Mexican Chocolate Cake

Mexican chocolate cake

The Spruce

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
615 Calories
30g Fat
83g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 615
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 17g 87%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 320mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 83g 30%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 6g
Calcium 68mg 5%
*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 butter
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • For the Frosting
  • 2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Mexican chocolate dessert is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for baking.

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

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

    Remove from heat
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  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 powdered sugar, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla and beat well. You may need to add more milk or powdered 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
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  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.