Chocolate Cake with Mexican Chocolate Frosting
Four layers of moist, rich, and decadent chocolate cake, filled and frosted with a fluffy Mexican spiced chocolate whipped ganache frosting, and garnished with sweet/hot candied Serrano peppers. It will warm you from the inside out!
Ok, so this post was meant for this past Friday, but I had a recipe fail. Not a good way to start out the new year. But in a way I think it’s good- because I had been scrambling, and that is pretty much the OPPOSITE of what my 2015 resolutions are all about. So, as soon as I realized what was starting to happen, I adjusted my ‘tude and looked on the bright side: I’m ahead of the game for next week. Which is, now, this week 😉
And I really do think it’s a great way to start out the week. Which, around these parts, is bone-chillingly cold, damp, and dreary. My soul is just crying out for something comforting, that warms from the inside out!
Woo-hoo! Mexican chocolate to the rescue!
The cake layers are just regular chocolate (adapted from the most popular recipe on Baking a Moment) and all the magic happens in the frosting. Technically, it’s not really frosting but rather, whipped ganache. WHIPPED! GANACHE! I know. 😀 😀 😀
It’s spiked with cinnamon and nutmeg and Kahlua and cayenne… to make you feel all warm and tingly. And if you are a fan of the spicy + sweet combo, then you’re gonna luuuuurve the candied Serrano pepper garnish. They’re sweet and hot, and a little stick-to-your teeth chewy. Kind of like Red Hot’s but a little more grown-up.
The best part is, you’ll end up with the most addictive hot pepper syrup left over. You can drizzle your cake with it, if you like a little extra spice, or you can use it in a cocktail! I can’t wait to blend some of it into my mango-berry margarita!
Hope you had a relaxing weekend and your week is off to a great start. Stay warm, my loves!
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Chocolate Cake with Mexican Chocolate Frosting
For the Chocolate Cake
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (62.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (31.25 g) cake flour
- 1/2 cup (43 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, (1 stick), softened but still cool
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (100 g) Greek yogurt, (sour cream may be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Mexican Chocolate Frosting
- 12 ounces (340.2 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, (I used Kahlua), optional
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, (to taste)
- 1 1/2 cups (354.88 ml) heavy cream
For the Candied Serrano Peppers
- 1 cup (236.59 ml) water
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 Serrano peppers,, sliced
- cinnamon sticks, for garnish
To Make the Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, mist (2) 6-inch cake pans with nonstick spray, and line with circles of parchment.
- Place the first 7 (dry) ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Mix in the butter on low speed, until the mixture resembles damp sand.
- Stir in the eggs, greek yogurt and vanilla, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to be sure all the ingredients are well-combined.
- Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with one or two moist crumbs.
- Cool the cakes completely, and cut each into two horizontal layers. Fill and frost with Mexican Chocolate Frosting, and garnish with Candied Serrano Peppers and cinnamon sticks.
To Make the Mexican Chocolate Frosting:
- Place the chocolate chips, liqueur, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and cayenne in a large mixing bowl.
- Heat the cream (in a small pot on the stove, or in a heat-proof vessel in the microwave) until small bubbles form around the edge and wisps of steam rise from the top.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and spices, and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
- Stir the cream together with the other ingredients until smooth.
- Allow the mixture to cool and firm up to the consistency of pudding (about 2 hours). Whip on high speed until paler in color and fluffy.
To Make the Candied Serrano Peppers:
- Place the water, sugar, and sliced peppers in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Cool completely. Drain the candied peppers and reserve the syrup for another use.
Where can you buy red serrano peppers?
I usually find them in the produce department of my grocery store.
I am in the process of making this cake. Baked up the layers last night, tonight is the ganache and candied peppers. I am intrigued as to why your peppers are red–My Serranos are green. What is the difference here, does something happen in the process? Should I have been able to find red Serranos? These are my favorite flavors too, Mexican Hot Chocolate is one of my favorite beverages!
