When we have a family dinner or get-together, we all like to contribute something to the menu. My grandmother often volunteers to make or bring a dessert (she’s got quite a sweet tooth!). At one family dinner, she showed up with these Mexican Hot Chocolate Mini Brownies from the bakery section of our local grocery store. They were delicious! So of course, I looked at the ingredient list (which was about a mile long and contained things that I couldn’t pronounce, let alone identify) and decided that I wanted to find a way to make a homemade version on my own!
After some online research and a few test batches, I’m excited to share a version that is just as delicious as the ones that we tried at our family dinner but uses whole wheat flour and maple syrup (you could also substitute honey) in place of refined flours and sugars and does not contain any added flavors or preservatives. Win!
The idea behind a Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake is that you take the flavors from a Mexican hot chocolate (which is traditionally made with cinnamon and some sort of hot pepper to kick it up a notch) and bake it into a very moist chocolate cake. My version also contains coffee so I guess it’s sort of a Mexican Mocha Cake.
During my online research, I happened upon the idea of baking cake batter in pint-sized Mason jars so that you can serve them as individual servings. I thought it was such a fun idea, especially when serving kids! One night, when we had an extra kid sleeping over at our house, we made a batch of these cakes and all enjoyed them on the sofa while having a movie night. Fun!
[You could also make this recipe in a traditional cake pan but, to be honest, I didn’t try that out during my recipe testing so you’ll have to let me know what time and temperature you use if anyone tries it at home. I would recommend keeping a lower temperature than most cake baking so that it stays moist.]
UPDATE: We made this recipe in a 9×13″ pan for family vacation earlier this month and it turned out great! We baked it at 325°F for 40 minutes. Still nice and moist!
- 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups maple syrup
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup coffee, at room temperature
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, buttermilk, coffee, coconut oil, and vanilla.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, a third at a time, whisking to incorporate in between each addition.
- Arrange ten 8-ounce or pint-sized Mason jars on a baking sheet and carefully pour ½ cup of the batter into each jar. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly so that you can safely handle the jars. Hand out the jars and some spoons and enjoy!
- Makes 10 individual cakes.
- (*TIP: put 1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and add milk to the 1 cup line and let sit for 5 minutes to make your own buttermilk from scratch!)
- (If desired, this recipe can also be made in a 9x13" pan. Follow recipe as described and pour batter into greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 325°F for 40 minutes. Enjoy!)