Mexican Caramel Atole Recipe

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Español

This Mexican caramel atole requires just four simple ingredients you likely have in your home already. Ready in less than half an hour, atole serves as the perfect accompaniment to tasty tamales, pan dulce, and many other Mexican favorites.

Atole de caramelo en taza de cerámica café

Not long ago, my mom and I got to talking about different flavors of atole. I told her my favorite is Lime Atole, which is aromatic and delicious.

She mentioned that her current favorite is cajeta atole. Cajeta is a regional favorite made with caramelized goat’s milk. When she explained how she makes it, I said to her, “Mom, based on those ingredients, that isn’t cajeta atole, that’s caramel atole. She smiled, which I’m pretty sure meant she was agreeing with me.

And so that’s how I got the atole recipe I’m sharing with you today. It pairs perfectly with my Green Tamales with Chicken recipe, or with my Chile Verde Pork Tamales, among many other delicious possibilities.

Since atole is thick and sweet, it creates an especially exquisite balance with spicy tamales.

Caramel Atole Ingredients

Some atoles are made with cornflour or flour for tortillas, but I like it more when it’s made with cornstarch.

This atole is made with milk, cornstarch, cinnamon, and sugar, that’s all.

leche, canela en raja, azúcar y fécula de maíz

About the Milk

You can use whole milk, 2%, 1% or skim milk, it’s your choice. For this recipe, I used 2% milk.

Make this atole vegan using almond milk or flax milk.

About the Cinnamon

Be sure to buy large, aromatic, Mexican cinnamon sticks. Sometimes supermarkets sell cinnamon sticks that are shorter, more compact, and lack flavor.

I recommend the type where you can see the layers. When you open them with your fingers the stick cracks a little. In fact, you will see the layers come apart in strips when you warm them in the milk.

About the Caramel

The caramel is easy to prepare, made simply with sugar that is heated until it looks like syrup.

caramelo con cuchara de madera

I will describe it in more detail in the recipe, but it’s important to know that you can’t stop watching it while making it, because it’s very easy to go passed the point of perfection and burn it.

Ok, now, here is the recipe.

If you make this Caramel Atole, be sure to snap a photo and share it with us on social media using the #mamalatinatips hashtag. I’d love to see it and have a chance to share it as well.

Caramel Atole

Yields 4 cups.

Prep time 5 minutes. Start to finish 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of 2% milk or milk of your preference
  • 1 cinnamon stick (the large type often found in Mexican markets)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch

Utensils

  • A medium-sized pot
  • A pan.
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • A glass
  • A wooden spoon
  • Sieve

Process

Pour 4 cups of milk into the medium pot, add the cinnamon stick and warm over medium-high heat. Keep an eye on it, it can heat faster than you think and you don’t want it to boil.

leche en pocillo con una raja de canela

Place the pan over medium-high heat and spread out the sugar over the surface. Let it stand for a minute until you see it start to carmelize (See photo).

azúcar caramelizando

At this point begin to stir the sugar with the wooden spoon. First, you will see crystals form or small “rocks” of sugar. With the spoon, stir and watch as the little rocks dissolve and it becomes a very clear, amber-colored syrup.

As soon as the caramel syrup forms, it’s ready. Please don’t delay in taking it off the heat, because it can burn quickly. Take a cup of the warm milk and carefully pour the milk over the caramel.

You will see a lot of bubbling as the caramel solidifies upon contact with the milk. Don’t worry, keep stirring and it will dissolve.

When the caramel is completely dissolved, pour it over the rest of the warmed milk.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the last cup of milk. This milk must be cold. This is important because if it’s not cold it won’t dissolve easily.

fécula de maíz disolviéndose en leche

Add the cornstarch mixture to the milk and caramel blend without stopping stirring. Continue cooking the atole for 5 minutes. It’s important that you don’t stop stirring to keep the milk and the caramel from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

As time passes, you will notice that the atole takes on a smoother, only slightly thicker consistency.

After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let rest for a few minutes.

atole de caramelo con raja de canela

Pour the atole through a sieve to remove any pieces of cinnamon stick. Serve and enjoy!

You will see that when it cools the caramel atole will thicken, this is normal and desirable.

Enjoy!

Print the Caramel Atole Recipe

caramel atole
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Mexican Caramel Atole

A delicious traditional Mexican beverage made with cornstarch, cinnamon, milk and sugar
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 277kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of 2% milk or milk of your preference
  • 1 cinnamon stick the large type often found in Mexican markets
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch

Utensilios

  • A medium-sized pot
  • A pan.
  • * Measuring cups
  • * Measuring spoons
  • A glass
  • A wooden spoon
  • Sieve

Instructions

  • Pour 4 cups of milk into the medium pot, add the cinnamon stick and warm over medium-high heat. Keep an eye on it, it can heat faster than you think and you don’t want it to boil.
  • Place the pan over medium-high heat and spread out the sugar over the surface. Let it stand for a minute until you see it start to carmelize (See photo).
  • At this point begin to stir the sugar with the wooden spoon. First, you will see crystals form or small “rocks” of sugar. With the spoon, stir and watch as the little rocks dissolve and it becomes a very clear, amber-colored syrup.
  • As soon as the caramel syrup forms, it’s ready. Please don’t delay in taking it off the heat, because it can burn quickly. Take a cup of the warm milk and carefully pour the milk over the caramel.
  • You will see a lot of bubbling as the caramel solidifies upon contact with the milk. Don’t worry, keep stirring and it will dissolve.
  • When the caramel is completely dissolved, pour it over the rest of the warmed milk.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in the last cup of milk. This milk must be cold. This is important because if it’s not cold it won’t dissolve easily.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture to the milk and caramel blend without stopping stirring. Continue cooking the atole for 5 minutes. It’s important that you don’t stop stirring to keep the milk and the caramel from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • As time passes, you will notice that the atole takes on a smoother, only slightly thicker consistency.
  • After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let rest for a few minutes.
  • Pour the atole through a sieve to remove any pieces of cinnamon stick. Serve and enjoy!
  • You will see that when it cools the caramel atole will thicken, this is normal and desirable.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Mexican Caramel Atole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 277 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 140mg6%
Potassium 413mg12%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 40g44%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 301IU6%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 363mg36%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Hot Beverages
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: atole de caramelo, Caramel recipes, How to make atole
Author: Silvia

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