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Sincere Acts of Sweetness

February 24, 2008

Mexican Chocolate Cake

This evening I hosted a little Oscar's viewing party for a few friends and of course I had to make something special for dessert. I decided upon Mexican Chocolate cake because of it's quirky ingredients: Cayenne!

When I started researching recipes, I quickly found that Mexican Chocolate cake contain not only cinnamon but cayenne pepper too. Apparently the act of mixing chocolate and hot chilies started with the Aztecs back to the early 1500s. I wouldn't think that these flavors would go together, but they do!

The recipe I used called for 1/2 to 3/4 of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, but I thought it best to go easy and only used 1/4. I think this was the right amount as anymore would have just completely stolen the show.

I eventually settled upon this recipe from VegCooking.com by way of "Yeah, That 'Vegan' Shit" blog (yes, that's really the name of the blog!). The author wasn't kidding! This is a wonderfully moist and just darn yummy chocolate cake. I didn't taste the cinnamon though and I wonder how the cake would taste without it. The cayenne was a really wonderful little surprise. After each bite, a parade of little firecrackers would dance across my tongue. The chocolate glaze added just the right amount of sweetness to the cake. And although it's not vegan, I added a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream on the side, just as a fire extinguisher.

Mexican Chocolate Cake

Yield: 8 generous slices

1 1/2 cups flour, sifted (I used cake flour instead of all purpose. If you decide to use cake flour, add an additional 4 tablespoons of flour to the recipe.)
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/2 will be very spicy!)
1 teaspoon. vanilla extract
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 8 to 9-inch cake pan or spring form pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Stir in the cinnamon, cayenne, vanilla, vinegar, oil, and water. Mix until just combined.

Pour into the prepared cake pan and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool.

Chocolate Sauce

2 ounces dark chocolate
1/4 cup water or soy milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons vegan margarine
1/2 tespoons vanilla
1 to 2 pinches cayenne pepper

Melt dark chocolate with water or soy milk in a saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in margarine, vanilla, and cayenne pepper, to taste. (I added an extra 1/2 cup of powdered sugar because I wanted the sauce to be thicker, however I'm not sure if powdered sugar is considered vegan.)

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

1/2 pint of whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar (depending on your taste)
1/2 to 1 teaspoons of cinnamon (depending on yoru taste)

Chill mixer bowl and beaters/wisk attachment in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Set up mixer and add whipping cream to the bowl and beat on super high speed,just until cream starts to get thick (when cream sticks to the back of a wooden spoon without dripping). Add sugar, mix for about 20 seconds and scrape down bowl. Add vanilla and half of the cinnamon. Mix another 20-40 seconds. Add remaining cinnamon (if desired) Chill until ready to serve.


  1. Yeah, the cake was great. I agree... that was a pretty decent amount of cayenne for a savory dessert. It was noticeably spicy.

    Anyway, you guys were great company, and I'm subscribing to your blog.

  2. Super glad you've taken up the blog again! You're on my reader so I'll keep up with your posts.

    Have you read 'Orangette'? I think you'd like her. From Seattle! http://orangette.blogspot.com/

  3. When I thought of Mexican chocolate cake, I hoped and expected it would be a twist on the typical, boring chocolate cake, and this did not disappoint.

    I didn't expect it to be vegan - I suppose that was a bonus, but it's not something I need. However, it didn't appear to suffer at all from its vegan nature. Of course, with the whipped cream, the whole vegan thing flies out the window anyway.

  4. StephanieMay 11, 2009

    Thanks for the recipe, it was easy to make and turned out really well and the cinnamon whipped cream was an inspiration!

  5. Awesome recipe! I needed a Mexican recipe for a school project. It's perfect! Also, powdered sugar can be vegan, but you have 2 buy it specially from the store. It will say "vegan" on the label. Hope it helps! :)


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