Champurrado is a traditional Mexican drink that is perfect for the cold weather. It’s thick, warm, chocolatey, cinnamony goodness all together in one perfect cup of happiness. Make it to snuggle under the covers with and watch a movie on a cold winter night. Drink it for breakfast in the morning before you face the cold walk to class.

Impress your friends by making them champurrado instead of the same old hot chocolate they’re used to when they come over on a cold day. Although this recipe does take a bit of time, more than half of it is just waiting (meaning you can go off and be productive like the responsible college student you are). So don’t let the time, or unfamiliar ingredients, daunt you.

While Masa Harina and Mexican chocolate are the backbone of this recipe, both are easily found in the hispanic section of almost any grocery store. Instead of normal sugar, this recipe uses piloncillo, also known as panela in some Latin American countries, to sweeten the champurrado, and it can be found in the hispanic section of grocery stores. As for the star anise, it’s a pretty commonly used spice, but can be omitted from this recipe if necessary.


  • Prep Time:5 minutes
  • Cook Time:45 minutes
  • Total Time:50 minutes
  • Servings:4-6
  • Medium


  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 4 cup milk
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 oz piloncillo or panela
Photo by Christine Chang
  • Step 1

    Add water, star anise, and cinnamon sticks to a medium pot and bring to boil. Then turn off the heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes.

    Photo by Christine Chang
  • Step 2

    Chop 6-oz. piloncillo/panela and one disk of Mexican chocolate.

    #SpoonTip: If you can’t find piloncillo or panela at the local grocery store, substitute brown sugar instead.

    Photo by Christine Chang
  • Step 3

    Turn the stove on to medium heat. Once the water begins to heat up again, slowly add the masa harina, stirring constantly to get rid of any lumps.

    Photo by Christine Chang
  • Step 4

    Add the milk, piloncillo, and Mexican chocolate and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.

    Photo by Christine Chang
  • Step 5

    Lower heat and let simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture has slightly thickened. Serve immediately or save for the morning.

    Photo by Christine Chang