Authentic Mexican Champurrado Recipe: A Traditional Hot Chocolate and Corn Beverage

Authentic Mexican Champurrado Recipe: A Traditional Hot Chocolate and Corn Beverage

Discover the warmth and comfort of champurrado, a traditional Mexican beverage that combines the richness of hot chocolate with the heartiness of corn. This unique drink has been enjoyed for centuries and is perfect for cold winter mornings or cozy evenings. With its thick, velvety texture and deep chocolate flavor, champurrado is sure to become your new favorite hot drink.

Champurrado stands out from typical hot chocolates due to its use of masa harina, a corn flour that adds both thickness and a subtle corn flavor. This combination creates a satisfying drink that’s both indulgent and nourishing. Let’s dive into the world of Mexican atoles and discover why champurrado is the ultimate comfort beverage.

What Makes Champurrado Special?

Champurrado is part of the atole family, a group of hot corn-based drinks popular in Mexico. While some may question the idea of drinking corn, it’s important to understand that this isn’t just any corn drink. The masa harina used in champurrado is made from nixtamalized corn, which enhances its nutritional value and creates a smooth, creamy texture.

Think of champurrado as a delicious fusion of hot chocolate, breakfast cereal, and pudding. It’s thick enough to be satisfying but not so heavy that you can’t enjoy a full mug. The corn base also allows for a rich chocolate flavor without the need for excessive dairy or sugar, making it a more balanced treat.

Champurrado Recipe


  • 1/2 cup masa harina para tortillas
  • 3 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the masa harina and water over medium heat. Add the water gradually while whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. This technique is crucial for achieving a smooth consistency.
  2. Once the mixture is smooth and begins to simmer, whisk in the milk, chocolate, brown sugar, and a generous pinch of salt. Continue whisking until the chocolate has completely melted, which should take about a minute. Add the cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon for that classic Mexican chocolate flavor.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer gently for 5 minutes, whisking constantly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. This cooking process allows the flavors to meld and the drink to thicken.
  4. Remove the cinnamon stick if used. At this point, you can adjust the consistency by adding more water if needed. The ideal thickness is a matter of personal preference, so feel free to make it as thin or thick as you like.
  5. Taste the champurrado and add more sugar or salt if desired. Remember, the beauty of making it at home is that you can customize it to your liking.
  6. For an authentic touch, use a molinillo (traditional Mexican whisk) to froth the drink. If you don’t have one, an immersion blender or regular whisk works well too. This step adds air to the drink, making it lighter and more enjoyable.
  7. Ladle the hot champurrado into mugs and serve immediately. Be careful when drinking, as the thick consistency retains heat well and can be very hot.

Tips for Perfect Champurrado

  • For best results, use masa harina specifically labeled for tortillas, as it has a finer grind that works better for drinks.
  • Don’t rush the process of adding water to the masa harina. Gradual addition and constant whisking are key to a smooth texture.
  • Experiment with different types of dark chocolate to find your preferred flavor profile.
  • If you like your drinks less sweet, start with less sugar and adjust to taste.

Variations to Try

While this classic champurrado recipe is delicious, don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors. Here are some ideas:

  • Add a pinch of chili powder for a spicy kick
  • Use almond milk instead of regular milk for a nutty flavor
  • Try different sweeteners like piloncillo or maple syrup
  • Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder for extra indulgence

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 237
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 43mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 14%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 82mg 6%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 244mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

You may also like: