Champurrado (Mexican Hot Chocolate)

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.

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Champurrado (Mexican Hot Chocolate)

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


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.

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

Pssst…don’t forget to order the 2011 Muy Bueno Calendar here.

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76 Responses to “Champurrado (Mexican Hot Chocolate)”

  1. Pingback: Buñuelos (Mexican Fritters) « Muy Bueno Cookbook

  2. 2
    Joyce — December 7, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

    looks wonderful!! I will have to try this one. xo

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — December 7th, 2010 @ 10:55 pm

      Thanks Joyce!!! We’d love to hear what you think of it!

  3. 3
    Carolyn Jung — December 8, 2010 @ 9:53 am

    I’ve always wanted to try this. I’ve seen it highlighted on so many foodie shows and travel pieces. It sounds very warming and satisfying.

  4. 4
    Ash — December 8, 2010 @ 11:38 am

    I need to try this!!

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  6. 5
    Karen — December 9, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

    Thats really funny. In the Filipino culture, we have Champorado, which is a chocolate rice pudding.

    when i saw your headline, i assumed it would be the same because my grandma made me these durign the winter mornings.

    haha, thanks for posting this.

  7. 6
    Mary — December 9, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

    This sounds like such a nourishing way to start a cold morning … will have to give it a try!

  8. 7
    Gali — December 10, 2010 @ 5:59 am

    As a lover of all things hot chocolate, I should try this one day… sounds nice and interesting!

  9. 8
    antwerpster — December 11, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

    I welcome any variant of trusty hot chocolate. We had a thick rich chocolate beverage when we were in Guatemala this fall. Decadent, satisfying, happiness.

  10. 9
    Laura — December 12, 2010 @ 4:52 am

    Can’t wait to try on my grandkids. We r having a tamaleda on the 18th can u give tips on u-Tube it will be recorded for U -tube

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — December 13th, 2010 @ 9:27 am

      Hi Laura! Best of luck at your tamalada!!! We will definitely add this recipe to our video recipes, but to be honest I don’t think that will happen anytime soon. Please be sure to subscribe to our blog (if you have not already) and stay tuned to some upcoming video recipes. Feliz Navidad!!!

  11. 10
    Miyuki Inomata — December 13, 2010 @ 3:51 am


    I love your site, It is a pleasure to visit.

    I have added your site to my site.

    Please link my site to your site.

    Thank you!

  12. 11
    Judy — December 13, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

    I’ve had a processed version of Champurrado at a local cafe in Baltimore, and I’m so glad I found this homemade recipe for it!

  13. Pingback: Biscochos « Muy Bueno Cookbook

  14. 12
    Devin — December 17, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

    I tried this today it tastes great but it wasn’t as thick as I would of liked it to be, any tips?

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — December 17th, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

      Hi Devin: So happy you tried our recipe! If you like it thicker then just add more harina. We don’t like it too thick so that is why we do not add too much of it. Hope that helps.
      Warm regards (on a cold day) ~Yvette

  15. Pingback: Preparing for La Navidad « Muy Bueno Cookbook

  16. 13
    Joyce — December 19, 2010 @ 8:36 am

    masa harina is a mexican flour, right? My plan is to get my list together this week to serve this on Christmas day. xo

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — December 19th, 2010 @ 9:33 am

      Hi Joyce: We use Maseca Corn Masa Flour. I made this last night for a posada and it was the perfect addition to the party! Good luck and have a wonderful Christmas!

  17. 14
    klutzychef — December 28, 2010 @ 8:36 am

    Stunning! I just found your blog via Foodgawker and am so glad I did. I’m always looking for recipes that remind me of my childhood and this one ranks right up there. It was such a weekend treat for us to get champurrado. Now, living in Boston it’s basically impossible trying to find a place that serves it. I can’t wait to give this a try! Adding you to my Google Reader now and look forward to future recipes.

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — December 28th, 2010 @ 9:39 am

      klutzychef: Bienvenido! Welcome!!! I am so happy you found Muy Bueno and are now part of our bloggin’ familia! I took a sneak peak at your blog and LOVE that peppermint cosmo — very clever! If you subscribe to our blog I can email you a PDF with some of our cocktail recipes. Enjoy the champurrado recipe!

      • klutzychef replied: — December 28th, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

        Consider it done! Looking forward to those recipes. Just in time for New Year’s eve!

  18. 15
    Annalise — January 10, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

    I am going to make this drink again, but do not have star anise…do you know of a good substitute for this drink? Thanks so much.

  19. 16
    muybuenocookbook — January 10, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

    Annalise: You can try anise seed, fennel seed, or even caraway seed. The recipe only calls for ONE anise star, so you should be okay without it if you don’t have a substitute in your kitchen. I guarantee your drink will be just as yummy without it! Best of luck!

