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Mexican Chocolate Cake

Mexican Chocolate Cake
Victoria Pearson / Nathan Turner's I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way
Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins


  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • cups whole milk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 8-ounce container mascarpone, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablet Abuelita Mexican chocolate, chopped

Chef notes

The spices, like cayenne pepper and cinnamon, along with the mascarpone turn regular chocolate cake into a flavor fiesta.

Technique tip: Start checking the cake 5 minutes before the end of bake time by inserting a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. All ovens are different, so bake time is different as well.

Swap option: You can swap cream cheese for mascarpone cheese and it is just as good!


For the cake:


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and grease well.


In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, granulated and brown sugars, coffee, cinnamon, baking soda, cayenne pepper, and salt until combined.


In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil, sour cream and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well combined.


Divide the batter between prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans and cooling completely on a rack.

For the frosting:

In a bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form and set aside.

In a second bowl, mix together mascarpone, powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt until smooth. Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until combined.

To assemble:

Dollop half the frosting on bottom layer of cake and spread evenly. Top with remaining cake layer and spread with remaining frosting. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate.