Slightly spicy and perfectly sweet Mexican hot chocolate is a tasty twist on your favorite winter drink. And there are so many fun and unique ways to make several different varieties at home with simple, wholesome ingredients.
Skip the packets and try these easy, from-scratch Mexican hot chocolate recipes instead!
What is Mexican Hot Chocolate?
While nearly every hot chocolate recipe results in some form of rich and – well, obviously – hot chocolate drink, there are many unique flavor options and preparation methods that make Mexican hot chocolate something truly special.
Powdered hot cocoa typically found at the grocery store is often made with not-so-wholesome ingredients. They tend to be very sweet, with a simple, light milk chocolate taste.
Mexican hot chocolate, however, is full of bold spices to balance out the sweetness of the sugar. They can be made many different ways with various spice combinations and heat levels. Some have chili and cayenne for a real hit of spiciness. Other versions feature whole cinnamon sticks for a more mild, seasonal flavor.
Some of the recipes in the list below do contain cocoa powder, much like what you find in most store-bought hot chocolate packets. But many are made using the traditional method of melting real chocolate and combining it with milk and spices. The best Mexican hot chocolates also have a great foamy, frothy top that is absolutely irresistible.
Like other hot chocolate recipes, you can make Mexican hot chocolate on the stovetop, in a crockpot, or even in the microwave. They are even easy to customize to fit dairy-free, vegan diets. Whatever style of chocolatey, spicy goodness you want, there’s a Mexican hot chocolate recipe for you!
Ingredients Needed to Make Mexican Hot Chocolate
Below you will find a fantastic list of easy homemade Mexican hot chocolate recipes. Each is slightly different, with their own special bit of pizazz.
Some are made with whole milk and heavy whipping cream, others are vegan-friendly and use almond milk or cashew milk. They all include either baking chocolate (or similar) or cocoa powder, sugar, plus cinnamon for a spicy kick.
Additional ingredients that are suggested for the best, most delicious Mexican hot chocolate made from scratch include:
Spices – Cayenne pepper, Nutmeg, Dried chile pepper or chili powder, Red chili pepper flakes, and/or Habanero peppers
Salt – to balance the sweetness
Vanilla extract – for a great smoky flavor
Dulce de leche – a rich caramel that makes the hot chocolate even more deliciously indulgent
Honey – as an alternative sweetner
Coconut oil – to add even more smoothness and rich flavor
Plus, you can of course add other favorite hot cocoa toppings, like mini marshmallows and shaved chocolate.
How Do You Make Mexican Hot Chocolate From Scratch?
There are several different methods you can use to prepare a perfect mug of spicy Mexican hot chocolate.
Make a nearly hands-off, big batch version using a slow cooker. Not only is this an easy method, your whole house will smell like incredibly chocolatey goodness for hours!
For a traditional Mexican hot chocolate, you will need a molinillo or wire whisk to get the signature frothy top. Ingredients are combined in a pot or by the mugful, and blended well as they are heated. It can take several minutes to get the right frothiness but is well worth the effort – be patient, and also be careful whenever working with hot liquids!
Because authentic Mexican hot chocolate uses whole ingredients, you are likely to wind up with a bit of grittiness in every cup. This is totally to be expected, and in my opinion, just makes a tasty little “snack” to enjoy after drinking the hot chocolate!
Slightly spicy and perfectly sweet Mexican hot chocolate is a tasty twist on your favorite winter drink. Skip the hot cocoa packets and try one of these unique from-scratch Mexican hot chocolate recipes instead!
This Slow Cooker Mexican Hot Cocoa makes a big batch of rich chocolatey sweet and spicy drink for the whole family. It's made with both brown sugar and white sugar for a depth of flavor without being overly sweet.
- whole milk - half and half - cocoa - sugar - brown sugar - water - cinnamon sticks - cayenne pepper
This version of classic Mexican Hot Chocolate takes all the best parts of hot chocolate and then layers in a spicy blend of cayenne, cinnamon, vanilla and freshly grated nutmeg. For even more flavor, this recipe uses Dark Chocolate Almond milk!
This dairy-free Mexican Hot Chocolate with cashew milk or almond milk is made with zero-calorie sweetener, unsweetened cocoa, and rich dark chocolate. The recipe has options to make the recipe keto, paleo and vegan.
- cashew milk, almond milk or other plant-based milk - bittersweet chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate - unsweetened cocoa powder - zero-calorie sweetener - ground cinnamon - chili powder or chipotle chili powder
If you loved the Disney Pixar movie, Coco, then you are probably going to love these fun treats. Perfect for the family, these COCO inspired Creamy Mexican Hot Chocolate & Bone Dippers are super fun and will make everlasting impressions!
- bittersweet chocolate chips - heavy whipping cream - milk - dulce de leche - cinnamon - cayenne pepper (optional)
A perfect balance of spicy and sweet, this Spicy Mayan Hot Chocolate Recipe is going to soothe your appetite on chilly days. It's made with red Savina Habanero peppers and will really brighten up your life with its richness.
This spicy and sweet Mexican hot chocolate recipe is filled with creamy and delicious flavors that will certainly make a perfect addition to any day. Cinnamon and cayenne pepper used 2 ways combine to give this recipe its delicious flavor.
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