2 Servings
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Easy Champurrado recipe for a rich and creamy chocolaty Mexican drink made with masa harina, milk, dark chocolate, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

This delicious Drink Recipe is the perfect sweet treat to get you through the colder months. If you like Hot Chocolate, then you’re sure to love this thick, sweet, cinnamon version. 

Champurrado finished drink in glass coffee cup with cinnamon stick

Champurrado is a popular drink in Mexico, frequently enjoyed during the holiday season. It’s similar to hot chocolate, but with the addition of corn flour. The idea of corn in a drink may sound strange at first. But, you’ll blend the flour into hot water to make a thickening mixture. Then add milk, melted chocoalte, and cinnamon. As everything blends with the water mixture, you’ll have an unbelievably creamy, rich drink recipe. 

Champurrado ingredients separated in bowls and containers

You can enjoy this hot drink in the morning, or as a treat in the evening. It tastes great with pastries or cookies. You can make the perfect holiday dish, by serving Champurrado with Mexican Cinnamon Cookies or Ginger Cookies.

This recipe is already quite rich, so you probably won’t want to add classic hot chocoalte toppings like marshmallows or whipped cream. However, you can dress up the recipe with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon, or cinnamon stick on top of the mug. 

Champurrado four picture collage of preparing mixture

How to Make Champurrado

  • Masa harina mixture: Add the masa harina and water to a medium saucepan, and turn the stovetop to medium heat. Whisk until the masa harina is completely absorbed into the water. Continue to whisk until smooth. 
  • Add chocolate: Pour the milk into the saucepan, and bring it to a low simmer over medium heat. Be careful not to let the milk come to a boil, or it will curdle. Add the dark chocolate chunks, ground cinnamon, and kosher salt. Turn off the heat, and whisk well until the chocolate is melted. Stir until the drink mixture is smooth. 
  • Serve: Pour the drink into hot chocolate mugs and enjoy Champurrado while it’s still hot. 
Champurrado combined in pan with whisk

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FAQs for Champurrado

Is Champurrado the same as Hot Chocolate?

This Mexican chocolate drink is different from classic hot chocolate because of the use of corn flour. The flour thickens the hot drink to create it’s rich consistency.

Why is my champurrado clumpy?

It’s important to continue to stir the water and corn mixture as they heat. Otherwise, the masa can start to get clumpy. If you constatnly stir while heating, then the corn flour should dissolve smoothly into the water mixture without any clumps. 

What’s the difference between atole and champurrado?

Champurrado is a type of atole. Traditional Atole is thickened with masa harina and flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. Champurrado is a chocolate-based atole with real melted chocolate added to the creamy mixture. 

How to serve Champurrado?

Serve this rich drink while it’s still fresh and hot. It can be enjoyed as a breakfast drink, snack, or treat. The hot drink is perfect for Christmas or enjoying throughout Fall and Winter. Serve it with churros for a traditional and delicious combination. The cinnamon flavor of the pastry goes perfectly with the chocolate and cinnamon drink. 

What is Champurrado called in English?

You may also hear this dish referred to as Mexican Hot Chocolate. However, it’s not quite the same. When you order Mexican hot chocolate, you’ll typically get a drink that doesn’t have the same corn base to thicken it. Additionally, while both recipes have cinnamon, Mexican chocolate also uses chili pepper for a spicy kick. 

Where did Champurrado originate?

This Hot Chocolate Drink dates back centuries. It was enjoyed in Mexico’s ancient civilizations, and is still popular to this day. Often this warm drink is enjoyed for Christmas and Day of the Dead celebrations. 

Champurrado finished drink in glass coffee cup with cinnamon stick, top view

Key Ingredients

  • Masa Harina Corn: Masa harina is a type of corn flour that’s made from alkalized corn kernels. It has a nutty flavor that is perfect for this drink. As you combine the corn flour with water, it will blend in smoothly, and act as a thickening agent for the drink recipe. 
  • Milk: Use 1 cup of milk to create the perfect creamy texture. If you want to lighten the drink, you could use skim milk, but it won’t have the same silky consistency that you get from whole milk. 
  • Chocolate: Use real chunks of dark chocoalte to flavor the chocolate drink. Dark chocolate is slightly more bitter, which is a good choice for this drink because it can taste too sweet otherwise. 
  • Brown sugar: The brown sugar sweetens the drink and adds a delicious caramelized flavor to the mix.
  • Cinnamon: Add ground cinnamon to the sweet chocolate mix. The spice flavor cuts through the other ingredients to give the drink a more nuanced taste. 
Champurrado finished drink in two glass coffee cup with cinnamon stick

Can you make Champurrado ahead of time?

