Mexican Hot Chocolate

red mug with hot cocoa and marshmallows

Every winter when it gets chilly outside (and I admit, sometimes in Texas when it’s winter but nowhere near chilly), Eric and I have one of our favorite things – Mexican hot chocolate.  And every winter, I have friends asking for the recipe, so I thought I’d finally share it here on the blog.

This tradition for us actually started years ago when Eric’s mom and sister went to Mexico on vacation and brought me back some hot chocolate mix.  They knew I loved my hot chocolate (and at the time I was a staunch non-coffee drinker).  The first mug of that hot chocolate I had was heavenly.  It wasn’t just regular hot chocolate…it was better.  It had a bit of cinnamon in it and also a hint of heat too.  Sooooo good.

box of Abuelita brand Mexican style instant hot chocolate mix

So, as I worked my way through the box I began to panic that I would be super sad once it was all gone.  So Eric started researching recipes and found the one that we still use today (it’s an Alton Brown recipe).

ingredients - salt, red pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and powdered milk


  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly.  (Note: we usually double the recipe and keep our mix in a container we can easily scoop out of when we want a mug of the good stuff!)

To prepare: fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water.  Stir to combine.  This can also be made with milk instead of hot water for a richer flavor.

two red mugs with cocoa and marshmallows and spoons in them

We seriously love this mixture and it’s pretty easy to put together and have on hand.  I hope you give it a try and let me know if you do!

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