Atol de Elote

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation is below!

“Tenemos Atol de Elote!” dijo el cajero salvadoreño en el mercado latino. Él sonrió y tocó un gran recipiente de metal que parecía un pequeño barril.

“Atol de Elote?” dije, tratando de ganar tiempo.

“Sí, bien rico!” dijo el cajero.

Yo no quería ser desagradable pero Atol de Elote nunca me tentó. Que quiero decir, es una bebida hecha de maíz. Si tú dices “bebida de maíz” a la mayoría de los gringos, se sentirán disgustados.

De todos modos, acepté una taza de Atol de Elote y tomé un sorbo. Yo estaba dispuesta a regalar una sonrisa y decir que estaba delicioso sólo para estar agradable pero me sorprendió. Realmente era delicioso! Atol de Elote es perfecto para el clima frío, también – mejor que el Chocolate Caliente porque te llena.

Decidí tratar de hacer mi propio Atol de Elote pero en los Estados Unidos no podemos comprar mazorcas de maíz en el invierno. Esta receta utiliza maíz congelado. También usé leche de 1% por lo que es un poco más delgado que lo que traté en el mercado latino. Si quieres tu Atol de Elote más espesado, creo que usando leche entera iba a funcionar. Dale una prueba la receta y déjeme saber lo que piensas! … Acabo de hacer una olla y Carlos bebió una taza grande. Cálido y lleno, se quedó dormido en el sofá.

Atol de Elote


5 tazas granos de maíz amarillo enteros congelados
6 tazas de leche
6 tazas de agua
1 1/4 tazas de azúcar
1/2 cucharadita de sal
3 rajas de canela
1 cucharadita de extracto de vainilla


1. Deja una taza de maíz a un lado.
2. En una licuadora, agregue 4 tazas de maíz y 4 tazas de agua. Mezcle 1 minuto.
3. Vierta el líquido de maíz en una olla grande con 2 tazas más de agua, la taza de maíz, palitos de canela y azúcar.
4. Revuelva constantemente a fuego medio por 5 a 10 minutos.
5. Agregue la leche. Revuelva constantemente por 15 minutos.
6. Retire del fuego. Añade la sal y el extracto de vainilla. Mezcle para combinar.
7. Sirva caliente en tazas.


“We have Atol de Elote!” the Salvadoran cashier said at the Latino market. He smiled and touched a large metal container that looked like a small barrel.

“Atol de Elote?” I said, trying to buy time.

“Yeah, it’s good!” said the cashier.

I didn’t want to be rude but Atol de Elote has never tempted me. I mean, it’s a drink made from corn. If you say “corn drink” to most Americans, they will feel disgusted.

Regardless, I accepted a cup of Atol de Elote and took a sip. I was prepared to give a polite smile and say it was delicious but I was surprised. It really was delicious! Atol de Elote is perfect for cold weather, too – better than hot chocolate because it fills you up.

I decided to try to make my own Atol de Elote but in the United States we can’t buy corn on the cob in the winter. This recipe uses frozen corn. I also used 1% milk so it is a bit thinner than what I tried at the Latino market. If you want your Atol de Elote thicker, I think using whole milk would work. Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think! … I just made a pot of it and Carlos drank a large cup. Warm and full he fell asleep on the sofa.

Atol de Elote

You Need:

5 cups frozen whole kernels of yellow corn
6 cups milk
6 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Set a cup of corn aside.
2. In a blender, add 4 cups of corn and 4 cups water. Blend 1 minute.
3. Pour the liquid corn mixture into a large pot with 2 cups of water, the cup of corn, sugar and cinnamon sticks.
4. Stir constantly over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
5. Add the milk. Stir constantly for 15 minutes.
6. Remove from heat. Add the salt and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
7. Serve hot in mugs.


  1. I love atole! Although my mom never made it from scratch. Rather, she’d get the envelopes at el mercado that come in different flavors. Don’t think I’m brave enough to try to make it from scratch. … Now I miss mi mama!

    • The recipe I worked from is authentic. I would say the big difference here is that I used frozen corn. In El Salvador they would use fresh elotes as a source of corn.

      Also, while this recipe just said “sugar”, it could be that some would use piloncillo. I’m sure there are recipe variations depending on who makes it :)

      All I can tell you is that the recipe I made tasted the same as the one I got at the Latino market – just slightly thinner since I almost never use whole milk.

  2. I hadn’t thought of using frozen corn, not sure if they have it in my tienda here but I will definitely be using it stateside. I wonder if putting a small amount of corn starch wouldn’t thicken it up for those who don’t want the fat, but still want it to be a little thicker. Here they like to make it with tons (at least for me) of chili. I love it (without much chili.)

    • I’ve never heard of it with chile — like jalapeños or dried spices? … Are the people who make it that way Salvadoran or Mexican? … As much as I love to spice things up, I think I’d prefer this one without too.

      • Thank you for sharing the method but the resulting recipe–even with half whole milk and half water–was significantly thinner than the atoles I buy here from LA street vendors. The taste was very good though.

      • You need to add some corn starch. You can find it at the Hispanic aisle under the name maizena. You can either add flavorless one or omit the vanilla exctract and replace it with some vanilla flvoured corn starch! That’ll thicken it up for ya ;)

  3. I just made some today and my goodness. I have finally conquered atol de elote! When I tried making it in the past it would split so I deterred from attempting to make it for several years. Another “thickening agent” would be adding cornstarch. The one I tried at the Guatemalan restaurant tasted more of vanilla flavoured corn starch than actual corn itself.

  4. Hi Tracy,
    I love your recipes. I just made some atol and all the atol is gone. Corn season is starting so I made the atol using fresh corn. I have made a few of your recipes like sopa de pollo, quesadillas, picadillo and others. Please continue sharing your recipes. They are so easy to follow and they taste very authentic to the Salvadorian flavors.

    • Thanks so much for this comment, Fabiola. I’m happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the recipes. If you ever have a specific recipe request, let me know! Hopefully I’ll be able to post a new recipe soon. Saludos!

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