While you can absolutely reheat the Champurrado and it will still taste amazing, it’s not really a drink you want to prepare ahead of time. The mixture thickens as it cools and it’s best enjoyed freshly made and hot.


  • Vegan Champurrado: You can still enjoy this authentic drink and follow a vegan diet. First, you’ll need to swap out the whole milk for a dairy-free alternative. Almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, or soy milk are all good options. You’ll also need to swap out the dark chocolate chunks for vegan chocolate chips. Using these ingredient swaps, you can follow the original recipe instructions to make a vegan hot chocolate drink. 
  • Milk Chocolate: Traditionally, this recipe is made with a rich, dark chocolate flavor. However, if you prefer a sweeter chocolate taste, you can swap out the dark chocolate chunks for milk chocolate. Or, strike a balance by using half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate. 
  • Chocolate Orange Champurrado: For a more complex flavor, you can add orange. The sweet citrus flavor compliments the chocolate and cinnamon taste wonderfully. Squeeze ¼ – ½ cup fresh orange juice to mix with the Mexican chocolate recipe. You can add zest from the orange peels to finish the drink. 
  • Spiked Champurrado: If you want to add a boozy twist to this delicous drink, you can top it off with a bit of rum before serving. 
Champurrado finished drink in two glass coffee cups with cinnamon stick, top view

Slow Cooker Champurrado

You can prepare this recipe in a slow cooker, and keep it warm in the crockpot for hours. This is a great option if you want ot make enough Mexican chocolate for a party. You can double up the ingredients or adjust them according to how many people you’re serving, and follow the directions below to prepare the drink in the crockpot. 

  • To start, add the water and masa harina to a saucepan on the stovetop (you’ll still do this step on the stove). Turn the stovetop to medium heat, and whisk until the corn flour dissolves into the water and it starts to thicken. 
  • Add the milk, dark chocolate chunks, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt to the slow cooker, and pour the heated water and corn mixture over the top. Stir the ingredients together.
  • Put the lid on the crockpot. Then heat on low for 2 hours or high for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir again until the drink has the right creamy texture. 
  • Ladle the hot drink into mugs, and leave the crockpot at low heat to keep any remaining Champurrado warm. 
Champurrado finished drink in glass coffee cup with cinnamon stick

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How to Store

  • Serve: Champurrado is best enjoyed fresh. After heating the recipe and combining the ingredients, pour the thick drink into mugs or heat-safe cups and enjoy. You may want to give it a couple minutes to cool down, so it doesn’t burn you, but don’t let it completely cool before drinking it. 
  • Store: If you don’t finish the drink, you shouldn’t leave it sitting at room temperature for more than two hours. To keep the leftovers fresh, transfer them to an airtight container or cover the mug and put it in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat the Champurrado recipe in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat. 
  • Freeze: Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t freeze well. While it will still be safe to eat after freezing and defrosting, it won’t maintain its texture well. If you haven’t finished the chocolatey drink after 4 days, it’s best to make a fresh batch rather than trying to keep it longer. 
Champurrado finished drink in glass coffee cup with cinnamon stick

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Pin Recipe


Easy Champurrado recipe for a rich and creamy chocolaty Mexican drink made with masa harina, milk, dark chocolate, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Yield 2 Servings
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drink
Cuisine Mexican
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/2 cup masa harina corn
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar , packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt


  • Add masa harina and water to a medium saucepan.
  • Whisk well until completely absorbed on medium heat.
  • Keep whisking until smooth.
  • Add in milk, bring to just barely a simmer.
  • Add in the dark chocolate chunks, cinnamon and salt.
  • Turn off the heat, whisk well until chocolate is melted and the drink is smooth.
  • Serve in hot chocolate cups.


Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 226mg | Potassium: 533mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 218mg | Iron: 5mg
Keyword: Champurrado
Champurrado finished drink in glass coffee cup with cinnamon stick

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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