  20. Pingback: Champurrado Mexican Hot Chocolate | Walter's Greasy Spoon

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  22. 17
    Kimberley — February 12, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

    Oop, I just noticed this post is a little old. But I just stumbled it. Hopefully you’ll see this and maybe be able to answer my question. I’ve seen masa harina in the store, but I had always assumed it was something closer to cornmeal, as in gritty and (I would think) kinda icky to drink. So is it the same thing as corn starch? Or something else entirely? This recipe sounds so good and I want to try it, but I’m afraid of using the wrong ingredients.

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — February 14th, 2011 @ 9:35 am

      Hola Kimberley,
      Masa harina is the flour used for making tamales and corn tortillas, and is also used to thicken this rich, chocolate drink. If you find that you would prefer the champurrado to be thinner, just decrease the amount of masa harina to your liking. Be sure to whisk to prevent lumps. Hope that helps!

  23. 18
    housewifingaround — March 16, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    I know its getting hotter, but I must have this soon. What is piloncillo? And is it hard to find at a latin market? And last question, this masa you use is the regular masa used to make tortillas right…maseca?

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — March 16th, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

      Piloncillo is Mexican brown sugar. It is a VERY popular ingredient and if you have access to a Latin market you are sure to find it. Yes, Maseca – Corn Masa Flour same one we use to make a corn tortillas. Hope that helps and best of luck with our recipe. It’s super yummy no matter if it’s warm out!

  24. Pingback: Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead) « Muy Bueno Cookbook

  25. 19
    hector — November 13, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    Excellent! I thought the recipe didn’t call for enough chocolate or masa……I was wrong. I included the other half of chocolate disc and went another couple of tables spoons of masa… wasn’t bad, but I think following the measurements on the round will produce a perfect balance….thanks for post!

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — November 14th, 2011 @ 9:24 am

      Thanks for commenting Hector. And so glad to hear you experimented with the recipe. If you ever make it again following the recipe let us know what you think.

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  28. 20
    Lori Williamson — December 13, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    im making this tonight……….wish me luck!!

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

      Best of luck Lori! YUM!

  29. 21
    Jennifer — December 14, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    Once made can this be kept warm in a crock pot?

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — December 14th, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

      Absolutely Jennifer! I normally just have it on low in a pot on the stovetop, but I’m LOVIN’ the Crockpot idea. Just keep on low-heat, and voila. Genius!

  30. 22
    lildee77 — December 24, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

    hi joyce ive been looking for a recipe of champurrado for a long time thanks

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

      So glad you found us lildee77~

  31. 23
    Jesus and Elisha — January 1, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    Good stuff!

  32. 24
    itssunnyinmysoul — January 3, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

    I made this for Christmas, and everyone LOVED it! It’s been so long since we’ve shared traditions like this, it was a great way to stir up a little bit of nostalgia. Ever since I saw this post, I had a serious longing to make more of an effort to incorporate my Mexican heritage into my everyday life.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

      We LOVE to hear that itssunnyinmysoul! Thank you for letting us know. We are all about keeping memories alive. Salud to a New Year and keeping your Mexican heritage alive.

  33. Pingback: My First Rosca de Reyes « Muy Bueno Cookbook

  34. 25
    Patricia Frymyer — January 15, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

    Finally found the ingredients I needed to make the Champurrado… delicious! I’m not a big fan of anise flavoring, but in this recipe it’s not so noticeable or strong. What an awesome drink in this crazy frigid weather we are having in Lancaster!!!

    • muybuenocookbook replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

      So exciting that you made it and glad you loved it Patricia! I’ll be making it in a couple of weeks for Dia de La Candelaria. Wish I had a cup of it right now with this chilly Colorado day.

  35. Pingback: From the Kitchen: Bunuelos {Mexican Fritters} « {love+cupcakes} Blog

  36. 26
    alma sanchez — October 19, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    if instead of dough ….. {Mexican product is Maseca corn flour}

    • Muy Bueno replied: — October 19th, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

      Alma, Yes we usually use the name-brand Maseca when one of our recipes calls for corn flour.

  37. 27
    Maile — November 21, 2012 @ 12:46 am

    We have made this a few times, always doubling the recipe, except for the sugar. We have found it to be just right leaving it at a half a piloncillo cone or half a cup of brown sugar. We also add just a little more masa, mixing it with water in a bowl first to make it like a dough, then adding it to the pot. My kids enjoy it a little thicker. Thanks so much for sharing, it’s their favorite :)

  38. 28
    Aspen's Whisper — December 1, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    I want to make this, but we don’t have any Latin markets near where I live. I have hopes for finding masa harina at a whole food store, but I’m doubtful about the specific chocolate required. Can I use a substitute?

    • Muy Bueno replied: — December 3rd, 2012 @ 9:21 am

      Sometimes you can find ingredients on I hope this helps.

  39. 29
    Tanya — December 9, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    I was in the Riviera Maya region last week and had champurrado from a street vendor (yes, the food is safe, my delicate American constitution never gave so much as a rumble), and it was divine!
    Thank you so much for the recipe. It will tide me over until I can return.

