Hot Cocoa Season: What’s So Special About Mexican Chocolate?

Toast up some marshmallows and fire up the kettle, it’s officially hot chocolate season! In Mexican candy culture, chocolate is one of the most unique and special flavors, captivating Mexican children and adults alike. In recent years, treats like Mexican hot cocoa have made the rounds in international holiday celebrations. The unique flavor profile of Mexican chocolate is definitely something to celebrate! 

But what is it about Mexican chocolate that makes it so delicious? Today, let’s explore the unique ingredients and flavors that make Mexican chocolate — in all its iterations — something to crave. 

What makes Mexican chocolate unique?

Chocolate around the world is known to be complex, varied, and easily customizable. The four most popular types of chocolate are dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and semisweet chocolate (for example, the chocolate chips you put in cookies!). Every chocolate bar you try may have different levels of sweetness, creaminess, and cocoa content — and that’s not counting any fillings or mix-ins! 

Mexican chocolate, meanwhile, falls somewhere on the scale between dark chocolate and milk chocolate — with its own entirely unique flavor profile, of course! Like many Mexican candies, Mexican chocolate carries a twist of spice and heat, usually from spices like cinnamon, chili powder, or cayenne pepper. 

This makes Mexican chocolate a decadent treat, however it’s served! 

What flavors go well with Mexican chocolate? 

You can enjoy Mexican chocolate on its own, as a coating for other candies like marshmallow or mazapan, or mixed into treats like Mexican hot chocolate. In general, you’ll find Mexican chocolate paired most often with soft fillings like marshmallow, caramel, or nougat; citrus flavors like orange and lime; or fruits like strawberry or cherry. And of course, you can’t forget the crowd favorite, mazapan! 

Our favorite Mexican chocolate candies run the gamut on traditional flavor combinations, plus a few wilder flavors! 

How do I make Mexican hot chocolate? 

Okay, okay, we know you’re waiting for our favorite crowd-pleaser! Mexican hot chocolate is a unique and delicious drink served year-round, although it’s most popular during the winter holidays. Compared to the super-sweet hot chocolate you’ll find in the United States and parts of Europe, Mexican hot cocoa contains savory notes that make it a completely unique treat. 

Here’s one Mexican hot chocolate recipe you can make all year long: 


  • 1 cup milk (2% or whole)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, granulated or brown*
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (or a cinnamon stick)
  • A splash of vanilla extract (about ⅛ tsp) 
  • A sprinkle of chili powder (plus an optional sprinkle of ground cayenne for extra kick!)
  • 1 ounce of bittersweet chocolate (shaved or grated)

*You can replace the cocoa powder and sugar with your favorite milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate bar. Bonus points if it’s classic Mexican dark chocolate! 


  • Heat the milk in a small saucepan, then add cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and chili powder. Don’t let it boil! 
  • While whisking these ingredients over low heat, gradually add bittersweet chocolate shavings until the chocolate has completely melted and blended with the milk.
  • Your hot chocolate should be hot, but not boiling! Boiling reduces some of the impact of the spices, so make sure to transfer your cocoa to a mug before it boils. 
  • Serve with your favorite toppings, like marshmallows, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or whipped cream. 
  • For extra fun, stir your hot chocolate with De La Rosa MalvaBony marshmallow lollipops

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