Avena Caliente (Oatmeal and Milk Hot Drink)

Dominican Avena Caliente (Spiced warm oatmeal drink). What a great way to start the day!

The best part of keeping this blog, and having it become the de facto digital Dominican kitchen, is that we get to show you recipes that may not longer be as popular in the Dominican homes, but that definitely deserve a revival. They deserve to be shown to the world, and adopted for the wonderful ideas that they are.

Whoever came up with the idea of avena caliente (oatmeal and milk hot drink) must have been a culinary genius.

Oatmeal dishes as a part of breakfast are pretty much universal at this point, and researchers nearly trip over each other to reveal an ever-growing list of nutritional benefits. Imagine this in a drink form.

Dominican Avena Caliente (Spiced warm oatmeal drink). What a great way to start the day!

Dominican Avena Caliente (Spiced warm oatmeal drink). What a great way to start the day!


Imagine how practical: a warm drink, thick, and full of the flavors of our beloved spices. It warms the soul and satisfy the most voracious appetite.  Even those who dislike oatmeal porridge will give oatmeal a second chance.

Avena caliente (oatmeal and milk hot drink) was often found on our breakfast table when I was a kid. Practical, simple, quick to make and inexpensive, this is just perfect to send the kids off to school with a nutritionally solid meal in their stomach.

And grownups will love it too. Pour into your favorite lidded mug and sip on your way to work if you are short on time.
Buen provecho!

Aunt Clara

Avena Caliente (Oatmeal and Milk Hot Drink)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Avena Caliente (Oatmeal and Milk Hot Drink)


  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1.5 quart [1.5 lt] milk (see notes)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon of clove powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of grated nutmeg


  1. Mix water and oatmeal and blend until the oatmeal is nearly dissolved. Strain and discard the solids.
  2. In a 2 quart [2 lt] pot mix with the remaining ingredients. Heat over medium heat, stir constantly.
  3. Once it breaks the boil, lower heat and simmer until volume has reduced to 3/4 of the original.
  4. Serve warm.


For a thicker, richer drink use evaporated milk. For a lighter drink, skim milk works very well. If you are lactose intolerant, or vegan, I have enjoyed it with almond milk.


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{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Sarah March 6, 2012, 9:21 AM

    Hi, how are you?

    I have a question. What do you mean by strain the contents?

  • Sarah March 6, 2012, 9:24 AM

    Oh, and also, do you mean to blend the contents by putting then in a blender?

  • Sarah March 7, 2012, 7:25 PM

    Oh, never mind. I figured it out, sorry! And thank you for the delicious recipe!

  • Monique August 16, 2012, 5:07 PM

    Thank you, now I can make it at home instead of going to the local bodega. It will be a nice change from regular oatmeal.

  • Casey September 1, 2012, 3:17 PM

    Do I include the water I soaked the oats in when blending or just the oats?

    • Aunt Clara September 1, 2012, 3:44 PM


      • Jennifer November 10, 2012, 11:14 AM

        Would quick cooking oats work in this recipe?

  • Minnie February 26, 2013, 6:41 PM

    Is it necessary to add milk?

  • Karina August 20, 2013, 9:17 PM

    Can you be a little more specific on how to make it please, thank youu

  • Monique October 22, 2013, 5:58 PM

    Can you use almond milk?

  • Estefani November 27, 2013, 5:56 PM

    Love it! My mom used to add a pinch of salt and a little cocoa! Delicious! Especially in a cold morning!!

  • john December 14, 2013, 8:18 AM

    Good recipe

  • Liliana Cortes January 7, 2014, 10:23 PM

    I really love this website it have all the dominican recipes that i like thank you for all your wounderfull meals and dessert…..

  • Kelly April 1, 2014, 1:06 PM

    My husband love it

  • El Oso con Botas April 1, 2014, 1:25 PM

    Beautiful Avena caliente. I remembered drinking it when I was a child. Congratulations for being part of the best blogs nominated in Saveur ;)

  • Judit & Corina |Wine Dine Daily April 1, 2014, 2:28 PM

    Sounds really good, we would love to have a sip of this comforting warm drink!
    Congratulations on being nominated in th blog award, Aunt Clara:)
    Judit & Corina |Wine Dine Daily recently posted..Herb Mushroom Crostini RecipeMy Profile

  • Tom Forbes April 1, 2014, 4:02 PM

    I love this using the grated chocolate from the balls made in the campo. I have never seen staining the oats and blending them. Maybe I have to spend more time in the kitchen rather than at the table.

  • Yamilka April 1, 2014, 6:23 PM

    Thank you for the inspiration, tia Clara! This brings so many good memories of growing up in the DR. My mom’s version was a little more rustic, and we had it with ‘pan de agua’ -still warm from the bakery around the corner- smeared with mantequilla Sosua. After such a delicious breakfast, we were ready to face school fully nourished.
    Looove the darker, moodier photos… and the props, always the props.