Champurrado (vegan)

Champurrado is a traditional, pre-Columbian drink that is warm, frothy, sweet, and comforting. While today many people use milk to make champurrado (and atole) the original versions used no dairy. And, really, there is no need for milk.  The masa harina provides a thickness and the chocolate gets nice and frothy, almost like a cappuccino, when you whip it up.  If you are a person that needs milk, I suggest you use organic milk (to avoid the growth hormones) and use 16 ounces water and 16 ounces milk in this recipe. Vegans and people with lactose intolerance can enjoy this recipe without any milk at all.  So yummy!

This drawing, from Mayan Codices, shows a woman pouring a chocolate drink from one vessel to another. This was done to create an exceptionally frothy drink. (No need for Starbucks’ Frappuccinos!)

Old drawing of Mayan woman pouring dark liquid from one vessel into another


  • 32 ounces of water
  • 1/3 cup masa harina (organic if at all possible)
  • 1 disc of TAZA brand Mexican hot chocolate (I used their “salted almond” flavor)
  • 4 teaspoons coconut palm sugar (you could substitute honey, pilloncillo, or your favorite sweetener. I avoid refined white sugar.)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 stick of Ceylon cinnamon (heavenly)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch chile powder (optional, al gusto)
  • slivered almonds for garnish (optional)


Directions: Combine all ingredients except cinnamon in a blender and process until smooth. Pour blended liquid into a pot. Add cinnamon stick and heat over medium high flame for about 15-20 minutes. Stir often. Use a molino (pictured above) or a whisk to whip up a nice froth. Serve with slivered almonds, if desired.

Serves 2 in big mugs or 4 regular sized coffee cups.


I give thanks to the ancestors who created this cup of comfort.