Mexican Hot Chocolate (Champurrado)

Champurrado l Scarletta Bakes

There are many different ways to avoid candy today!

You can hide under a rock.
You can take up residence in a cave.
You can try some duct tape lipstick.

I choose to avoid the gaily packaged pieces of thigh padding by scheduling a dental exam first thing in the morning. Because I’m 50 shades of masochistic, that’s why! And because I don’t think I would look good in cave-wear or duct tape makeup.

But I confess that it’s difficult for me to go a single day without at least one spoonful of sweet, which is why I’ll be drinking champurrado tonight while I hand out my thigh padding.

Champurrado is quite simply masa harina-thickened, Mexican chocolate-flavored comfort in a mug. I love serving it at the end of meals because it’s surprisingly simple to prepare and goes down the hatch like a dream: ¬†champurrado is a lovely digestif for eaters and drinkers of all ages.

Perhaps I should serve champurrado to some adorable candy-swilling kidlets tonight? We’ll see. But for now I’ll stick to serving it to myself. Take that, thigh padding.

Happy Halloween!

Mexican Hot Chocolate (Champurrado)
Serves: approximately 4 servings
  • 3 c. whole milk
  • 1 disk Mexican chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. masa harina
  • dulce de leche, cajeta, canela or cinnamon sticks, and/or a pinch of ground ancho chile for finishing (optional)
  1. Place the milk and chopped chocolate into a large sauce pan and warm over a low flame just to melt the chocolate, approximately 5 minutes. Increase heat and bring to a boil, simmering for just 2-3 minutes more. Remove from heat.
  2. Whisk in masa harina.
  3. Pour into mugs and stir in a teaspoon of dulce de leche and/or a pinch of ancho chile to finish. Garnish with a stick of canela and serve immediately.
Chef’s Note: You should be able to find Mexican chocolate (popular brands are Abuelita and Ibarra) in the Hispanic section of any well-stocked grocery store where you would also be sourcing your masa harina. That said, if you can’t put your hands on Mexican chocolate, I recommend substituting three ounces of chopped semi-sweet chocolate along with one half teaspoon of cinnamon and one half teaspoon of almond extract for one disk of Mexican chocolate.



  1. 8

    Dalila G. says

    If there’s chocolate involved you can count me in! Champurrado is my ma’s absolute favorite chocolate drink, any time, any place. Sometimes it seems like it’s a race to see who will enjoy the last cup. When we are all sitting around the kitchen table and gossiping……friendly of course…….the pot is usually close to my ma. She always gets to be the one to pour the champurrado. Funny how we all just get half a cup and hers is filled to the rim.

    • Meagan says

      Loved this comment, Dalila! I can just see you sitting around the table with your ma and a steaming pot of champurrado – delicious and so fun!

  2. 7

    Yvette @ Muy Bueno says

    You know me, I love champurrado ;) my Grama used to make it for us when we were kiddos. It’s a recipe I make this time of year for Dia de Los Muertos and the holidays. Your photos are gorgeous and your recipe sounds tasty. Salud!

    • Meagan says

      The masa harina does thicken the drink but it’s not particularly grainy. Maybe a little bit, although I think that actually comes from the graininess of the chocolate rather than the masa harina. It’s kind of intriguing but comforting all at once. And, yes, I never looked back after trying the Mexican version of hot chocolate!

  3. 5


    Dude, why can’t we live close so we could be masochists together and swill things like this. Life isn’t fair. So I’ll sit here eating popeye cigarettes and swilling pepsi while I mope.

  4. 3


    I’m always craving this in the winter days, even though where I live in Mexico it does not get very cold, it is still a treat. Sadly, very few people make it anymore, although for us I think the right recipe is a bit creamier, it would almost have like 1/2 a cup of masa harina and piloncillo as sweetener, some cinnamon. It is usually accompanied by tamales or sweet bread such as concha or pan de muerto. This is a typically a grandma drink, something you get when the family gets together, an old recipe that carries through generations.

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