Oaxacan Hot Chocolate (Atole Champurrado)

Atole is a pre-Hispanic drink made from cornmeal and water or milk. It’s said to have been traditionally used in sacred Aztec ceremonies. The drink typically includes masa (corn hominy flour), water, piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar), cinnamon, vanilla, and optional chocolate or fruit. The mixture is blended and heated before serving. In Oaxaca, milk and chocolate are mixed-in to create Champurrado, the warm and frothy drink consumed at breakfast with Pan de Yema.

Atole Champurrado- Oaxacan Hot Chocolate

This delicious drink is like a morning cup of hot chocolate combined with breakfast porridge. Most weekdays in Oaxaca don't begin until a frothy cup of Champurrado and Pan de Yema (sweet rolls) have been consumed.
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Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican, Oaxacan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Small bowl
  • small saucepan
  • Medium saucepan
  • Immersion blender or whisk


  • ¼ cup Masa harina
  • cups Water
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 3 cups Whole milk
  • 3 oz Tablet of Mexican chocolate, broken into small chunks



  • Mix Masa harina and ½ cup water. Stir until smooth. Combine this paste with remaining water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and then lower heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. It will thicken to a thick gruel.

Hot Chocolate

  • While the atole is cooking, heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Before it starts to boil, add the chocolate chunks. Stirring frequently, continue to heat until the chocolate mixture is melted and dissolved. Reduce heat to low and simmer the hot chocolate for 4 more minutes. Keep stirring.


  • Pour the hot chocolate into the simmering atole. Stir or whisk vigorously to fully combine. Remove from heat and form a thick froth on top with a whisk, immersion blender or, like they do in Oaxaca, a wooden molinillo. To serve, pour into mugs or breakfast cups and be sure to spoon foam over the top of each serving.


Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 208IU | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 1mg

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