Mexican Chocolate Cake

Mexican chocolate cake

The Spruce

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
423 Calories
15g Fat
68g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 423
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 201mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 53g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 138mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Did you know that the combination of chocolate and cinnamon is a classic Mexican dessert flavor? This fabulous Mexican chocolate cake is perfect for a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

While most chocolate cakes start by beating butter and sugar together, this is a saucepan cake. It starts by melting butter with chocolate and water in a saucepan. That makes the cake moister, and also enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake. It also means this cake is easier to make.


For the Cake

  • 4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • 2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cake
    The Spruce
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with nonstick baking spray containing flour and set aside.

    Greased tray
    The Spruce
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter in the hot water and bring to a boil.

    Melt chocolate and butter
    The Spruce
  4. Remove from heat and add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well with a wire whisk or eggbeater.

    Remove from heat
    The Spruce
  5. Then stir in the buttermilk, baking soda, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth.

    Stir in buttermilk
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  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top springs back when touched with a fingertip. The cake should pull away from the sides of the pan slightly.

Make the Frosting

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for frosting
    The Spruce
  2. While the cake is baking, make the frosting. In a heavy saucepan, melt 2 squares of the chocolate and 1/4 cup butter together.

    Melting chocolate
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  3. Add confectioners' sugar, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla and beat well. You may need to add more milk or confectioners' sugar to reach the desired consistency. The frosting should be pourable and smooth, not stiff and spreadable.

To Assemble the Cake

  1. When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

    Cake out of the oven
    The Spruce
  2. Then pour the frosting over. Spread if necessary, and let the cake cool.

    Pour frosting on
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  3. Slice, serve, and enjoy.


  • The frosting for the cake is also a saucepan frosting, which is simpler than a classic buttercream frosting. Pour the frosting onto the cake while they are both warm. That will create a fudgy layer underneath the frosting that is simply delectable.
  • You can add more cinnamon to this cake if you'd like. Increase it up to 2 teaspoons; in the cake, and up to 1/2 teaspoon in the frosting but don't go much higher than that.