Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies



I just love a good party.

And I have found, over the years, that one of the keys to hosting a good party is to give it a theme.

Establishing a theme for your celebration gives yourself and your party compatriots a common mission — you’re all in it together and you know exactly what you need to do:

No one’s leaving here until we properly celebrate the vernal equinox! Now get out your sundials let’s party!

See what I mean? Everybody’s on board.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies - Eat Boutique

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies - Eat Boutique

Clearly some themes are more obvious than others, but an additional advantage of throwing a theme party is that there is virtually no theme out there that doesn’t have a silly hat and a yummy dessert to go with it.

Take my current theme as an example:   it’s Cinco de Mayo week in my house. We will be celebrating over the next six days with sombreros, piñatas and these delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies.

In case you aren’t familiar with Mexican chocolate, it has a much grainier consistency than it’s American counterpart; Mexican chocolate is made from a blend of pure chocolate, cinnamon, sugar, almonds and vanilla.

It’s just delicious.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies - Eat Boutique

And the good news is that I found it in the ‘international’ section of a national chain supermarket so you will likely be able to find it in a grocery near you (I do offer a substitution suggestion with the recipe below, though, just in case you can’t find it).

But the grainy consistency of the chocolate is key here — I also included a liberal dose of cacao nibs, just to up both the chocolate and crunch antes. Upon tasting a brownie, my husband described it as ‘a Pecan Sandie meets chocolate fudge’. I like this.

I like this because it’s accurate:   these brownies have the dense, moist, chocolate flavor of a brownie and the crumbly, sandy texture of nutty cookie.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies - Eat Boutique

And I like it because now I’m imagining Mr. Pecan Sandie meeting Mr. Chocolate Fudge. I really think they’d get along quite well. Like fast friends. Like even occasionally coordinating their outfits to match.

I’m feeling another theme party coming on.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies - Eat Boutique

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies - Eat Boutique

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies

A note on the Mexican chocolate wafers: I used Ibarra brand here, which is available in the ‘international’ section of most well-stocked grocery stores, as well as in Hispanic markets. You may substitute 1 ounce of semisweet chocolate + ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon + ½ teaspoon of finely ground almonds for one ounce of Mexican chocolate. Each Ibarra wafer weighs 3.1 ounces. I recommend using ground almonds instead of almond extract because you will want to try to replicate the grainy consistency of Mexican chocolate, and the ground almonds will help with that. Please keep in mind, though, that your finished brownies will be slightly more dense and less sandy if you go with this substitution. Equally delicious, just different

Makes: 9 large brownies


  • 1 c. white sugar, granulated
  • ¾ c. vegetable oil
  • ½ c. self-rising flour
  • 4 Mexican chocolate wafers (see note above)
  • ¾ c. cacao nibs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °.
  2. Grease an 8” x 8” baking pan liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Roughly chop chocolate disks and place chunks into the heatproof bowl of a double boiler to melt over boiling water. The solid chocolate will turn to a paste-like consistency. Once it has melted, set it aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cream the sugar and oil and add the egg yolks one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in the flour. Once the chocolate has cooled slightly, fold it into the batter. Fold in the cacao nibs.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it evenly into the four corners of the pan.
  6. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Do not over bake.
  7. Remove finished brownies from the oven to cool completely. Because these brownies are so crumbly, I actually chose to chill them for several hours before unmolding, slicing and serving.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique​–​a food​-​retail concept space ​with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.

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  • OH goodness. These look intense and wonderful. I have some Mexican chocolate and cocoa nibs at home right now, so these brownies may just be in my future. Meagan, what do you think about adding some heat and spice to them?

    • I think definitely YES on adding heat to these brownies, Shelby – fantastic idea!

      You could go super mild and add just 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or you could up the ante with 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of dried ancho chile, which is a mild and fruity chile (it’s actually a fully ripened and dried poblano chile pepper) that works really well with chocolate. It is Cinco de Mayo week, after all, so I say bring the heat!

  • Those look absolutely amazing!! I am seriously craving those now…

  • Mmmm, looks delightful! I love themed parties, too.

  • Beckysbakingandcooking

    I have Mexican chocolate in my pantry, so I’ll be making Mexican Hot chocolate brownies soon. Thanks for sharing.

  • Oh my! These must be really delicious! I love Mexican chocolate ~ will definitely be making these, Meagan 🙂 Have a delicious day!

  • Sitnoseckano

    That first photo is making me drool ! Great brownies !

  • This looks so divine. After reading this recipe, I went on a five minute rant to my hubby about how living in South Africa means being isolated from being able to get things like Mexican chocolate to make brownies with a unique texture like these. *Le sigh*

  • Frenchie

    bookmarked this with my account! just love the idea of the texture.

  • Briarrose

    Heavenly. I will keep my eye open for this chocolate. Wonderful texture to these brownies.

  • Amelia

    When I made these with the almond meal, chocolate, cinnamon mixture instead of the Mexican Chocolate, they were really crumbly and dry, fell apart complete (although they tasted delicious, we were licking up all the crumbs!) Any ideas for how to make them stick together? More liquid or.. ?

  • Jacques in Flagstaff

    I just added 1/2tsp chipotle chili powder and about 1/2cup homemade pancetta to the mix…waiting for them to come out of the oven!