Champurrado is a thick, warm Mexican chocolate drink usually made during the winter months and Holiday season. Here, you will find a step-by-step tutorial and short video on how to make this delicious beverage.
It’s not Christmas until there is a tamal in one hand and a cup of champurrado in the other. I have seen different recipes for this drink, but there is none better than my mom’s. During her recent visit, I asked her to teach me her secret on how to make this authentic drink.
You start by making a cinnamon tea in a large stock pot. There is no way around it. You must use whole cinnamon. None of the ground stuff. You can’t make it quick. You gotta use the stick. Let this come to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.
Tip for the Home Cook: Did you know if you put a lid on a stock pot the water will come to boil more quickly? YES!
While this is happening, work on the masa mixture. Masa harina is a traditional corn flour used in many Mexican recipes. It will help thicken your Champurrado. Accept no substitute. If they don’t use masa harina, it is not champurrado.
My mom and I made some yummy gorditas that day and had leftover masa dough. I love this picture of my mom’s experienced hand covered with masa and all. It brings back warm childhood memories… For those of you in Mexico, you can buy a small amount of masa from the tortillería for just a few pesos. Here in the US, we often have to make our own.
My mother is old school. She makes the masa mixture by hand. That’s the way she was taught, and that’s what she’ll do. Never mention store-bought masa to her if you want to remain welcomed in her kitchen. She thinks me taking shortcuts is against God and nature.
For all of you who enjoy good food but don’t want to spend hours cooking, make this in blender. It’s much faster and not as messy. For goodness sakes, please don’t tell my mom. I want to make it to the New Year. lol.
Add water to the masa and mix thoroughly to get out all the lumps. Again, using a blender is an easier way or consider using a hand mixer.
Back to our cinnamon tea… Be sure to make this in a large stock pot. It will be the pot you serve everyone from. Unless you transfer it at the end to a fancy punch bowl. Don’t worry about the champurrado getting too cold. It actually retains its heat because of the thickness. That’s another reason why you need to let it rest for a few minutes before serving. You do not want to burn anyone’s tongue. Do you see the color of the cinnamon tea? It’s an auburn brown color and smells incredible. It’s not a sin. It’s cinnamon. 🙂
Add the masa mixture to the cinnamon tea. Then, add a little water to the container. Just enough to get any remaining masa mixture and add that to the pot as well. Leave no masa behind. Good to the last drop.
Don’t stop stirring, or it will form lumps. No Lumpy Dumpty. Or your champurrado will have a great fall.
Are you an Abuelita or Ibarra fan? The debate rages on throughout Mexico and beyond. Truth is, Abuelita is not made in Mexico. Ibarra is the only true Mexican chocolate. That said, I like Abuelita better. I was raised on it, and I can’t abandon the traditions that I know and love. If you’re in an area without Mexican chocolate, (a) I’m sooooo sorry (b) use dark chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. .. Continue stirring.
4 cups of milk go into the pot. Pour it alllll in and look what you’ve got. You can use skim milk, whole milk, 2% milk. Whatever you choose as long as it’s 100% milk. Soy milk, coconut milk, goat milk, almond milk, none of those will do. Only cow juice to make an authentic Mexican champurrado.
Sugah. Sugah. No honey, honey. Instead of sugar, some people will make the cinnamon tea with piloncillo to sweeten their champurrado. I say, whatever works! Add the sugar and taste it. You can always add more sugar if you feel it needs to be sweeter.
This is not to be confused with Atole de Chocolate. Atole is thickened with cornstarch. Champurrado is thickened with masa. They are not the same thing no matter what you may have heard. Both are equally delicious and great for the Holidays.
Mexican Joke for the Holidays:
Question: What state makes the best tortillas, tamales, and champurrado?
Answer: Masa-chew-sets 🙂
Did you see my mom’s hands make Champurrado in the video?
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 cups of water
- 1 cup of masa harina corn flour
- 1 Mexican Chocolate tablet 6.5 ounces
- 4 cups milk
- 1 cup of sugar
- Place 6 cups of water in a large stock pot along with the cinnamon stick.
- Bring to a boil.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a medium bowl, add the remaining 2 cups water and mix with the masa harina.
- You can use a blender or a hand mixer to dissolve any clumps.
- Add the masa mixture to the stock pot with the cinnamon tea.
- Stir constantly.
- Add the Mexican chocolate tablet to the stock pot.
- Melt the chocolate while stirring. About 3 minutes.
- Add the milk and sugar.
- Stir constantly.
- After about 8 minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
More Mexican Drink Recipes
Atole de Chocolate
Café de la Olla
Agua de Plátano (Banana Agua Fresca)
Cucumber Lime Agua Fresca (Agua de Pepino)
Cantaloupe Agua Fresca (Agua de Melon)
Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea)
Agua de Tamarindo