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Spanish Hot Chocolate

Spanish Hot Chocolate

This Spanish Hot Chocolate Recipe is a thick creamy and delicious hot chocolate that you will crave all year long.

What is Spanish Hot Chocolate

This of Spanish Hot Chocolate as a decadent treat. It really is more of a dip than a drink. Almost every café and bakery in Spain offers “chocolate caliente” to accompany churros, magdalenas, panetela or any other of their sweet treats. And with good reason, a good cup of hot chocolate pairs well any dessert and a cold day.

We wanted to try to make it just as delicious but not as thick. We wanted something that you could dip into, but still drink and enjoy.

How to Make Our Spanish Hot Chocolate

The truth is making our Spanish Hot Chocolate is not complicated. It’s basically just taking chocolate pieces and folding them into the heated milk, sweetened with sugar, and flavored with vanilla and espresso. It all comes together to make the perfect hot chocolate.

What makes it so thick? It is thickened slightly with cornstarch, but this recipe works for dunking or sipping because it is not too thick. Think of the texture of a thin chocolate ganache. 

Your hot chocolate will be as good as your chocolate so try to use a great quality chocolate. It’s important to use pieces of a chocolate bar and not chips. The bar is less processed and will make for a smoother and cleaner finished product. We like using dark bittersweet or semisweet for balance and more flavor. Some brands we love include Valor, Valrhona and Guittard.

We add a teaspoon of instant espresso powder to break up the sweetness, but you can leave it out or add cayenne pepper or cinnamon instead. Either vanilla powder or vanilla extract are a must. Vanilla really wakes up the chocolate and lends a beautiful aroma and flavor.  Another great way to wake up your hot chocolate is spiking it with liquor such as bourbon, rum or even an orange liquor like Cointreau.   

If you love sweets try some of our other delicious desserts:

Spanish Hot Chocolate

Recipe by Abuelas Cuban CounterCourse: Christmas Eve and Morning Ideas, Desserts


Prep timeminutes
Cooking time






  • 2 cups of whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

  • 6 ounces of dark or semi sweet chocolate, roughly chopped

  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch 

  • 3 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla powder

  • Garnish with marshmallows and whipped cream


  • Chop the chocolate pieces. 
  • In a small bowl add the cornstarch and heavy cream. Whisk together until completely incorporated. Set aside.
  • Add the milk to a small saucepot and heat on medium high until it starts to simmer. Add the sugar and continue to mix. (If you want to add any additional flavorings, such as cayenne or cinnamon as we mentioned above, add them now.) 
  • Add the cornstarch mixture. Heat for another minute. Let it come to a boil. Add the chocolate, espresso powder and vanilla powder and turn off the heat. 
  • Whisk the chocolate vigorously until it is completely dissolved. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. 
  • Taste it. If you want a sweeter hot chocolate add another teaspoon or two now so it has a chance to dissolve.  
  • Garnish with Marshmallows and whipped cream and enjoy!