Recipe: Big-Batch Mexican-Spiced Hot Chocolate

updated May 1, 2019
Big-Batch Mexican-Spiced Hot Chocolate
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(Image credit: Rachel Korinek)

We all know that mugs of velvety hot chocolate are an essential for any snow day. From now on, though, it’s time to treat yourself to the Mexican-spiced upgrade. With just enough warm spices to make your taste buds tingle, this rich drink comes off tasting even more intensely chocolatey and luxurious.

Best of all, it’s made in a big batch, so it’s perfect for sipping all day long with your snow-day partners in crime.

Why Big-Batch Hot Chocolate Wins

In between the sledding, floor picnicking, fort building, and movie marathoning that make snow days so fun, there is hot chocolate. These are the days when a single mug simply won’t do.

Make one big batch of this special drink in the morning, then reap the warm, satisfying rewards throughout the day. After it’s done simmering, settle your covered, chocolate-filled Dutch oven over a warm burner if you plan to dip a ladle in again soon, or stash it in the fridge and reheat as needed throughout the day.

(Image credit: Rachel Korinek)

Big-Batch Mexican-Spiced Hot Chocolate

Serves 12

Nutritional Info


  • 15 ounces

    bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup

    Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/3 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 12 cups

    (3 quarts) whole milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    fine salt

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

  • Cinnamon sticks, for serving (optional)


  1. Whisk together the chocolate, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne (if using) in a Dutch oven or large pot. Pour in the milk and set the pot over medium heat.

  2. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, until hot and smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla extract. If not serving immediately, cover and set on a burner over low heat. Ladle into mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat gently over low heat.