Atole de Masa

Atole (pronounced ah-TOH-lay) is a warm corn masa drink found throughout Mexico and Central America. Mexican atole is traditionally served during Dia de los Muertos celebrations, and its chocolate version, champurrado, is popular at Christmastime. The consistency of atole varies from almost porridge-like to a thin, pourable drink depending on how much masa is used.

Atole (warm Mexican cornmeal beverage)

1/2 cup masa harina (masa flour)
5 cups milk or water, according to taste
1/4 cup piloncillo, chopped fine or grated
1 stick cinnamon (canela) or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise) or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, whisk the water or milk into the masa harina, little by little until completely mixed and free of lumps (you can vary the amount of masa harina to make the atole thicker or thinner according to your personal taste). Add the piloncillo and cinnamon and stir until smooth. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and serve hot in mugs.


  • Champurrado (Chocolate atole): After removing from heat, whisk in 4 ounces of chopped Mexican chocolate until completely dissolved. Or use 4 ounces of chopped baking chocolate. Adjust sugar as needed. Champurrado is traditionally whisked with a wooden utensil called a molinillo until it is frothy. The beverage is then served with a generous serving of foam spooned on top of each serving.
  • Atole de Fruta: Eliminate the cinnamon and stir in 1 cup of pureed pineapple or strawberries after removing the atole from heat.

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2 Reviews on “Atole de Masa”

  1. :

    Ok, I am sold on the Champurrado! But what is piloncillo?

    1. :

      Great question! Piloncillo (pronounced pee-lon-SEE-yoh) is made from pure, unrefined sugar that is pressed into a cone shape. It tastes very similar to brown sugar with a molasses flavor (even though it does not contain molasses) and you can use it for anything that calls for brown sugar. It's name means "little pylon" because of it's shape.

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