Mexican Hot Chocolate Oatmeal

To all of you who turn your noses up every time I stir bananas into my recipes where they don’t belong, you are in luck! With great self-control, I resisted the mashed banana. I did it for YOU.


Obviously, regular hot chocolate is brilliant. I never realized how much I loved hot chocolate until I moved to the East Coast and experienced the brilliance of L.A. Burdick’s and City Bakery. These places serve up rich, thick, chocolate goodness that just coats your throat with luxury. What makes Mexican hot chocolate unique is the addition of cinnamon (and occasionally other spices). I included an optional pinch of cayenne, for I never turn down an opportunity for a little fire!


So how did I sweeten this without bananas? No, I didn’t use maple syrup or honey. I used dates. Three of them gave this the perfect amount of sweetness. I also added a “sweetened by dates” label, so if you have a collection of dates to use, you can click on that label and check out what other recipes I have for you!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Oatmeal

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: serves 1

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup milk of choice, or water
  • 2-3 dried pitted dates
  • rounded 1/4 cup quick cook steel-cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • rounded 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Mince dates into the smallest chunks possible.
  2. Bring milk (I use 1/2 c almond milk and 1/2 c water) to a boil, add dates and oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
  3. Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. If using cayenne, add now. Stir.
  4. When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, coconut whipped cream, nondairy yogurt, etc.).


About Lauren Smith

Lauren is a herbivore, Slytherin, and connoisseur of oats. She is a former teacher who is currently studying to earn a master's degree in curriculum development. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

17 Responses to Mexican Hot Chocolate Oatmeal

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow, you’ve done it again! This looks absolutely delicious! I am actually a fan of using bananas to sweeten my oatmeal (it tends to add volume and “cakiness” when I cook it the way I do) – do you think it would affect the flavor at all in this recipe if I were to replace the dates?

  2. Magda says:

    yummi! chocolate, i love it! 😉

  3. YES to LA Burdick! Best hot chocolate of my life! I also like buying the disks from TAZA when I make it at home. Taza is vegan, so you can stir it into the milk of your choice to keep it vegan. Have you ever experimented with date paste? I haven’t but I think I will give it a try for this recipe. I like keeping the sweetness evenly distributed throughout. And for the record, I love the mashed banana 🙂

  4. teenager ;) says:

    spicy but chocolate! I love it 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Eleanor says:

    I used an overripe banana as a sweetener but I think it overpowered the spice. I had to put almost half a tablespoon of cayenne to taste it! But then again, I have a very high tolerance for spiciness haha.

    • Lauren Smith says:

      I figured that’s what would happen, which is why I didn’t bother with a banana in my recipe. Using 1/2 a banana might help slightly…but I can’t say for sure.

  7. Stacy says:

    This is super yummy! I used rolled oats because, well – I was too lazy to go to the basement and get the steel cut ones. Sad, I know. I sweetened with a bit of stevia and served it topped with chocolate chips and coconut. Everyone gobbled it down. Thanks!

  8. Lyndsey B says:

    This oatmeal is so interesting! I love how the spices compliment the cocoa perfectly, it’s just so delicious! I make this recipe and top it with strawberries (since I like to add fruit to all of my oatmeal). It is just divine, and is a nice twist to a plain old chocolate oatmeal!

  9. Tee says:

    I have this banana chocolate oatmeal at least once a week. This modification is one I’m definitely familiar with. I’m a sucker for heat. I finely chop birds eye chilies and add them in, together with bits of dark chocolate and a teaspoon of cream cheese while it’s still warm.

  10. Christine says:

    I never had Mexican hot chocolate, but made this recipe this morning. The only difference was that I used quick oats instead of steel cut. I loved it! The dates gave the oatmeal the perfect amount of sweetness; the cayenne pepper gave a nice kick that took this oatmeal to a whole new level. Another winning recipe! Thanks so much!

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