I just made this cake. Omg!!!! Absolutely fantastic!
Yay! So happy you liked it Jamie!
Made this cake as a 9″ six layer cake. It was marvelous. A real hit. Goes into the collection for future use.
I’m so glad you enjoyed! Thanks so much for the great feedback 🙂
I would love to start my day out with this!
Thanks Tally! I hope you get a chance to whip it up sometime soon 🙂
I think this is my favorite icing ever! Put it on top of a homemade devils food cupcake for a sinful/guilty pleasure wine party… OMG! Whipped ganache is my new favorite thing. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!
Hooray!!! I’m so glad you like it Alaina! Thanks so much for the great feedback 😉
Hi! I finally made this cake for my son’s second birthday! Everyone loved the flavors of the frosting! So tasty. The cake part didn’t turn out as moist but rather dry. Any suggestion or thoughts why? Love your blog and hope to try more recipes soon!!
Hey Sima! Thanks so much for reading and for trying one of my recipes! I’m so sorry it came out dry. I have no idea why it would- I make this quite often and it’s always extremely moist. Could it have been slightly overbaked? Or could something have been measured incorrectly?
Allie, the cake was a hit and everyone loved it. I made homemade Khalua since I didn’t have any and the liquor store was closed already. If you google Serrano peppers and click images you will see what a Serrano pepper looks like. All peppers are green and turn red if they are not harvested in time. I left my green peppers in the sun for a few days and they turned red. I will make this cake again.
Hooray! I’m so glad that everyone loved the cake Pat!
I’ve just completed baking this cake for my boss’s birthday cake tomorrow and will ice it in the morning. Are you sure those are not jalapeño peppers? Serrano peppers are long and narrow. Nevertheless, I used serranos even though they are much hotter
When I bought them at the store the bin said Serranos, but I guess it could have been mislabeled??? I thought jalapenos were green though? My peppers were red, and about 6 or 7 inches long. Anyhow I hope you enjoy the cake! And I hope your boss gives you a raise! Thanks so much for reading Pat 🙂
I made this cake last night. The whipped ganache is delectable. I am serving it to family this evening, so I have tasted it only from the bowl, but I really, really wanted to do a faceplant in it. It is waiting in the fridge for its unveiling. I even went out of my way I to find the fresh Serrano chiles. Thank you so much for this. Oh, and a few weeks ago, I made the Pumpkin Boston Creme Pie. Huge success. This is my baking site forever. Don’t go anywhere! 🙂
I am new to your site, really love it! I have tried making your cupcakes with the vanilla merengue frosting for my son’s birthday. Came out fine (everyone loved them) but I think I need to try the frosting again! I am now going to make this mexican chocolate cake for my husbands birthday this week. One of his favorite flavor profile. I had a question regarding the cake. How many days ahead can I make the chocolate cake? Can I make the candied peppers ahead of time? I am assuming I would have to make the frosting on the day of his birthday? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks and am hoping I can make it look and taste half as good as yours! ~sima
Hey Sima! Thanks so much for reading and trying my recipes! I often make recipes ahead, and then just assemble the components just before serving. In this case, I think you could probably make the cake layers a few days ahead and just keep them tightly wrapped in the fridge. Same goes for the frosting, although with that you’ll want to set it out at room temp a few hours before using it, so that it can soften. Maybe even fluff it up a little with your mixer. And, for the peppers, I think as long as you keep them submerged in the syrup they should be ok. Once they’re drained they tend to get a little crunchy, which is still not too bad though! I hope that helps! You are such a nice wife to make this for your husband’s birthday. I hope you both enjoy!
So I remember seeing this on Facebook and thinking… she gets me. She really gets me. This cake… it’s absolutely stunning. Love your food styling too… really impressive! Totally magazine worthy! Pinning the heck out of this!
Ah you’re too nice! Thank you so much Chris!