Spanish Hot Chocolate (Chocolate Caliente)

Cropped Hand Holding Churro Over Hot Chocolate

Yin Jiang / Getty Images

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Servings: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
920 Calories
57g Fat
78g Carbs
25g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 920
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 57g 73%
Saturated Fat 33g 166%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 231mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 78g 28%
Dietary Fiber 12g 42%
Protein 25g
Calcium 628mg 48%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Spanish are known to have been locos for chocolate ever since they “discovered” it in the New World about 500 years ago. As in centuries past, today the Spanish drink rich hot chocolate for breakfast, and it's so thick that you can stand a churro in it.

If the only hot cocoa you’ve ever had is the kind made using envelopes of powdered mix and hot water, you won’t recognize this incredibly rich and flavorful drink. There are two slightly different versions here; one uses sweetened milk chocolate and the other substitutes baking chocolate and sugar for the milk chocolate. Try both to decide which type you prefer. Whether you choose sweet or baking chocolate, the process is almost the same. 

Be sure to use a clean spoon every time you taste the hot chocolate. Enzymes from your mouth can cause a thickened cornstarch mixture to become thin.


  • For the sweet chocolate version:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate
  • For the baking chocolate version:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 ounces baking chocolate
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and add the cornstarch.

  2. Whisk to dissolve the cornstarch.

  3. Once the cornstarch is dissolved, heat the milk over medium heat just until it boils, then remove it from the heat.

  4. Add the chocolate squares (either milk chocolate or baking chocolate) immediately and begin stirring until the chocolate is completely melted. If the milk cools off too fast, place the pan back on the stove over low heat to melt the chocolate.

  5. If you are using baking chocolate, which is unsweetened, pour the sugar into the chocolate milk mixture and stir until it is thoroughly dissolved. Do this off of the heat.

  6. Place the pan back on the stove over medium-low/medium heat, stirring slowly but constantly. Do not cook the mixture over high heat because it can cause it to become lumpy.

  7. Taste the chocolate for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary. The mixture should thicken quickly. As soon as you see it thicken, remove the pan from the heat so the cornstarch will not thin.

  8. Ladle the hot chocolate immediately into cups and serve piping hot, ideally with Spanish churros for dipping.