Mayan Hot Chocolate


Mornings are getting chilly here and yesterday in place of a cafecito, I decided to try making hot chocolate from scratch after remembering the delicious batch my first Spanish teacher once cooked up right in the middle of class so many years ago. In the United States we’re so accustomed to ripping open a packet of powder and adding heated water for a cup of hot cocoa, but once you sip this hot chocolate, made from real cocoa and milk, you’ll never want to go back.

Mayan Hot Chocolate


1 1/2 cups 1% milk
1 teaspoon baking cocoa
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract
dash of ground cinnamon, (more to taste)
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)


1. Heat milk for 2 minutes on regular heat in microwave or warm on stove until hot but not simmering.

2. Add sugar, salt and cocoa. Stir until dissolved.

3. Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Makes 2 servings.

Note: In place of ground cinnamon or for added cinnamon flavor, you can add one or two cinnamon sticks to the milk while heating.


  1. 1 teaspoon of cocoa doesn’t seem enough. I used to make it often. Mixed sugar and cocoa with a little of the milk first to dissolve it better.Once made it for a lot of people in a huge pot at Green camp. Ask your dad about that place.

    • It tastes good like that to me and both the boys loved it, but certainly if someone wanted a stronger chocolate flavor, they could add more!

  2. I made genuine Mexican hot chocolate once, with those Ibarra wedges . It was so packed with caffeine that I couldn’t sleep that night. Never again!

    I usually make regular hot chocolate by the cup: while milk is heating, each mug gets 1 spoon of (normal) cocoa, 2 of sugar, and a little cold milk. This is stirred up, then the hot milk is stirred in. My adult children still beg for it.

    • I haven’t tried Ibarra – just Abuelita, but I prefer to mix up my own so I have the proportions of whatever I like best.

      That’s sweet that your grown kids still beg for your hot chocolate. Soon you’ll have to make it for your grandson too :)

  3. Traditional Mayan Hot Chocolate it was made with water not milk but if you ask me is not as good as with milk :) Rosy Hugener writter of Xtabentum: A Novel of Yucatan

  4. Whenever I go to El Salvador I almost always come back with my hand carry luggage full of chocolate. My wife knows where the markets are to buy the best chocolate, it will come wrapped in brown paper and still a little bit moist and soft. I find it’s waaaay better than Ibarra or Abuelita (although it is usually made by older ladies up in the mountains, so I guess it really is “Abuelita” brand).

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