This Champurrado recipe is made with Mexican chocolate, masa harina, milk, water, cinnamon, and vanilla. Thick and creamy, this cozy drink is best enjoyed on a cold winter night during the holiday season.
This Champurrado recipe is warm and comforting, and sure to fill you up this winter season! Just like Mexican atole, champurrado is made with masa harina but has the fun addition of Mexican chocolate.
This chocolate-based atole is prepared with milk, Mexican chocolate, and cinnamon. Sweetened with a little piloncillo and vanilla extract, every sip is creamy, thick, and satisfying and will warm you up from the inside out!
What is Champurrado?
Champurrado is a warm Mexican drink made by heating milk, Mexican chocolate, piloncillo, and Mexican cinnamon together. It’s then thickened with a mixture of water and masa harina. When it’s ready, champurrado is smooth, thick, chocolatey, and creamy!
It’s a seasonal drink you can enjoy on a chilly evening, for breakfast, or around the holidays. Because of its thick texture, champurrado is filling, satisfying, and can be used as a nutritious meal replacement.
What’s the difference between atole and champurrado?
Champurrado is a type of atole that’s made with Mexican chocolate, whereas the basic atole recipe does not include chocolate.
Both atole and champurrado recipes are made with masa harina, piloncillo, vanilla extract, cinnamon, milk and water.
Ingredients you’ll need for champurrado
- Milk – I like using whole milk for the thickest and creamiest texture and flavor. You can use 2% or even almond milk if you prefer.
- Piloncillo – This whole cane sugar has an earthy and caramel-like taste and is a staple in Mexican baking. (Learn more about piloncillo.)
- Mexican chocolate – Mexican chocolate is a paste made from cacao nibs, sugar, and cinnamon. It has a rougher texture than milk chocolate and is usually not intended to be eaten on its own. My favorite brand is Abuelita, which you can usually find in grocery stores or ethnic markets. (Learn more about Mexican chocolate.)
- Masa harina – This Mexican staple and necessary ingredient when making corn tortillas or tamales is made from dried maize corn. You can usually find masa harina in large grocery stores or your local Hispanic store.
- Warm water – This is mixed with the masa harina to thicken the champurrado.
- Cinnamon stick, vanilla extract, and salt – For flavor!
How to make champurrado
- Heat the milk and chocolate mixture: Add the milk, piloncillo, Mexican chocolate, and cinnamon stick to a medium saucepan. Heat on the stove until the piloncillo and chocolate has dissolved. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.
- Combine the water and masa harina: Whisk together warm water and masa harina until it’s a smooth mixture. Then add the masa harina mixture, vanilla extract, and salt to the saucepan and whisk to combine.
- Heat it up and serve: Bring it up to a simmer, then lower the heat. Cook and whisk until the champurrado is thick, creamy, and smooth. Pour a large mug full of the finished champurrado and top it with a touch of cinnamon!
Tips and Substitutions
- Don’t have piloncillo? You can use 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar instead.
- Can’t find Mexican chocolate? Look for it in the Hispanic food aisle at. your local grocery store or go to a specialty Hispanic grocery store. If you still can’t find it, you can order it online here.
- Is your champurrado grainy? Put in some elbow grease and keep whisking! Get the smoothest champurrado possible by whisking it vigorously throughout the whole cooking process. You’ll want it velvety smooth for the best texture.
- Want to make it dairy free? Use almond milk instead of dairy milk.
- To make this completely vegan, use a vegan Mexican chocolate brand like Taza or Ibarra.
Storing and reheating
To store, keep the finished and cooled champurrado in the fridge for up to 4 days. The longer it sits, the thicker it will become.
To reheat, mix in a little more water or milk into the drink first. Give it a good stir, then heat it up in the microwave or on the stovetop.