Champurrado (Mexican Atole)

Ten years ago I was living in Kentucky as a missionary for my church helping the Spanish speaking community. I loved learning the language and different parts of their culture. The best by far was when I got to try their food. I loved connecting with the women when they would teach me how to make different things.

One of the rules of my mission was that we couldn’t go inside a home unless there was another woman present. It was for the safety of us missionaries but made for some very, very cold nights! That is when I first tried Champurrado or Mexican Chocolate Atole. It’s comparable to Hot Chocolate but is thicker because of the masa and has a hint of cinnamon. I loved how it would keep me warm all night long by slowly sipping on it while teaching about Jesus!

True sign that I’m a boy mom by all the tractor toys I have outside my door!


  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 ounces brown sugar
  • 2 (3-ounce) discs Mexican chocolate (I used Abuelita brand)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt


  • Add milk, brown sugar, Mexican chocolate, and cinnamon stick to a medium saucepan or pot. Heat over low-medium heat until the brown sugar and chocolate have completely dissolved. Stir frequently to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the saucepan.
  • Remove and discard the cinnamon stick, using a strainer if it has broken into pieces.
  • In a small bowl, add warm water and masa harina. Whisk together until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add the masa harina mixture, vanilla extract, and salt to the saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  • Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook, whisking frequently, for 25-30 minutes until thick, creamy, velvety, and smooth. The champurrado should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Serve and garnish with a touch of ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick.

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