Mexican Champurrado and tamales is the best combination in the world!
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This rich Mexican hot chocolate is made for las posadas and Christmas time.
I have seen different versions, but there is none better than my mom’s recipe.
During one of her visits, I asked her to teach me her recipe. To my surprise, she agreed. She’s even in the video!
Table of Contents
- 1 More Mexican Drink Recipes:
- 2 🥣 Instructions
- 3 👩🏼🍳 Pro Tips:
- 4 🌽 Masa Harina
- 5 😃 Mexican Joke for the Holiday Season:
- 6 Atole vs. Champurrado
- 7 🍫 Make Your Own Mexican Chocolate:
- 8 🥛 Types of Milk to Use:
- 9 Substitutions and Additions
- 10 🫔 Mexican Tamales
- 11 😋 Hungry for More?
- 12 Mexican Champurrado
More Mexican Drink Recipes:
- Add 5 or more cups of water and a cinnamon stick to a large stock pot or a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and simmer at medium heat for a few minutes.
You start by making 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.
Sure, you can find this hot drink in Mexican grocery stores but it’s so much less expensive to make it at home.
👩🏼🍳 Pro Tips:
- Did you know if you put a lid on a stock pot the water will come to boil more quickly YES!
- Be sure to make this in a large stock pot. It will be the pot you serve everyone from. Unless you transfer it to a hot beverage dispenser.
🌽 Masa Harina
Don’t confuse this with regular hot chocolate. The biggest difference: Masa harina! That’s what will create a thick drink and gives it its unique flavors.
That’s why this drink is so often had with tamales. You can always find masa harina on Amazon.
Very Important! You CAN’T substitute masa harina for corn flour. Accept no substitute. If they don’t use masa harina corn dough, it is not Mexican champurrado.
- For those of you in Mexico, you can buy a small amount of fresh corn masa from the tortillería for just a few pesos.
- Here in the United States, the best way is to make your own as we are doing here, or you can buy fresh masa at a local Mexican restaurant.
It’s seriously easy to make the masa harina mixture. Masa harina and water. That’s it!
I love this picture of my mom’s experienced hand covered with masa and all. We made gorditas that day and had leftover masa dough.
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.
- Add water to the masa to a medium bowl.
- Mix thoroughly to get out all the lumps.
You can do this in the blender, with a hand mixer, or like my mom, by hand. I won’t lie. Doing this by hand does get messy.
😃 Mexican Joke for the Holiday Season:
- Question: What state makes the best tortillas, tamales, and champurrado?
- Answer: Masa-chew-sets 🙂
Back to our cinnamon tea…
Do you see the color? It’s an auburn brown color and smells incredible. It’s not a sin. It’s cinnamon. 🙂
Don’t worry about this drink getting too cold. It retains its heat because of its thick consistency and perfect for the winter months.
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.
- 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.
- Stir with a wire whisk.
Don’t stop stirring, or it will form lumps. No Lumpy Dumpty. Or your champurrado will have a great fall.
Atole vs. Champurrado
This really depends where you are from in Mexico. People will use the terms interchangeably. However, typically …
- Atole de Chocolate (chocolate atole) – atoles are thickened with corn starch.
- Mexican Champurrado is thickened with masa. And the thicker consistency is essential for this delicious recipe.
Are you an Abuelita or Ibarra fan? There is a lot of controversy about these Mexican chocolate tablets. The debate rages on throughout Mexico and beyond. Truth is, Abuelita is not made in Mexico. Ibarra is 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.
🍫 Make Your Own Mexican Chocolate:
- Use 1 bar of dark chocolate
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- A drop of almond extract for every ounce of chocolate
- 4 cups of milk go into the pot.
- Continue stirring.
Traditionally, this Mexican chocolate drink was not made with milk. Many people (myself included) prefer a creamy texture. Try it without the milk, and let me know what you think.
🥛 Types of Milk to Use:
You can use skim milk, whole milk, or 2% milk. If you are following a particular diet, you can also use soy milk, coconut milk, goat milk, or almond milk.
- Add sugar to the hot water.
- Continue stirring until it fully dissolves.
- Taste it. Add more sugar if needed. If it’s too sweet, add more milk.
Sugah. Sugah. No honey, honey.
Substitutions and Additions
Instead of sugar, some people will make the cinnamon tea with piloncillo. Or consider making it with dark brown sugar. There are also different ways to level up this hot Mexican drink. Some will add star anise, anise seed, or orange peel for extra flavor. I say, whatever works!
🫔 Mexican Tamales
Warm up this Christmas season with this cold-weather drink. Enjoy Mexican champurrado with yummy tamales or Mexican sweet bread. One sip and you’ll be in chocolate heaven!
😋 Hungry for More?
Did you make this recipe? Please rate the recipe below!
- 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.
Maggie Unzueta is the writer/blogger, photographer, recipe developer, videographer, and creator of In Mama Maggie's Kitchen. She has been developing easy and authentic Mexican food, Mexican-inspired recipes, and traveling tips since 2010. From family recipes to her extensive travels throughout Mexico, she brings traditional Mexican flavors from South of the Border and into your kitchen. Maggie has been featured in notable culinary websites and other media outlets. For more details, check out her About page.