Atole Blanco

Unsweetened Masa Drink

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico


By Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Published 2019

  • About


  • 1 pound (455 grams) white field corn
  • Sugar, to serve


In a large pan of any kind over medium heat, toast the dried corn until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Put the toasted corn in a large heavy-bottomed pot with enough water to completely submerge the corn by 2 inches (5 cm). Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and then cook, covered, for 30 minutes or until the corn kernels are al dente. Remove the corn from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of hours, or overnight.

Once the liquid is back to room temperature, pour the corn into a colander and discard the water. Put the corn kernels and 3 cups (720 ml) of water in a blender and blend until smooth, at least a few minutes. Pass the mixture through a double-mesh strainer into a bowl.

Return the corn grits to the blender through the strainer with 2 cups (480 ml) of water. Blend again until smooth.

Pour this masa water through a strainer one more time into a large pot over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, so the atole does not stick to the bottom of the pan. The stirring is very important, because if the atole sticks to the bottom, it will be burnt.

Once the atole has thickened to the texture of heavy cream, add 8 cups (1.2 L) of water. Continue to stir until the atole simmers for 10 minutes.

Serve hot and with sugar on the side, so guests can sweeten to their liking.