The Atole Family Recipe You Need to Get Winter Cozy

Candelaria atole and tamales

Atole is the go-to warming drink our Mexican-Puerto Rican social strategy director Angela Pagán and her boyfriend turn to every Chicago winter.

”We like to make his mother Rosario’s recipe for atole,“ Angela says. “We make it often and serve it nice and caliente. Atole is cozy and thick with corn and ground nuts. This atole calls for milk, unsalted peanuts, masa harina and piloncillo or sugar. It is delicious!”

Sipping atole inside helps make long winters bearable, says Angela. “Winters where we live in Chicago mean mucho snow, and this atole is just what we crave when it’s cold outside for so many months a year. We like to Netflix and chill with a mug of this toasty atole. And it’s so easy to make, thanks to his mother’s family recipe.”

Atole is also a drink traditionally served on Candelaria (also called Candlemas) every early February. Accompanied by tamales. Not sure of the Candelaria–atole-tamales connection? Angela’s ahead of you on that one. Curious why so many Mexican families thaw their leftover Christmas tamales and serve them with atole, champurrado and/or tequila every February 2? So were we. Angela dug into the topic and wrote this fascinating piece on the history of this religious festival and its Mexican comida and bebida traditions.

Ready for a cup of cozy atole? See Angela’s boyfriend’s mother Rosario’s always delicioso receta below.

To sample more of Angela’s traditional family-famous traditional recipes, check out her grandmother Nanni’s tamales with pork and guajillo or ancho chiles.

And for more must-taste Latino drink ideas, consider these favorite family recipes for bebidas we love: Aysia’s mezcal paloma with chamoy, Liliana‘s Venezuelan tizana sparkling punch, Puerto Rican coquito (fresh or from a can!), Leny’s Guatemalan fruit ponche, and Lisa‘s Panamanian ponche.

Ready to Make Traditional Mexican Atole?

The Atole Family Recipe You Need to Get Winter Cozy

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Angela Pagan Cuisine: Mexican

3 to 4

Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 cups 2 milk

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 unsalted peanuts

  • 2 Tbsp 2 corn flour or corn starch

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar) or white sugar, or to taste


  • Pour the milk into a saucepan on medium heat.
  • While waiting for it to boil, place the unsalted peanuts with about half the water in a blender. Grind until the peanuts are finely ground in very tiny pieces.
  • Add the peanut–water mixture to the milk, using a colander so that no large peanut pieces go into the milk.
  • Stir in the corn flour and piloncillo or sugar, until it all dissolves into the milk. Set it simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot!

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