Mexican chocolate — it’s spicy, it’s sweet, and it’s great in custard form. Its texture is more grainy than other kinds of chocolate, due to the sugar being undissolved, and it’s flavored with cinnamon. It’s typically used for hot beverages like champurrado, or in sauces like mole poblano.

Mexican chocolate can be found in specialty shops and supermarkets, but if you can’t find it, there’s several ways to replicate it. You can use cinnamon and almond extract or cinnamon and cayenne pepper. I used the latter. You can adjust the level of spices you want, but don’t make it too spicy when the custard is warm, because it’ll get even spicier after it chills! Here’s how to make it:

Mexican Chocolate Custard

  • Prep Time:15 minutes
  • Cook Time:5 minutes
  • Total Time:20 minutes
  • Servings:3
  • Medium


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 oz bittersweet/semisweet chocolate chips, plus shaved chocolate for serving
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus a pinch for serving
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • whipped cream for serving
Photo by Jennifer Nigro
  • Step 1

    In a small saucepan, combine the milk and sugar and heat until steaming and the sugar is dissolved

    Gif by Jennifer Nigro
  • Step 2

    Put the egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in the hot milk

    Gif by Jennifer Nigro
  • Step 3

    Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until slightly thickened — about 2 minutes

    Gif by Jennifer Nigro
  • Step 4

    Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips and salt and whisk until smooth

    Gif by Jennifer Nigro
  • Step 5

    Add cinnamon and cayenne pepper and continue to whisk.

    Gif by Jennifer Nigro
  • Step 6

    Whisk in the butter

    Gif by Jennifer Nigro
  • Step 7

    Pour the custard into 3 small glasses and chill the custards

    Gif by Jennifer Nigro
  • Step 8

    Garnish with whipped cream, ground cinnamon, and shaved chocolate

    Gif by Jennifer Nigro