Champurrado (Chocolate Atole)

Champurrado is a chocolate-based drink with corn flour added to thicken it. I remember having champurrado on cold winter mornings in my grandmother’s cozy cocina. Grandma always seemed to know what little kids need on any given day, that’s what makes grandmas so special. She made this thick chocolaty drink to help me warm up in the morning. If the champurrado was too hot I remember her pouring it back and forth between two cups to cool it off.

It filled my belly and sometimes it was all I needed for breakfast. As a kid, champurrado reminded me of a thinner version of cream of wheat with a rich and delicious chocolaty taste.

Champurrado is a very popular drink during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Las Posadas during Christmas season. I like the hint of corn after the initial taste of chocolate on my taste buds.

Watch this video to learn how simple it is to make.

Champurrado (Chocolate Atole)

Yield: 6 (4-ounce) servings


  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 anise star
  • ¼ cup masa harina
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ disk Mexican chocolate, chopped (Abuelita or Ibarra chocolate)
  • 3 ounces piloncillo, chopped or 1/2 cup packed brown sugar


  1. In a large saucepan boil water with the two cinnamon sticks and anise star. Remove from the heat, cover and let the cinnamon sticks and anise star steep for about 1 hour. Remove the cinnamon sticks and anise star, return to low heat and slowly add the masa harina to the warm water, whisking until combined. Add milk, chocolate, and piloncillo.
  2. Heat over medium heat just until boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and sugar is dissolved, whisking occasionally. Serve immediately.

Photography by Jeanine Thurston

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  3. I really liked how it tasted. Will totally make it again. 10/10

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  5. Champurrado is not Mexican Chocolate, it is atole due to the fact that it has masa.

  6. I’m about to be 58 in two weeks and I’ve never had champurrado; I looked up recipes for it and this one caught my attention…I’ll be making it soon, I’m almost sure I’m going to like it…

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  8. My son wanted some champurado after seeing several recepies i tried and my family fell in love with the champurado. Thank you . Best of all it is really easy to make.

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  11. I cannot find Mexican chocolate in my area. Is there a substitute? 

    • I hope you found Mexican chocolate in your area by now. I know you can even purchase Mexican chocolate on Amazon. I have never tried another variety so would not feel comfortable giving a substitute.

  12. Can I use regular flour for this? 

    • I wouldn’t reccomend it. I’ve tried it, and the results s were horrible. It really tasted weird and didn’t have an authentic champurrado.

  13. Took me back to my childhood when my mother would spend hours in the kitchen , making champurrado tamales , and buñuelos. Thank you for the memories 🙂 

  14. I just made this for my kids and I, we loved it!  I didnt add the anise because I didnt have any at home.  Thank you for sharing!

  15. i would love to paint photo of pour Mexican chocolate. Do you know how I can get permission ?

  16. Great “puerquitos” recipe… But just a heads up, Champurrado is in no way shape or form “Mexican Hot Chocolate”…in English it would almost be considered a porridge, since it is a thick drink, often thickened with corn flour(masa harina)

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  18. From a fellow El Pasoan, this recipe reminds me of my grandma’s champurrado. I’m glad to have found this recipe. Thank you!

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