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Atol de Elote Recipe: A Sweet Corn Delight from El Salvador

Atol de elote, a traditional Salvadoran beverage, is a creamy and comforting corn-based drink enjoyed throughout the country. This delicious concoction combines fresh corn kernels with milk, sugar, and spices to create a rich and flavorful beverage that is perfect for breakfast, dessert, or any time you crave a sweet treat. In this article, we’ll explore the authentic recipe for atol de elote, including the essential ingredients and step-by-step preparation process.


  1. Fresh Corn: The star ingredient of atol de elote, fresh corn kernels provide sweetness and texture to the beverage. You’ll need about 4-5 ears of fresh corn to yield enough kernels for the recipe.

  2. Milk: Whole milk is traditionally used to make atol de elote, but you can use any milk of your choice, such as almond milk or coconut milk, for a dairy-free version.

  3. Sugar: Granulated sugar is added to sweeten the drink to taste. Adjust the amount of sugar according to your preference for sweetness.

  4. Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon adds warm and aromatic flavor to the atol. You can also use cinnamon sticks for a more subtle flavor.

  5. Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract enhances the sweetness and aroma of the drink.

  6. Salt: A pinch of salt balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor of the atol.


  1. Prepare the Corn:

    • Start by shucking the ears of corn and removing the husks and silk. Rinse the corn under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
    • Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the kernels off the cob. You can do this by standing the cob upright on a cutting board and slicing downward with the knife.
    • Transfer the corn kernels to a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend the Corn:

    • Add a small amount of milk to the blender with the corn kernels. This will help to puree the corn into a smooth paste.
    • Blend the corn and milk mixture on high speed until smooth and creamy. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender occasionally to ensure that all the kernels are evenly blended.
  3. Strain the Mixture:

    • Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl or pitcher. Pour the blended corn mixture through the strainer to remove any remaining solids and fibrous bits, leaving behind a smooth corn milk.
    • Use the back of a spoon or spatula to press down on the solids in the strainer to extract as much liquid as possible.
  4. Cook the Atol:

    • Transfer the strained corn milk to a large saucepan or pot. Add the remaining milk, sugar, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to the pot, stirring to combine.
    • Place the pot over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently to prevent the bottom from scorching.
    • Let the atol simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until it thickens slightly and the flavors meld together. Be careful not to let it come to a boil, as this can cause the milk to curdle.
  5. Serve the Atol:

    • Once the atol is cooked to your desired consistency, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly before serving.
    • Ladle the warm atol into mugs or glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top, if desired.
    • Serve the atol de elote hot or cold, depending on your preference. It can be enjoyed as a comforting breakfast beverage, a sweet dessert, or a refreshing snack on a hot day.

Tips and Variations:

  • For a smoother texture, you can strain the blended corn mixture through a fine cheesecloth or nut milk bag instead of a fine-mesh strainer.
  • Experiment with different spices and flavorings to customize the atol to your taste. You can add a pinch of ground nutmeg, cloves, or allspice for a warm and spicy flavor profile.
  • For a richer and creamier atol, you can substitute some of the milk with coconut milk or condensed milk.
  • If you prefer a thicker atol, you can simmer it for a longer period of time to reduce and concentrate the flavors.
  • Leftover atol can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

In conclusion, atol de elote is a delicious and comforting beverage that showcases the natural sweetness of fresh corn. With its creamy texture and warm spices, this traditional Salvadoran drink is sure to delight your taste buds and evoke memories of home. So why not give this authentic recipe a try and savor the delicious taste of atol de elote?

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