Thick, creamy, and ultra chocolatey, this Mexican Champurrado recipe is a comforting sip on chilly days or first thing in the morning. The warm spices go perfectly with your favorite pan dulces or cookies!
Why You’ll Love This Champurrado Recipe
Mexican champurrado always hits the spot and anyone in the family can drink it. It won’t be long before you fall in love with it and make it a regular drink in your home.
- Authentic. It’s a lesser-known Mexican recipe but that doesn’t make it any less good. If anything, your recipe tin will now hold a new treasure.
- Perfect for fall and winter. A cup of warm champurrado is always super comforting for chilly mornings and evenings. Enjoy it any time of day as a special treat, like you would hot chocolate.
- Family-friendly. Who doesn’t love chocolate? This drink is sure to be a hit, even with picky eaters!
- Easy. It’s a recipe that doesn’t require much more than stirring the mixture to avoid lumps and then straining it to make sure you get rid of any that may have formed. What could go wrong?
What Is Champurrado?
Champurrado is a traditional masa-based drink. It’s super thick, creamy, and full of spiced chocolatey goodness. The spices can come from the hot chocolate disks themselves, but more can always be added. Cinnamon, star anise, and ground cloves are some of the most common. It’s a very popular drink throughout fall and winter, when it’s often enjoyed with Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding) or Roscón de Reyes for breakfast or dinner.
Mexican champurrado is full of creamy dairy, warm spices, and lots of chocolate. Check the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for full ingredient amounts.
For the Champurrado
- Cinnamon Stick: I like to use a whole cinnamon stick, but if you don’t have a whole cinnamon stick, you can use ground cinnamon to taste.
- Star Anise: I break apart the star anise and use half of one in this recipe. I find one full anise to be a little too overpowering.
- Piloncillo: Dark brown sugar is a good swap, but using real Piloncillo will give you the most authentic flavor.
- Whole milk: Low-fat milk works in a pinch, but whole milk will give you the creamiest texture. Please don’t use plant-based milk.
- Evaporated milk: Feel free to substitute this for heavy cream or half & half.
- Mexican Hot Chocolate Disk: Ibarra chocolate disk are the best brand because it’s not overly spiced.
For the Masa
- Masa Harina: You can buy it at most Mexican supermarkets.
How to Make Mexican Champurrado
How to make champurrado can be summarized by simmering the mixture, blending the masa, mixing, and straining. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.
- Dissolve the piloncillo: Add the water, cinnamon, star anise, and piloncillo to a large pot. Stir and let it simmer until the piloncillo is fully dissolved.
- Add the chocolate: Add the milk, evaporated milk, and hot chocolate disk. Stir and reduce the heat. Stir occasionally.
- Blend the masa: Blend the masa harina and water until smooth. Strain the mixture into the pot. Stir continuously.
- Let it simmer: Let the champurrado simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add more piloncillo to taste. Remove the pot from the heat.
- Strain it: Strain the mixture to remove spices and lumps. Let it cool for a couple minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Tips for Success
Any champurrado recipe instantly becomes a breeze if you know the tips and tricks needed to make it more flavorful.
- Head to the Mexican grocery store. If your local supermarket doesn’t sell freshly made tortillas (for the masa), your best bet at finding masa harina will be a Mexican supermarket.
- Add more chocolate. To make this drink extra decadent and chocolatey, you can always add and an extra 1/4-1/2 chocolate disk.
- Swap brands. Ibarra really lets the flavor of the drink shine through because it’s not overly spiced, but you can try this recipe with other hot chocolate disk brands and it’ll still be great.
- Spice it. 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, or 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger, and even 1/4 teaspoon of ground chipotle powder or cayenne pepper can add lots of extra flavor without any real effort.
How to Serve It
This champurrado recipe is perfect with traditional Mexican sweet treats like Mantecadas, Buñuelos, or Capirotada. Cemitas and Churros are also great options. You can enjoy it in the mornings for breakfast, but it’s a comforting drink for chilly nights too.
Understanding what is champurrado will be a lot easier when you learn the difference between it and another very similar Mexican drink.
Champurrado doesn’t have a specific meaning, the word is supposed to mimic the sound of the different liquids mixed to make this masa-based drink.
Atole is a traditional pre-hispanic drink made with a corn or masa-base. It’s creamy and thick. While it can be enjoyed on its own, different flavorings can be added to make other atole flavors like guava, coffee, etc. On the other hand, champurrado is always masa-based. That means you can use atole as a base for it if the atole is made with masa. In terms of consistency and creaminess, though, they’re pretty much the same.
Can I Store Extras for Later?
Yes! Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. The longer you store it, the thicker it gets. Fortunately, you can always thin it down by mixing in 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
To reheat it, microwave it for up to a minute or until warm. You can also heat it in a small pot over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
More Mexican Recipes to Try
- Flank Steak Tacos
- Chilaquiles Rojos
- Instant Pot Cochinita Pibil
- Nopales Asados Tacos
- Café de Olla (Cinnamon Mexican Coffee)
- Dulce de Leche Cake
- Best Queso Flan
For the Champurrado
For the Masa
- 3.5 ounces masa harina
- 1 cup water
- Add the water to a large pot over medium-low heat. Let it heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the cinnamon stick, star anise, and piloncillo. Stir well and let it simmer for 5 minutes or until the piloncillo is fully dissolved.
- Pour in the milk and evaporated milk. Stir well. Immediately add the hot chocolate disk. Bring down the heat to low and stir occasionally.
- Add the masa harina and water to the blender. Process everything for 2-3 minutes or until completely smooth. Strain the mixture back into the pot. Don't stop stirring to keep lumps from forming.
- Allow the mixture to simmer for 20-25 minutes. Do a taste test and add more piloncillo as needed to sweeten it to taste. Remove the champurrado from the heat and set it aside.
- Strain the mixture to remove the spices and any lumps. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving to let it thicken. Enjoy!
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