the flavors of Mexican hot cocoa might intensify as it sits, particularly the spices. Adjust the sweetness or spice level as needed when reheating.

  • Whipped Cream: If you've added whipped cream or marshmallows, they may dissolve in the leftover hot cocoa. You can add more when reheating for an extra treat.

Keywords: Mexican Hot Cocoa, Chocolate Caliente, Champurrado, Traditional Mexican Beverage, Spiced Hot Chocolate, Winter Drink

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