    • Muy Bueno replied: — December 12th, 2012 @ 2:16 am

      Hola Tanya, we loovvve Riviera Maya and glad to read you got to spend some time there. Thanks for trying our champurrado and excited to hear you liked it! It’s that time of year…happy holidays!

  40. 30
    Chelsea — December 13, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

    Hello! I know this post is kinda old, but not only does it look amazing. I was wondering where you got the beautiful cup and pot??

    • Muy Bueno replied: — December 13th, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

      Hola Chelsea,

      A friend of mine let me borrow them. They are from Mexico. It was really hard for me to give them back. They are gorgeous, aren’t they ;)

      Thank you!

  41. 31
    Theresa — December 22, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

    The first timeI had this I loved it. I want to start a new tradition with my family.. my question is the masa.. is the corn not the flour. correct. And what brand should I get do I form it into a dough or just add the masa grains. …

    • Muy Bueno replied: — December 23rd, 2012 @ 3:39 am

      Hi Theresa, yes, it’s just corn flour, in the flour section at the grocery store. We have used the brands Mi Maseca and Quaker successfully. You don’t have to make a dough, just follow directions and add the flour to the water when called for in the recipe…think thick chocolaty cream of wheat. Feliz Navidad!

  42. 32
    Trisha — January 5, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    Feliz Año Nuevo !! I luv champurrado, and find myself craving this tasty treat on hot summer mornings. Since this is a seasonal drink it’s impossible to find in 100 degree weather. Thank you for posting this simple recipe. I am sure to find all the ingredients locally and hope the harina cooperates and doesn’t clump up on me. Is it possible to put in a blender just to be sure all clumps are out?

    • Muy Bueno replied: — January 7th, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

      Hola Trisha!

      This recipe is seriously VERY easy. The heat of the drink will melt the masa harina, but to ensure just be suse to add slowly and whisk, whisk, whisk. Keep us posted.

  43. 33
    Priya — February 6, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

    Hi, I was on the look out for some Mexican recipes as I wanted to take part in some cooking events. I think I will stick to your site for my recipes :) Hope it’s alright to recreate a couple of your recipes in my blog with credits and links given to you. Between, it might seem to be a stupid question – I don’t get masa harina here. Since it is a drink, can I substitute corn starch for it ? Thanks!

    • Muy Bueno replied: — February 13th, 2013 @ 11:11 am

      Hola Priya,

      You are more than welcome to recreate or use our recipes as inspiration. You can’t find Maseca in your grocery store? You might want to purchase online, but usually you can find it in the Latin aisle. Best of luck!

  44. 34
    Manny Alegria — June 21, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

    I am eighty years old and have been searching for this recipe for years.
    I remember my mom making this for weddings and other special occasions.
    Back then we did not have Masa Harina or other corn flour so she used all
    purpose flour and toasted in a dry cast iron frying pan. Being very young at the time, I never really paid much attention but only remember I liked it. I will
    certainly do this recipe as it seems a lot easier than I remember. I will dip my churros in it! Thanks a bunch and I will make this site one of my favorite ones.

    • Muy Bueno replied: — June 24th, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

      Oh my goodness Manny. What a very sweet comment. Thank you for making our blog a favorite. I have a feeling your mom is very proud that you have that special memory. Please keep in touch.

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  46. 35
    Ann — October 9, 2013 @ 7:18 am

    I love this version! It’s not overly sweet. The flavors of chocolate, cinnamon, and star anise(usually not crazy about), combined make it heavenly!
    Can cornstarch ( dissolved in cold water) be used in place of corn flour?

    • Muy Bueno replied: — October 9th, 2013 @ 11:55 am

      Hi Ann,

      I have never tried it with cornstarch, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It might make it too thick or clumpy, plus you want the hint of corn flavor with the masa harina.

  47. 36
    Yvonne — October 19, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

    Hi! Love your site! Love all recipe sites! Such an addiction! Now, a question: how much chocolate is in a Mexican disk?? I am far far from Mexico and have never heard of chocolate coming in disks. Can you tell me how many grams that comes to?

    • Muy Bueno replied: — October 20th, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

      Thank you Yvonne! A Muy Bueno addiction is a good one ;)

      I would suggest to use about 1.5 to 2 ounces of Mexican chocolate, which is about 42 to 56 grams.

      Hope that helps. Good luck!

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  49. 37
    Didi — November 6, 2013 @ 9:11 am

    I was wondering what kind of milk is best used in this recipe :) I got the chance to taste Mexican champurrado and I love it! It is different from the Filipino champurrado I grew up with though.

    Would you use evaporated milk or just normal whole milk?

    • Muy Bueno replied: — November 7th, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

      Hi Didi,

      It’s truly up to you what kind of milk to use. I usually use skim or soy. Whole milk tastes pretty darn amazing though ;)

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