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Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican hot chocolate is the warm winter beverage that will keep you cozy all season long!

Rich, creamy, and perfectly spiced, it’s such a special treat. Especially at Christmas when you’re with family.

Chili Cinnamon Hot Chocolate
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Forget those sugary store-bought packs. Homemade hot chocolate is so much better from scratch. 

But if you want to take it up a notch, opt for the Mexican version. It has real bittersweet chocolate and a pinch of cayenne. 

It’s not overly sweet, either. So you can really appreciate all the flavors.

Get ready, this spicy Mexican hot chocolate will be your new go-to cozy drink.

What Is the Difference Between Mexican and American Hot Chocolate?

Mexican hot chocolate is a traditional Mexican drink featuring real chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, cinnamon, and chili powder.

So, unlike American hot chocolate, it’s less sweet and has spices for a kick.

Chili powder may seem out of place. But one sip and you’ll see how it elevates this drink!

Not to be confused with Champurrado, which is a thick Mexican chocolate drink made with masa. Mexican hot chocolate is smooth and creamy.

So elevate your cocoa with this Mexican hot chocolate recipe!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Ingredients: cocoa powder, milk, marshmallows, chocolate, and cinnamon sticks


Now that you know how delicious this Mexican hot chocolate recipe is, I’m sure you are ready to make it!

Fortunately, you’ll only need a few ingredients:

  • Milk: Milk gives the cocoa a creamy consistency.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: It wouldn’t be hot cocoa without a little bit of cocoa! It adds a powerful chocolate flavor, transforming milk into hot chocolate.
  • Sugar: A couple of spoonfuls of granulated sugar make it sweet, but not too sweet.
  • Cinnamon:  This warming spice brings a hint of the Christmas season to this hot chocolate recipe. It’s complementary without being overwhelming.
  • Vanilla Extract: Add a tiny splash to enhance the creamy, chocolatey flavor. It also adds a complementary hint of vanilla.
  • Chili Powder: This spicy addition takes the drink up a notch, adding a layer of excitement to every sip.
  • Bittersweet Chocolate: You won’t find any store-bought mixes here! Use real, quality bittersweet chocolate for the best flavor.
  • Sea Salt: Just a pinch to enhance the flavor.
Two servings of Mexican hot chocolate on a white mug with cinnamon sticks and cream.

How to Make Mexican Hot Chocolate

Want to cozy up with a warm cup of this spicy Mexican hot cocoa? Then grab a mug and follow these basic steps:

1. Heat the ingredients. Add everything but the chocolate to a pot and warm over medium heat. Stir occasionally.

2. Add the chocolate. Continue stirring until the mixture is hot and smooth and the chocolate has fully melted. Remove from the heat.

3. Pour and serve. Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and add toppings if desired.

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Tips for the Best Hot Chocolate

Once you have your ingredients, you’re ready to begin! Follow these tips to ensure your Mexican hot cocoa is the absolute best it can be:

  • Make it creamier. Use whole milk or add some cream. For the recipe below, I recommend 2 cups of whole milk with 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
  • Don’t add the spices too fast. Powdered ingredients can clump together when being added to a liquid. So, add the spices slowly to keep this from happening. You won’t want too much chili powder in one sip!
  • Keep a close eye on the milk. Nothing will ruin a cup of cocoa quicker than burned milk! If heating on the stove, be sure to constantly stir the milk to keep from scalding it on the bottom. If you are using a microwave, heat the cocoa in short bursts, stirring in between each one.
Two servings of Mexican hot chocolate in a white mug and pitcher garnished with cinnamon sticks and cream.

Toppings for Mexican Hot Chocolate

What’s the best pair for indulgent hot chocolate? Incredible toppings!

Pop a few of these items into your cup of cocoa to take something great and make it phenomenal.

  • Whipped Cream:  Top your cup with the pinnacle of a decadent dessert, whipped cream! Not only does this add some extra sweetness, but it also provides a great base for additional topping.
  • Chocolate Shavings: The more, the merrier when chocolate is involved! Increase your cocoa’s chocolatey goodness by adding some chocolate shavings to the top.
  • Cinnamon:  Bring out the subtle hint of cinnamon with some extra ground cinnamon sprinkled on top. Or, drop in a sophisticated touch with a whole cinnamon stick.
  • Marshmallows: The iconic topping for any cup of cocoa. Whether you prefer mini marshmallows or standard size, they are pretty much mandatory.
  • Chocolate Syrup:  Drizzle a little extra of the good stuff right on top to complete your hot chocolate masterpiece. This will add a little sweetness and a lot of chocolate flavor!
  • Marshmallow Cream: If you can’t decide between whipped cream and marshmallows, get the best of both worlds by adding marshmallow cream. This light and fluffy topping is always delicious!
  • Peppermint Pieces: Add a festive touch to your delicious drink by topping it with some peppermint pieces. Crushed up peppermint is a flavorful and whimsical touch to an already delectable mixture.
Mexican hot chocolate served in mugs with garnish of cream and cinnamon sticks on top.

How to Store and Reheat

Mexican hot chocolate is the perfect hot drink for a holiday party! Kids go crazy for it, adults love it, and it’s festive to boot. 

What’s even better is you can turn it into a make-ahead hot chocolate, too.

Here’s how to store and reheat:

To Store. Make the recipe as directed. Let it cool, then pour the drink into an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

To Reheat on The Stove: Pour the leftovers into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until you reach the desired temperature.

To Reheat in The Microwave: Pour the hot chocolate into a microwave-safe mug. Reheat at 30-second intervals until it reaches the desired temperature.

More Cozy Drinks You’ll Love

Looking for more cozy drinks? I’ve got you covered!

Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha
Chai Tea Latte
Hot Apple Cider
White Hot Chocolate
Baileys Hot Chocolate

Holidays, parties, or afternoon pick-me-ups, these beverages are always a special treat.

Fix one up anytime you want to snuggle up to a warm cup.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Course: Drinks, BreakfastCuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time





Mexican hot chocolate recipe is a unique spin on a beloved classic. Once you taste this rich, creamy, and spicy treat, you may never want regular hot chocolate again.


  • 2 1/2 cups milk

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Pinch of sea salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder (more to taste)

  • 3 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate

  • Optional toppings:
  • Whipped cream or marshmallows

  • Extra cocoa or cinnamon for dusting

  • Chocolate shavings


  • Whisk together milk, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and chili powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until it starts to steam, but make sure it doesn’t come to a boil.
  • Add the chocolate and continue stirring until it’s fully melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
  • Pour into mugs and serve immediately. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows, and sprinkle with additional cocoa, cinnamon, or chocolate shavings as desired.
  • Enjoy!


  • Don’t add the spices too fast. Powdered ingredients can clump together when being added to a liquid. You won’t want too much chili powder in one sip!
  • Keep a close eye on the milk. Nothing will ruin a cup of cocoa quicker than burned milk! Stir the milk constantly to keep from scalding it on the bottom.
  • The nutritional information provided does not include optional toppings.


  • Calories: 466kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 64g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Fat: 19g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 25mg
  • Sodium: 264mg
  • Potassium: 265mg
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 53g
  • Calcium: 377mg
  • Iron: 2mg
Mexican Hot Chocolate

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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