Homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate. This creamy hot chocolate is made with real chocolate, and flavored with a combination of cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of chili powder. Easy to put together this drink recipe is sure to please the entire family. Plus it’s easy to make a large batch for get togethers! 

Childs hands holding a mug of Mexican hot chocolate.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

  • What is it? Hot Chocolate that has been seasoned with cinnamon, vanilla, and a bit of chili powder.
  • How to make it? You could use a pre-made Mexican Chocolate tablet from the market, Abuelitas is a good choice and in most markets. OR a homemade mix where you get to control all the ingredients yourself! Which is what we’re doing here of course.

I have a huge love for a good cup of hot chocolate. Add cinnamon and it becomes downright dreamy! This warm, comforting drink is perfect for the cooler weather, holidays, or a cozy evening inside. Maybe with some Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies on the side? Or these Mexican Wedding Cookies.

Overhead view of a mug of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and a cinnamon stick.

Ingredients:

  • Milk: any type of milk or cream can be used for this recipe. For ultra thick and creamy a combination of whole milk and cream. I prefer to use just whole milk. But you can also use 2% or 1% if you prefer. Just know that the hot chocolate will come out thinner. 
  • Cocoa Powder: this recipe calls for unsweetened natural cocoa powder, but you could also use dutch process in this recipe. 
  • Ground Cinnamon: using ground cinnamon helps get a wonderful flavor to the hot chocolate, since we aren’t bringing this liquid to a boil or cooking it for very long, using cinnamon sticks alone don’t give as much flavor. 
  • Chili Powder: no this drink doesn’t come out spicy. You can omit this if you’re concerned. But it just adds a bit more depth and interest to the finished drink. You can use chili powder (my favorite is Gebhardt) cayenne powder, chipotle powder, paprika. Each one has a different amount of heat/flavor that they give, so start with 1/8 teaspoon, taste, and add the rest if desired. 
  • Semi Sweet Chocolate: we’re using a combination of the cocoa powder and actual chocolate in this drink. Adding the real chocolate adds a bit more thickness and a stronger chocolate flavor. I prefer to use chocolate bars, like Ghiradelli. Although you could use chocolate chips also if that’s all you have. Just be sure to heat gently and stir while melting to help make sure the chocolate mixes in well with the milk.
Milk in a saucepan topped with unsweetened cocoa, ground cinnamon, salt, sugar, and chili powder.
Chopped semi sweet chocolate ready to make homemade hot chocolate.

How to Make Mexican Hot Chocolate:

  1. Pour the milk to a small saucepan.
  2. Add in the cocoa powder (to help prevent clumps of cocoa powder, you can sift the powder before adding it in), ground cinnamon, chili powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. Whisk all of the ingredients together. The cocoa powder takes some time to incorporate into the milk. Just keep whisking until it’s smooth.
  4. Warm the mixture over medium/low heat. We don’t want to bring the milk to a boil, just to heat it through.
  5. Once the milk is warmed, add in the semi-sweet chocolate and stir while the chocolate melts.
  6. Remove from heat and carefully pour into mugs to serve.
  7. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon, chopped chocolate, an extra pinch of chili powder, or some flakey sea salt.
Hand pouring bowl of chopped up chocolate into a saucepan filled with hot chocolate.
Homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate in a saucepan, showing it's smooth and silky texture.

And if you’re a fan of cinnamon drinks, make sure you check out this Horchata recipe while you’re here! 


The mugs used in the photos are super cute and were a gift we received last year from family. You can find them on Amazon. Here’s a link (affiliate).

Childs hands holding a mug of Mexican hot chocolate.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate. This creamy hot chocolate is made with real chocolate, and flavored with a combination of cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of chili powder.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups milk*
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla/almond extract, can choose which flavoring you prefer
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  •  

Instructions

  • Pour the milk in to a small saucepan.
  • Add in the cocoa powder (to help prevent clumps of cocoa powder, sift the powder before adding it in), ground cinnamon, chili powder, salt, and sugar.
  • Whisk all of the ingredients together. The cocoa powder takes some time to incorporate into the milk. Just keep whisking until it's smooth.
  • Warm the mixture over medium/low heat. We don't want to bring the milk to a boil, just to heat it through.
  • Once the milk is warmed, add in the semi-sweet chocolate and stir while the chocolate melts.
  • Remove from heat and carefully pour into mugs to serve.
  • Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.
  • Optional toppings: Sprinkle with additional cinnamon, chopped chocolate, an extra pinch of chili powder, or some flakey sea salt.

Notes

  1. Milk: this recipe calls for milk. You can use a combination of milk and cream for a thicker drink. Whole milk will make for a thicker drink than using 2% or 1% milk. Of course you can substitute and use any milk you prefer/have on hand.
  2. Chili Powder: this isn't going to make the hot chocolate spicy. It adds a depth of flavor to the finished drink. If you would prefer, you can leave this ingredient out, or you can start with a lower amount, taste test, and add more to taste if desired.
  3. Separation: as the drink cools and is being enjoyed it's possible that the chocolate will start to settle on the bottom of the mug. This is normal and occurs with homemade hot chocolates. Which is why they are typically served with a spoon or stirring stick to continue to stir while enjoying. 
  4. Storing/reheating: if you end up with some leftover, you can store in a sealed container/jar in a refrigerator.  Chocolate may have settled to the bottom of the jar or container while in refrigerator. Just scoop out with a spoon. To reheat pour into a small saucepan and heat over medium/low.
  5. Nutrition information is being calculated showing this recipe yields 3 cups in measurement. While it will serve about 4, depending on the size of your mug/cup. Nutrition information is calculated at 4 servings per recipe. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1mug, Calories: 187kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 7g, Sodium: 77mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 23g
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