Summer drink inspiration: Mexican horchata recipes

By on Jul 19th

If you're unfamiliar with horchata, it's a cold Latin American and Spanish rice-based drink usually flavored with cinnamon and vanilla (in its Mexican derivation) and is reminiscent of rice pudding. Needless to say, it pairs really well with spicy Mexican food and is a great summer drink. But after seeing these Horchata-flavored cupcakes from Just Jenn Recipes, I went looking for more interesting ways to dress it up.

For making horchata itself, Martha Stewart has a good version using milk and rice flour, and Epicurious has a vegan version. Hell, you can even buy a concentrate online. But here are some recipes that think outside the glass:

Just Jenn's horchata cupcakes with horchata frosting (photo above)

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
1-3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup horchata

Horchata frosting recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep a cupcake pan with liners.

In a medium bowl whisk together the cake flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs one by one, then the vanilla until combined.

Alternate the flour mixture and the horchata until well blended.

Divide the batter into the cupcake cups, and bake for 14-16 minutes depending on your oven. Let cool on a wire rack. While the cupcakes are cooling – start the frosting!

Frost the cupcakes with Horchata frosting and sprinkle with cinnamon!

Photo by Kimberley Hasselbrink via The Etsy Blog

The Etsy Blog's Horchata Pops

2 cups long grain white rice
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons water, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Ice pop molds

Combine the rice and two cups water in a glass bowl. Let sit overnight. (It's not necessary to refrigerate.)

The next day, blend the rice and water thoroughly in a blender. Strain the rice water through cheesecloth placed inside a fine colander or sieve. Use a spoon to coax the liquid through the mesh.

While the liquid is draining, make a quick simple syrup. Combine the sugar with the remaining three tablespoons of water. You can warm it quickly in the microwave or simmer until just dissolved in a small saucepan.

Once the rice water has drained, combine it with the simple syrup, ground cinnamon and Greek yogurt. You'll want to blend this thoroughly, so that everything emulsifies nicely and the cinnamon and yogurt don't separate while freezing. An electric mixer or immersion blender are quite helpful here, but a fork and some elbow grease will get the job done.

Pour the horchata mixture into your ice pop molds. Freeze for about six hours. Then park yourself in a grassy field and enjoy.

A Queue to Do's Horchata Chewies

1 cup sweet rice flour
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup butter, soft
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg

Whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix well. Add the dry ingredients in two batches.

Roll the cookies into 1/2 inch balls and place 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. I found 9 minutes to be the perfect time. Let cool for about 30 seconds before removing from the cookie tray or the cookie will be too soft to transfer easily. But don't leave the cookie on the sheet too long, or it will continue to spread out and lose its nice dome. Cool on racks.

Be A Betty's Horchata Custard Pie with Blueberry Compote

2 Cups Milk
1 6oz container of 2% Greek Yogurt
2/3 cup Sugar
1 packet Sweetened horchata drink mix or 1 cup horchata
3 eggs
1 graham cracker crust

Beat together all of the ingredients until well mixed and slightly thickened (think egg nog). Pour into the hot pie crust and bake at 400 degrees until set and lightly browned. The pie filling will still be jiggly, but will set solid in the refrigerator, should you so desire.

Blueberry Compote

2 cups fresh Blueberries, any stems removed
3/4 cup Sugar
3 Tbs Cornstarch
juice of 1/2 Lemon
1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon

In a small sauce pan, stir together the sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Add in the blueberries and poke with a wooden spoon to release SOME juice. You want plenty of whole berries left. Cook on medium low heat until bubbling. Spread over the hot custard pie.

Are you a horchata newbie or a seasoned fan ready to try out some of these recipes? OR do you have your own to add? Let us know in the comments.

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About Catherine Clark

Catherine Clark (aka Superman) is Offbeat Bride's Editor and a Chicago-based freelance web consultant. In her spare time, she loiters at her local library, makes art, and overshares on Twitter and Instagram.