Warm Up This Winter With This Traditional Spanish Hot Chocolate Recipe

This blog post was originally posted on December 12, 2017 and was updated on January 25, 2021.

Some customs, traditions and foodie favorites never go out of style, and Spanish hot chocolate recipe is one of them.

Few things in life can compare to the pleasure of ducking into a cozy cafe to escape the cold on a chilly day in Barcelona and enjoying a heavenly cup of hot chocolate. But with its thick and rich consistency, this chocolate isn’t so much drunk as it is eaten! Whether you use a small teaspoon, churros, or melindros—Catalan ladyfinger cookies—is up to you.

No matter how you choose to enjoy it, one thing’s for sure. Once you try this Spanish hot chocolate recipe, you may never go back to drinking regular old hot cocoa again.

Traditional Spanish hot chocolate recipe

Hot chocolate in Spain

When the Spanish conquered what is now Mexico more than 500 years ago and brought cocoa beans back to Europe, their love affair with chocolate began. Centuries later, that love still holds strong, and here in Barcelona we’re especially crazy for this sweet treat. It’s so rich, dense and creamy you can even stand a churro upright in it!

This Spanish hot chocolate recipe is commonly served for breakfast in most places throughout Spain. But here in Barcelona, it’s more of an afternoon thing.

Around 5–6 p.m., families will start digging in to merienda, the traditional mid-afternoon snack which is often something sweet. And the number-one thing that locals of all ages tend to have: hot chocolate.

If you’re visiting Barcelona, you can’t miss the opportunity to have hot chocolate at a traditional old granja. These establishments were once dairies—though those that survive are now cafes—and are dotted throughout the city in every neighborhood. At granjas, hot chocolate is often referred to as a “suizo” (literally “Swiss”), and it comes with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top to make it both decadent and delicious.

Below, you’ll find a few of our favorite granjas in Barcelona—but first, let’s get to the best Spanish hot chocolate recipe you’ll ever try.

Swiss hot chocolate at La Nena in Barcelona
The only way to make hot chocolate more delicious: add whipped cream!

Spanish hot chocolate recipe

Whenever you have time and are in the mood for a lazy morning at home, there’s nothing better than whipping up this decadent Spanish hot chocolate recipe. Whether you’re having company over or just want to treat yourself, a suizo is always a good idea.

Recipe Type: Breakfast / Drink / Snack / Dessert

Cuisine: Spanish & Catalan

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (720 ml) milk (add a small amount of water if you prefer it to be a little less creamy)
  • 5 ounces (140 grams) chocolate (60-75% cocoa), broken into small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan, then remove from the heat.
  2. In a small cup, dissolve the cornstarch in three tablespoons of cold water.
  3. Add the chocolate to the pot of hot milk (off the stove) and stir until the chocolate has melted in the heat of the milk.
  4. Return the pan to the stove top, and bring to a boil over low heat.
  5. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and dissolved cornstarch.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, and stir without stopping for three to five minutes, until the mixture thickens and dribbles heavily from the spoon.
  7. If you like your hot chocolate to be a little sweeter, now is the time to stir in more sugar if desired.
  8. Serve immediately while it’s piping hot, and of course dip your pastry of choice in the chocolate! We love churros or melindros, a delicious Catalan ladyfinger cookie that’s also very easy to make.

We hope you enjoy trying this super quick and easy recipe for Spanish hot chocolate at home! However, if you would rather take a trip to one of our favorite places to try it in Barcelona, you can’t go wrong with the spots below.

RELATED: Our Top Picks for the Best Hot Chocolate in Barcelona

Where to eat Spanish hot chocolate in Barcelona

Granja Viader

This beautiful old granja nestled on a side street close to Las Ramblas is the kind of place dreams are made of. With old-world charm, the smell of sweet chocolate in the air, and plenty of delicious treats to enjoy, you’ll fall in love from the moment you wak through the door. These guys are famous for their delicious hot chocolate, as well as their tasty homemade pastries.

Want a sneak peek inside? Join our lovely guide Victoria as she tucks into some of their delicious offerings!

Chocolatería La Nena

The specialty in this local gem: sugar and spice and all things nice! We love the friendly staff, laid-back atmosphere and to-die-for hot chocolate. They also cater to people with diet restrictions, from the lactose intolerant to the gluten free. Find it nestled in the beautiful neighborhood of Gracia.

Interior of La Nena cafe in Barcelona
La Nena is the kind of place where people from all walks of life can feel at home.
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4 Comment

  1. Jessica says
    January 5, 2020 at 7:50 am

    I’m assuming step 3 of the recipe is supposed to say pot of milk, not water, right?

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      January 7, 2020 at 11:55 am

      Correct! Thanks for catching that.

      Reply
  2. Hadley says
    December 17, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Esta receta de chocolate caliente fue increible!

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      December 21, 2020 at 11:03 am

      ¡Nos alegra de que te haya gustado!

      Reply

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