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Mexican Hot Chocolate

mexican hot chocolate gluten-free recipe

We had a huge snowstorm here last night and I made my family a batch of this warming Mexican Hot Chocolate.  A hot drink is perfect for a cold day, and it’s even better when warming spices such as cinnamon, chili and cayenne are added.

There is a ton of cinnamon in this recipe, so if you’re not a cinnamon fan, you might want to reduce the amount from 1 tablespoon to 1 teaspoon.  Why do I use so much cinnamon?  Well, first, I just love the taste of the stuff.  Second, many studies have been done of late pointing to cinnamon as a spice that may help to control blood sugar levels.  Pretty neat stuff, huh?

Mexican Hot Chocolate


  1. Place coconut milk, water, cacao powder and agave in a vitamix
  2. Puree on high speed until smooth
  3. Blend in stevia, vanilla, cinnamon, chili, cayenne and salt
  4. Heat mixture in a saucepan until warm
  5. Top with Whipped Cream (optional)
  6. Reblend and Serve

Serves 4

Here are some other hot chocolate recipes you may enjoy:
-Delicious Hot Chocolate from Joy The Baker
-Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate by Savory Sweet Life
-Spanish-Style Hot Chocolate from Gluten-Free Gobsmacked

I want to thank Shirley of Gluten Free Easily and Kim from Cook It Allergy Free for their lovely reviews of my Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.  I really appreciate the kind words in each of these reviews and the astute observations that Shirley and Kim provide about using almond flour and my recipes.

posted on January 20, 2011, 54 comments

  1. Ashley @ Taste for Healthy @ tasteforhealthy.blogspot.com

    I love hot chocolate! But I am trying to limit my sugar intake… Do you think more stevia could be substituted for the agave? :)

  2. carrie @ gingerlemongirl.com @ gingerlemongirl.com

    Mmmm! I’ve been craving hot chocolate & I LOVE cinnamon in hot chocolate too! I can’t wait to try this!

  3. Trish @I_am_Succeeding @ Iamsucceeding.com

    oh how I love hot cocoa!!!!!

  4. Nancy

    Yum! Just the other night I blended some NOW cocoa powder into some vanilla -flavored coconut milk and heated it up. Not too sweet and really delicious. I’ll have to give this version a try!

  5. That looks great! Needing a no sugar hot chocolate today. And I’ve never heard of vanilla creme stevia. I’m excited it exists.

    • celia

      You want to look for SweetLeaf liquid stevia. There are several flavors, cinnamon, peppermint, grape and orange and lemon. There is also plain. These folks have distilling stevia to an art. Great tasting. They also make travel bottles and tabs.

  6. Bria @ West of Persia @ WestofPersia.com

    Sounds delicious. I like the use of the blender. I’ll have to try that myself.

  7. What is the topping in the picture? If you have a non-dairy sub for whipped cream I would really really like to hear about it!!
    Looks great.

  8. Cassi Friz @ cassifriz.com

    yum yum yum- a warm version of what i serve as ice cream when i need a treat- except i use honey as agave is not to be found easily in my part of the world, and i love honey. i can’t get enough coconut milk when pregnant- love it warm, cold, in smoothies, in baking, and then i rub the coconut oil on my belly!


  9. Mary

    Can you use the refrigerated coconut milk in the carton? I think it is “SO Delicious” brand in the milk section. Just wondered since I mainly only see the canned coconut milk being used in recipes.

    This sounds devine!

  10. Ruth

    Oooooh. Looks yummy. And my case of (Natural Value) Guar Free Coconut Milk arrived from Amazon yesterday!! (They had a supplier problem but it is now Guar Free again!)

  11. Joey

    Where did you find the Stevia drops Elana? I have heard of several flavours and haven’t been able to find them here in Albuquerque.

  12. KellyBelly

    Oh, I always forget about coconut milk, need to pull those cans out of the pantry. Thanks

  13. Betty

    Me too! I’d like to know what that topping is! Looks wonderful!

  14. Rebecca

    We drank a lot of hot chocolate during our recent snowstorm. I’m definitely trying this recipe with the coconut milk and cayenne. We love our chocolate with a little kick!

  15. Nisrine|Dinners & Dreams @ dinnersanddreams.net

    Chocolate and Mexican are two words that evoke deliciousness in my mind. I want this drink!

  16. Kelly @ 18 hour kitchen

    Beautiful photo! I’ve been making a similar cocoa lately with goats milk…

  17. Karalie V. @ mydoterra.com/6510

    Another great way to introduce cinnamon is by way of essential oils. I love adding a drop of cinnamon eo to my hot chocolate. Peppermint is also delicious! A drop is all it takes, and the health benefits of the essential oils are much greater than using powdered cinnamon. (When using essential oils for consumption, be sure they are reputable and of the best quality. Most essential oils found in supermarkets are merely oils scented with perfume. You can find out more on my website.)

    For flavors of the stevia, try Bob’s Red Mill. (I’m lucky enough to live close by, but I know you can order online.) I have also seen a few flavors offered at Whole Foods.

  18. jo

    oh, this is so freakin’ delicious! thank you.

  19. Yum, I LOVE chile in my hot cocoa! Can’t wait to try it with cinnamon too.

  20. Raquel of Galilee

    Whoa! This looks mmmm. I have read but never actually tries that hot stuff in cocoa. It’s time I did. Hey, we use the same mugs!
    (must be made in China, like everything from clothes to the national flag)

  21. Green Shushi @ greenshushi.com

    mmm this looks amazing! Especially with coconut milk!

