Chocolate Santafereño is a Colombian-Style Hot Chocolate popular in the Cundinamarca region of Colombia. This drink can be served for breakfast or snack with your favorite Colombian cheese bread.
What is Chocolate Santafereño?
It's a popular drink in Colombia, especially in Bogotá, the countries capital. Hot chocolate is a staple in almost every Colombian home. In my family, as good “paisas”, we drink this hot chocolate at breakfast with arepa and cheese and sometimes as a “merienda”, an evening snack with Colombian pastries or bread and cheese.
In Colombia we like to add chunks of cheese into our hot chocolate. It's a traditional way to have this drink and it's absolutely delicious.
What you Need to Make this Drink
If you would like to make Chocolate Santafereño as we do in Colombia, you'll need two old-fashioned Colombian kitchen gadgets. A “chocolatera” and a “bolinillo” (or molinillo). Have fun! The printable recipe card with ingredients and directions is below.
Milk: I recommend using whole milk to make this recipe, because it gives the hot chocolate a creamy texture. To make it dairy-free you can replace the milk with almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk. They will change the flavor and texture of the traditional drink.
Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon adds a wonderful aroma and flavor.
Chocolate: I like using a Colombian chocolate brand "Luker"to make my hot chocolate. I usually find it in my local Latin market or online on Amazon. If you don't find this brand, just use your favorite and good quality bittersweet chocolate bar to make this recipe. Sugar: Add to your taste.
Some of my favorite Colombian breads to serve with this hot chocolate are pandebono, almojábana, buñuelos and pan blandito.
Colombian-Style Hot Chocolate Recipe
- 4 ½ cups whole milk
- 2 ½ tablespoons sugar or to your taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
- Heat the milk in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point, add the chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, add the sugar and cinnamon.
- Whisk vigorously or transfer to a blender. Reheat gently and serve immediately.
More Warm Drinks Recipes to Try
Erica, I love hot chocolate. Especiallly to dip churros into. What kind of chocolate do you use? A specific brand?
I use "Chocolate Luker" it is from Colombia, if I don't have that one I use Goya.
oh wow this looks divine, i want one now
Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction
Yum... I love hot chocolate and the addition of cinnamon is so fabulous! I think I will have to whip some of this up this weekend!
This looks really delicious for those toasty cold evenings coming up. I love the cinnamon addition.
Hi Erica, can I use cocoa powder + sugar instead? I wanna try this recipe and I have some cocoa powder but not sweet chocolate on hand. Thanks.
Yum! Chocolate and cinnamon! Looks so rich, Id love that for my breakfast right now!
Yes, you can use cocoa powder.
Who doesn't love a good hot chocolate? MMMMMMMM,...
oh yum, cinnamon and chocolate is the perfect combo!
I discovered this website yesterday and I am excited since I love Colombian people and their food. I learned how to make Colombian hot chocolate from a Colombian baker in NY and it is awesome! Looking forward to receiving more of your newsletters. BTW I already have the molinillo and the bars of LUKER. The best one is the sugar-free one so you can adjust the sweetnes.
I just had hot chocolate and home made buñuelos for breakfast 🙂 Yummy!!
Thank you all for the comments!
A nice heart-warming drink!
I could use a cup of this delicious hot chocolate right about now. Thanks for the recipe!
I'll have to look for that at the Mexican store. By the way, I left you a tasty award on my blog 😉
wow that looks good.
Thank you all for visiting and leaving a comment!
I love hot chocolate specially with cinnamon, and loved the new site by the way.
Cinnamon love, but the difference of adding a bit of nutmeg as well.... becomes ADORE... and very paisa!!!! pues!!!
do you like hot chocolat ? i like so much
this is just the best
You put the cheese into the cup of hot chocolate. I'm surprised this important detail was missed in the recipe. It's the best part to spoon out the melting cheese as you enjoy sipping the hot chocolate.
I believe that using a blender for the hot chocolate takes away from the home made process. Back in Colombia, we place the milk, chopeed chocolate and sugar in the chocolatera. Using the molinillo, we the chocolate was pressed and eventually desolved in the milk. I guess it just depends on which part of Colombia you are form. Coming from a humble (poor for those of you that think you are better than me) home, I guess that the true way to make chocolate, is with the cholatera and molinillo, not a blender
Don- Use the blender if you don't have a chocolatera and molinillo . In the USA not everyone has one! Does not matter if you are rich or poor 🙂
I was taught by my mother’s sewing circle that I have to let the milk boil up three times before it could be ready... makes for REALLY hot, hot chocolate. Mmmm, with a little queso campesino melted inside!
That is so funny! My Colombian husband says his grandmother boiled the chocolate 4 times! I have wondered if this was because the milk might not have been pasteurised back then. And as for the blender vs. molinillo, I find that the molinillo cannot produce the same amount of "espuma" as the blender. Also, I have knocked over the "olleta" too many times on the stove!
Hey hun can I use some semi sweet chocolate chips it looks delicious but it is all I have at the moment?
I don't know, but you can try it and let me know!
This looks like the hot chocolate my family makes, but we will drop cheese in it. I have not been able to find a cheese here in the states that create a similar taste and melt the cheese the same. Any suggestions would be great.
I love chocolate but I am having a difficult time finding it. any ideas of where I could find it.
We like Corona Chocolate from Colombia. I have been able to purchase this on Amazon and sometimes I can find it in Latino supermarkets or special markets that specialize in international foods.
I use only chocolate balls found hand made from Colombia . I fill up a backpack every time I visit .
Yes I love using this!!!
I have many fond memories of starting the day with a mug of chocolate con queso and an arepa. It was best when working high in the mountains, where mornings were rather chilly.
Thanks for the recipe which dredged up the memory!
I love your website Erica, since I arrived to Texas five years ago. I will like to know which cheese do you use for the Chocolate santafereño, ive tried mozzarella but it doesn’t melt as it should. Any suggestion! ¡Gracias!
I use queso blanco.
As a Colombian and from Bogotá expat I don’t recall ever using cinnamon in the recipe. Not saying it doesn’t add another layer of flavor for those who like cinnamon (not me), but I don’t think it is truly the traditional chocolate santafereño. Additionally it is a staple leaving the discotecas in the wee hours of the morning before heading home. I can recall many places along La Caracas and a hole in the wall just down from La Universidad de los Andes where you could get one around 3-4 in the morning.
My dad always adds a couple of cloves to it and brings it to a boil 3 times- I dont know what the boil x 3 is supposed to do but he says thats how grandma used to make it- so we stick to that 🙂
Thank you for the recipe, I just married a Colombian queen, I plan to surprise her with this delicacy.
Either to use chocolate from Colombia Corona or from Mexico La Abuelita are fine. Also they are plenty, plenty sweet. No extra sugar is need it.