Mexican Hot Chocolate
Nov 28, 2023
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This Mexican hot chocolate is one you’ll be sipping on all winter long. It’s a rich, creamy blend of milk, cacao powder, and chocolate, with dashes of cinnamon and chili powder for a spiced touch. Just let everything simmer on the stovetop, and you’ll have a cozy chocolate treat ready in 10 minutes!
After having Mexican hot chocolate at a local cafe in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico — I instantly fell in love with it. It’s not as sweet as regular hot chocolate, which is a plus for me, and the cinnamon and chili powder give it this lovely depth of flavor that you wouldn’t expect.
So to answer the question – how is Mexican hot chocolate different from regular hot chocolate? It’s really two things:
- Bittersweet chocolate: Regular hot chocolate uses semi-sweet chocolate whereas Mexican hot chocolate uses bittersweet chocolate. You won’t get quite the sugar rush from the latter!
- Spices: Cinnamon and chili powder (or cayenne pepper) impart a little warmth and something special. But no, it’s not spicy hot, just flavorful.
I love making a batch for myself to enjoy throughout the week for a cozy, after-dinner treat. But it’s also become a recent Christmas tradition since I made it for my family a couple of years ago. That just goes to show how good it is!
Mexican Hot Chocolate Ingredients
Good news — this ingredient list is super simple, though I do have a few suggestions for each below.
- Milk: The texture of your hot chocolate will depend on the milk you use. For a creamier texture, I suggest using full-fat milk. Otherwise, dairy-free milk such as almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk will work just fine!
- Maple Syrup and Vanilla Extract: I love using maple syrup as a sweetener, but you can also use honey or other sweeteners.
- Chocolate: Cacao powder and bittersweet chocolate make for the dreamiest chocolate combo that’s not overly sweet. You can use chocolate chips or a chocolate bar. If using a bar, make sure to chop it finely.
- Spices: This version has extra flavor with ground cinnamon and a dash of chili powder. Feel free to add a pinch of cayenne pepper to kick up the heat!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below
How To Make Mexican Hot Chocolate
Simmer the ingredients. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and chili powder to a simmer. Stir until there are no clumps, and keep an eye on this because milk can overheat and boil over quickly.
Add the chocolate. Add the finely chopped chocolate and whisk for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the hot chocolate is completely smooth.
Serve. Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and enjoy it as is, or top it with coconut whipped cream and an extra dash of cinnamon.
- To store: Pour any leftover hot chocolate into an airtight glass jar and store it in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Note that it might separate a bit, but just stir it before reheating and it’ll be good to go.
- To reheat: Add the hot chocolate to a saucepan and gently reheat on medium heat. This will probably take a few minutes, so keep an eye on it until it’s warmed through. Alternatively, you can warm individual glasses in the microwave for a minute or so.
More Winter Drinks
It’s almost natural for us to crave warm, cozy drinks this time of year. So here are a few favorites to keep in rotation. They’re also great accompaniments to your Christmas dinner on the big day!
- Eggnog: The ultimate holiday cocktail!
- Pumpkin Spice Latte: For all the PSL lovers.
- Golden Milk: A healing, spiced drink to build your immunity.
- Easy Chai Latte: Enjoy chai spices in a deliciously cozy drink.
I hope you love this Mexican hot chocolate as much as I do! If you make it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the recipe in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
- Simmer the ingredients. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and chili powder to a simmer. Stir until there's no clumps.
- Add the chocolate. Add the finely chopped chocolate and whisk for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the hot chocolate is smooth.
- Serve. Pour the hot chocolate into mugs, and if you'd like, add your favorite toppings.
- With homemade hot chocolate (using real chocolate) you might end up with clumps of chocolate in the bottom of your mug. That’s normal.
- Keep an eye on the stove as milk can easily boil over (and that’s never fun).
- If you like it extra spicy, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- This is a really thick and luscious hot chocolate, though the type of milk you use will affect the level of creaminess. Nut milks naturally won’t be as thick as full-fat milk.
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