  22. Hey Elana/website support.

    Just thought I’d comment about the rss feed as I’ve notice that the format of it isn’t the easiest to use. I usually read all my blogs through google reader but now when I read Elana’s Pantry, it wont show the entire blog post but only the first paragraph and a half.

    I’m not sure what other readers prefer, but I would love to be able to read the entire blog post in google reader, along with the inserted pictures….

    Other than that – loving the blog and the almond flour cookbook. Can’t wait for the next one to come out!

  23. I’m licking the screen. I will be making this soon! To swoon!

  24. Jeri Cole

    This looks so delicious. I’m wondering if she used Healthy Top for the whipped cream. Also, just wanted to share that I buy most of my Stevia from Vitacost.com. I buy the liquid Sweet Leaf brand. Vanilla Cream flavor is amazing. The best prices. My local health food store sells the bottles for almost $15 and it’s $9 and some change on Vitacost.

  25. This looks absolutely deliciously amazing. I need to try this out (I also love cinnamon)

  26. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking @ thecomfortofcooking.com

    Everytime I have hot chocolate I forget that I want to try and add a little spice to it! I’ve heard this is such a winning combination. In fact – maybe I’ll have a cup tonight and bust out the cayenne. Thanks for the reminder and inspiration!

  27. Becky D

    We had this tonight as a treat (other than the whipped cream looking stuff – because we didn’t know what it was) and it got enthusiastic thumbs up from husband and son. (and myself!)
    Better than any kind of Cocoa Mix you could buy!

  28. Anna Marie

    Why both Agave AND Stevia?

  29. Shirley @ gfe @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    Looks and sounds perfect, Elana! Thanks so much regarding the mention. I’m happy to share your cookbook any time I can. :-) Just love your simple recipes and using almond flour!


  30. This sounds great! I bet a little nutmeg would be delicious as well… With all the snow we just got it sounds like a perfect treat.

  31. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn @ chefkatelyn.wordpress.com

    Yum! Can’t wait to try it, it reminds me of the hot chocolate in the film “Chocolat” :)

  32. Elana,

    Great for the cold nights that we’ve had lately. I must tell you that everything that we’ve made out of your cookbook has been excellent! Keep up the good work!

  33. It is not a good thing that I’ve found this recipe! I LOVE this stuff. I actually had a nice warm mug of it after dinner at one of my favourite restaurants this evening. Yum!

    I know I’ll be making this soon :D

  34. Sommer Sheffield @ faithcreature.blogspot.com

    This recipe is absolutely wonderful yum didleeee yum!….as are everything else I have ever tried from this website/blog. Merci beaucoup!!!

  35. Gurman @ concieve.net

    yum-yum This looks absolutely deliciously amazing. I am pleased to have started the morning with Mexican Hot Chocolate …

  36. Jenny Eliuk @ Stay on Path @ stayonpath.blogspot.com

    I’ve never thought of making hot cocoa with coconut milk! Mmm that’s gotta be tasty.

  37. Lindsey Hoover @ rxforbalance.wordpress.com

    This is a great photo. Warm, inviting, comforting…just as the desert is in itself.

    The recipe sounds amazing. I really want some now, haha.

    Have you ever tried Taza Stone Ground Chocolate Mexicano? It has an incredible grainy texture that leads you to believe you are eating some more than just chocolate. They sell a guajillo chili chocolate that is very tasty.

    It would be interesting to try to melt down this chocolate and create a syrup from it to use when making a Mexican hot chocolate. Thanks for the inspiration as always!


  38. Kate

    This was REALLY good! We are watching our sugar intake and we used Splendia and low fat coconut milk instead. LOVE the kick from the chili power and the spice of the cinnamon.

  39. This recipe is fantastic. I tried it after hearing about it from a Angelo Coppola’s podcast (Latest in Paleo).

    It is rich, creamy, and it mimics perfectly hot chocolate I have had in the past (with milk). This I think is even better. The cayenne and chili pepper are perfectly complementing to the rest of the flavors. Bravo!

    – Brandon

  40. sgryz

    Hi Elana :)

    I love your blog and I appreciate you putting time into it and sharing recipes and information. I have a question about the vitamix. Looking it up, I noticed it is quite pricey. However, reviews say it’s a great tool. I am a student (cash flow is low) and I am wondering if you know of any similar products that are cheaper, but get the job done well.


  41. Nicole

    So interesting and weird to read this just now!! I was just saying today that I started eating cinnamon (a lot) on chopped up apples for a sweet treat and snack. I noticed that my blood sugar leveled off right away. Normally, I would need more than an apple when I get like that, but like I said, with the cinnamon added, I just normalize and I don’t need any more food.

    This cup of goodness looks amazing by the way!

  42. Super Veggie Mom @ superveggiemom.com

    I recommend ceylon cinnamon rather than the usual cassia cinnamon most people use, especially since the recipe calls for so much. Ceylon has lower coumarin levels.

  43. BlenderChief @ blenderchief.com

    Haha, this is great. Some of the best hot chocolate I’ve had in a while.

  44. Jenevieve

    I made this recipe, but I added ice to it, and had a refreshing chocolate drink!
    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

  45. I love these recipes! THANK YOU again, and again, Elena! I just went Grain Free three weeks ago and your website and books are a life saver! Thanks again!

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top