Mexican Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting


This is one of my favorite cakes, with the hint of spiciness coming from the cayenne pepper in the cake itself, and the wonderful cinnamon mascarpone frosting.

Original recipe


Mexican Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting
Adapted from Baked Bree

Yield: Two 8-inch two-layer cakes

For cake:

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 – 1 1/4 cups sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (chili powder works if you don’t have cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil OR vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

For topping:

  • 1 (8-oz) tub of mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Extra cinnamon for sprinkling on top (optional)


  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF.  Spray two 8-inch round pans with cooking spray.  Put a piece of parchment on the bottom of the pan and spray again.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl, stir together cocoa powder, flour, sugars, cinnamon, baking soda, cayenne powder, and salt.
  3. Add milk, oil, eggs, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix on medium speed until batter is smooth.
  5.  Pour batter into pans.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on rack.
  8. When cakes have cooled, make the frosting.  Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  9. In another bowl, use a sturdy rubber spatula to stir together mascarpone, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and sugar.  Whisk mixture until smooth.
  10. Add one large spoonful of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture and stir in with spatula to lighten the mixture.
  11. Gently fold remaining whipped cream into mascarpone mixture in 3 additions.
  12. Using a long serrated knife, split each cake in half.
  13. Use half of the frosting to fill and frost each cake.
  14. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of each cake for garnish, if desired.

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