How to Make Traditional Chocolate Pinole Atole

Transport your taste buds to Mexico with pinole atole, a centuries-old drink blending roasted corn, cocoa, spices, and sugar. Explore its rich history and create this soul-warming, tradition-infused beverage at home. Cheers to flavors that transcend time!

How to Make Traditional Chocolate Pinole Atole
A steaming cup of homemade pinole atole, a Mexican classic with a rich history.

The culinary world is a treasure trove of flavors from around the globe, each dish carrying with it a rich history and culture. Today, we're diving into the heart of Mexico's culinary heritage with a recipe for pinole atole, a traditional drink that has been cherished for centuries. This soul-warming beverage combines the earthy goodness of roasted corn, the richness of cocoa, and the warmth of spices like cinnamon and pepper.

Before we jump into the recipe, it's essential to understand the significance of pinole atole in Mexican culture. Atole is a type of masa-based hot drink that dates back to the Aztec civilization. It was often consumed as a nourishing and energy-boosting breakfast. Pinole, on the other hand, is a mixture of toasted maize and other ingredients that served as staple food for indigenous peoples in Mexico long before the arrival of the Spanish. This drink is more than just a recipe; it's a link to the past and a taste of tradition.


To recreate this delightful piece of history, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • 30 grams of cocoa, roasted and peeled
  • 60 grams of corn
  • 2 grams of pepper
  • 5 grams of cinnamon
  • 150 grams of sugar
  • 2 kilograms of water

Creating the Pinole Powder:

The magic begins with the creation of the pinole powder:

Toast the Corn: In a pan, toast the corn while stirring continuously. Be vigilant to ensure it doesn't burn. The corn should change color to a beautiful golden brown. This step not only imparts a delightful flavor but also a comforting aroma.

Grind the Corn and Cocoa: Once toasted, grind the corn in a grain mill. Do this gradually, adding cocoa as you go along. This combination brings a unique depth of flavor to the pinole atole.

Second Grind with Spices: For an extra layer of complexity, grind the mixture again, this time adding the cinnamon and pepper. The result should be a fine, aromatic powder that will infuse your atole with a symphony of flavors.

Preparing the Drink:

With the pinole powder ready, let's proceed to the heart of the recipe – preparing the pinole atole:

Boil the Water: Start by bringing 1,800 grams of water to a boil. This step sets the stage for the infusion of the pinole powder.

Create the Gruel: In the remaining cold water, add 80 grams of the pinole powder. Gently dissolve the powder in the water to create a smooth gruel-like mixture. This mixture will serve as the base for your atole.

Incorporate the Pinole Mixture: Gradually add the pinole mixture to the boiling water, stirring constantly. As you do so, you'll notice the atole's consistency changing, thickening, and becoming velvety.

Sweeten the Atole: Finally, add the sugar and continue to stir. The sugar sweetens the drink and balances the flavors, making it a harmonious blend of sweetness and earthiness.

Pinole atole, where cocoa, corn, and spices unite in a single sip.
Pinole atole, where cocoa, corn, and spices unite in a single sip.


  • For a richer flavor, use whole milk instead of water.
  • You can also add other spices to the atole, such as vanilla extract, nutmeg, or allspice.
  • To make a chocolate atole ice cream, freeze the cooled atole in an ice cream maker.
  • Atole de pinole can also be used to make various other desserts, such as cakes, cookies, and pies.

Your pinole atole is now ready to be enjoyed. Whether you choose to sip it piping hot on a chilly morning or chilled on a scorching summer day, the flavors of history and tradition will greet your palate with warmth and nostalgia.

As you savor this time-honored beverage, take a moment to appreciate the centuries of tradition that have led to this heartwarming concoction. Pinole atole is more than just a recipe; it's a taste of Mexico's rich past and a celebration of culinary heritage. So, raise your cup and toast to the flavors that transcend time.