This atole de fresas is made with fresh strawberries, milk, and sugar. The recipe is easy to make and perfect to serve as breakfast or to enjoy for dinner with your favorite type of pastries or tamales.
What Is Atole de Fresas?
Atole de Fresas (known in English as strawberry atole) is a sweet and thick Mexican beverage made of strawberries, milk, and cornstarch. This recipe is one of the many versions of atole, a prehispanic drink traditionally made with nixtamalized corn masa.
Usually, this beverage is drunk in the morning or for la merienda (afternoon light meal). It is common to see the street stalls selling this hot drink along with tamales outside the offices, near the restaurants or markets.
Related article: All about Atole.
Even though the atole de fresa recipe is normally made in Mexico by using a package of strawberry flavored cornstarch, the truth is, making it with fresh ingredients is always more delicious.
In Mexico, atole is enjoyed all year round, not only during cold months, so no reason to not take advantage of fresh strawberries when they are in season and make this delicious drink, even on a warm day.
The Ingredients Needed
- Strawberries. I am using fresh strawberries in this recipe, but I’ve made it also with frozen strawberries.
- Milk. Low-fat or whole milk works perfectly fine in this recipe, whole milk adds a creamier texture though. For substitutions, please read the FAQ section below.
- Cornstarch. This acts as a thickened agent and can also be substituted with 1/2 cup of masa harina (the same used to make tortillas) if you prefer.
- Sweetener. I am using brown sugar here, but actually any sweetener can be added, from regular sugar to Stevia, Monk Fruit, or even honey.
- Aromas. A stick of cinnamon is all I like to add, but other aromas can be used too, such as vanilla or orange extract.
That’s all you need to make this delicious and sweet drink that also it’s:
How To Make Strawberry Atole
Wash thoroughly the strawberries, hull them, and cut them into quarters. Place them in a small saucepan with the sugar and 1 1/2 cups of water.
Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes while mixing from time to time. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool down.
Place the cooked strawberries with all the liquid in a blender and blend until you will have a smooth mixture. Set aside.
Add the milk and cinnamon stick to a pot and place it over medium heat. While stirring constantly, heat the milk but make sure it doesn’t boil. Set the heat to the lowest while continuing with the recipe.
While the milk is heating, place cornstarch in a glass or bowl and add 1 cup of water. Mix well until there are no lumps left.
Now, pour the strawberries mixture through a fine sieve into the pot with milk and mix well to combine.
Adjust the sweetness of atole de fresa to your liking by adding more sugar if you want.
Next, while stirring, add the masa harina mixture to the pot.
Cook while stirring all the time for about 10 minutes or until atole have a thick texture that coats the back of a spoon.
Serve your delicious strawberry atole in cups and enjoy with your favorite pastries or tamales.
Useful notes and tips
- Do not leave the milk unattended or it could spill out from the pot.
- The longer you cook atole de fresas, the thickest will be.
- You can use frozen strawberries instead fresh, don’t need to thaw them. Just cook them with half of water that the recipe calls.
How to store and reheat atole
Allow atole de fresa leftovers to cool down completely, then place them in a glass or plastic container with a tight lid on. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
For reheating, place it in a pot or saucepan over medium heat, while mixing constantly, heat until it thickens a little bit again.
More Authentic Atole Recipes
Is this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, atole de fresas is naturally gluten-free since is made with cornstarch.
Can I make it dairy-free?
Yes. Replace regular milk with your favorite plant-based milk, such as coconut milk (which adds a wonderful flavor btw), soy milk, or cashew milk.
Can I make it sugar-free?
Yes! Double the amount of strawberries and make sure they are overripe to add just a touch of sweetness, then leave out the sugar and enjoy a sugar-free hot drink.
Can I drink it cold?
Of course! Atole de fresas is delicious also cold or at room temperature.
Atole de Fresas (strawberry atole)
- 1.1 lb strawberries (hulled and quartered)
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch (or ½ cup masa harina)
- 3 cups low-fat milk
- 2 ½ cups water (divided)
- ½ cup brown sugar (or more, to taste)
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Place the strawberries in a small saucepan with sugar and 1 ½ cups of water.
- Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes while mixing from time to time.
- Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool down.
- Place the cooked strawberries with all the liquid in a blender and blend until you will have a smooth mixture. Set aside.
- In a pot, pour the milk, add the cinnamon stick and baking soda.
- Heat while stirring constantly, but do not allow to boil.
- While the milk is heating, place cornstarch in a cup or bowl and add 1 cup of water.
- Mix well until there are no lumps left.
- Pour the strawberries mixture through a fine sieve into the pot with milk and mix well to combine.
- Taste and adjust sweet to your liking.
- Next, while stirring, add the masa harina mixture to the pot.
- Stir for about 10 minutes or until atole have a thick texture that coats the back of a spoon.
- Serve hot in cups.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.