Spice up your hot cocoa game with a batch of this flavorful Mexican hot chocolate! It’s rich and creamy with a touch of cinnamon and chili powder. The perfect remedy for chilly months!

Hot chocolate is one of the few things that make cold Utah winters bearable. It’s even better when you make it from scratch! You’ll have to try these recipes for white hot chocolate, peppermint hot chocolate, and hot chocolate bombs as well!

Mexican hot chocolate served in a tan colored mug, topped with a cinnamon stick.

Homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate

Homemade Mexican hot chocolate is a fun twist on classic hot chocolate. This traditional Mexican beverage is made with chocolate that is typically flavored with cinnamon and other warm spices! To make it, all you need to do is melt some milk chocolate chips in a saucepan, then add in some cocoa powder, cinnamon, chili powder, and a few other simple ingredients. Once it’s mixed together it becomes so smooth and creamy! You can also add a splash of vanilla extract or a pinch of sea salt to enhance the flavor. The sky is the limit when you make Mexican hot chocolate at home!

Serve Mexican hot chocolate in your favorite mug topped with whipped cream or marshmallows. It’s also great on its own because of the added spices! Mexican hot chocolate is perfect for cold winter evenings or as a special treat during the holiday season. It’s also a great way to spice up your regular hot chocolate recipe and add a touch of Mexican flair. You’re going to love it! The taste is out of this world. For more fun Mexican-inspired recipes, check out my full list here!

Ingredients Needed

Here is everything you need to make a batch of this delicious Mexican hot chocolate. Check out my tips section below as well for substitutes and ways to make it dairy-free!

  • Milk: Milk is a key ingredient in Mexican hot chocolate, giving it a creamy and smooth base for the chocolate and spices.
  • Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder adds rich chocolate flavor to the Mexican hot chocolate.
  • Sugar: Sugar is added to sweeten the hot chocolate, balancing the bitterness of the cocoa powder and the spices.
  • Cinnamon: Adds warmth and depth to the chocolate, and complements all of the other flavors.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla is another ingredient that adds sweetness and flavor. Use pure vanilla extract if you can! It adds the best flavor. It’s subtle but so tasty!
  • Chili Powder: Chili powder is a signature ingredient in Mexican hot chocolate, adding a subtle, smoky heat to the drink. It works in harmony with the other spices and adds a unique and delicious flavor!
  • Milk Chocolate Chips: Add a rich and creamy texture to the hot chocolate. They melt perfectly into the warm milk mixture! Milk chocolate chips also add more rich, chocolatey flavor to the drink. You can swap these out for dark chocolate chips or even white chocolate to switch things up a bit!
  • Dash of Salt: Just a pinch to balance out the flavors!
  • Cayenne Pepper: (Optional) Adds an extra kick of spice! This is optional, so leave it out if you don’t want your hot chocolate to be too spicy.

How to Make Mexican Hot Chocolate

Not only is this spiced hot chocolate super easy to make, but it’s ready in 10 minutes! You’ll never want to use powdered hot chocolate mix again! This is such a fun take on traditional hot chocolate. The spices just warm you right up!

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, cinnamon, chili powder, and milk chocolate chips. Whisk to combine.
  2. Melt: As the mixture heats up, continue to whisk until the chocolate chips melt. Heat for about 5 minutes, or until it reaches the desired temperature.
  3. Serve: Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla. Serve immediately, and top with your favorite hot chocolate toppings! You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper to make it spicier.
Hot chocolate ingredients being added to a pot and mixed together.

Tips and Variations

The great thing about homemade hot chocolate is you can switch it up however you like. So whether you want to make it dairy-free, super spicy, or add in extra flavors, it’s all up to you!

  • Make it Dairy-Free: You can make your Mexican hot chocolate dairy free by swapping out the regular chocolate chips for dairy free, (you can find some here!) and also using nut milk or lactose-free milk. This is also great for vegan diets!
  • Use High-Quality Chocolate: My tip for making the best homemade hot chocolate is to use high quality chocolate chips! You can also use a baking bar instead, just make sure it has a high cacao percentage. I always go for Ghirardelli 60% cacao.
  • Add Toppings: Whipped cream, marshmallows, or a sprinkle of cocoa powder or cinnamon can all be great toppings for Mexican hot chocolate. You can also add a drizzle of chocolate, white chocolate, or caramel sauce! A cinnamon stick is also great for presentation!

Storing Leftover Mexican Hot Chocolate

You can store leftover Mexican hot chocolate in the fridge in an airtight jar for about 2 days. To warm it up, simply pop it in the microwave or heat it over the stove on medium heat. I always prefer to heat it up over the stove because I can control the heat, stir it constantly, and keep the milk from scalding.

Closeup of a ladle filled with Mexican hot chocolate.

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