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Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream
Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

What's the difference between Mexican chocolate and regular chocolate?

Mexican chocolate is roasted and ground cacao beans with added sugar and cinnamon. At it's most basic, Mexican chocolate has spice whereas European, US, and Canadian chocolate have added cocoa butter or milk and sugar. Due to the preparation, the sugar in Mexican chocolate provides for a grainier texture. The chocolate in other countries is "conched" or aerated to smooth the chocolate liquor out so it's much creamier.

Some Mexican chocolate varieties will have other added spices and nuts. In particular, chilies or other dried peppers are traditionally included in a disc or log of Mexican chocolate. Almonds are also a popular add-in for Mexican chocolate.

Is Authentic Mexican Chocolate Needed for This Recipe?

No. Although you can purchase authentic Mexican chocolate from Mexican artisans such as Oaxacanita Chocolate, for this Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream recipe, you can simply use unsweetened cocoa powder from your local grocery store. We will add in the cinnamon and spice ourselves.

Is Mexican chocolate good for you?

No. Whenever sugar is added to chocolate, the health benefits of the cacao decline.

Pure 100% cacao can be purchased and may provide health benefits (see blog: Is Dark Chocolate Good for You?). However, 100% cacao is bitter! I recommend trying Montezuma's Absolute Black with Almonds. The almonds tame the bitterness and the company offers affordable, sustainable, ethically-sourced chocolate in recyclable packaging.

The recipe below includes added sugar and heavy cream. It is meant to be enjoyed as an occasional treat, rather than a healthy addition to your everyday diet. There is a place for all foods in the diet. When we make our own foods, we can control the amount of salt, sugar, and fat we add in.

For more healthful or allergen-friendly ice creams to make at home, check out this page.

Celebrate these holidays with Mexican chocolate ice cream:

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

Prep Time: 10 mins.

Chill Time: 2 hours

Churn Time: 20 mins.

Freeze Time: Overnight

Total Time: 10.5 hours

Yield: 5 cups

Special Equipment:

Ice Cream Maker


  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp chile powder or cayenne

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup agave syrup

  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract


  1. Put the ice cream maker base in the freezer to freeze overnight.

  2. Whisk the cocoa powder, cinnamon, chile powder/cayenne, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl.

  3. Add in milk and continue whisking until the dry ingredients are dissolved in the milk.

  4. Add in the heavy cream, agave syrup, and vanilla and mix well to combine.

  5. Use plastic wrap to cover the bowl and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

  6. Once the base is frozen and the ice cream mixture has chilled, put the base on the ice cream maker and turn it on. Slowly pour in the ice cream mixture and let it churn for 20 minutes.

  7. Note: If you want to add any mix-ins like nuts or cookies, these can be crushed and added during the last 5 minutes of churning.

  8. The ice cream will be very soft and melt quickly upon removal from the ice cream maker. If you'd like a harder ice cream, scrape the ice cream into a Tupperware with a spatula. Cover with plastic or parchment paper, and then add the Tupperware lid. Place it in the freezer overnight.

Nutrition per 1/2 cup:

268 Calories, 23g Carbohydrates, 3g Protein, 19g Fat, 11g Saturated Fat, 69mg Cholesterol, 44mg Sodium, 61mg Calcium, 1g Fiber, 20g Added Sugar


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