Robin’s Spicy Chocolate Birthday Cake

photoThis is not an everyday cake. It has 3 sticks of butter in it. Seriously. It is also not gluten-free, but I don’t really believe in gluten-free cakes for other people’s birthdays.

This is a cake for a celebration, which is good because Robin only has a birthday once a year and it has to be celebrated in style. (Generally, with copious amounts of Mexican food and drink.) This is also the perfect cake for Robin. It’s basically the chocolate version of this soup. It is bitter with coffee and spicy with cayenne pepper, but still sweet enough to be a real birthday cake. This is not some sophisticated, barely sweet, almost a mousse cake meant to be served with coulis.

I found the recipe on epicurious after I figured out that I needed more than half a day and more equipment than I brought to New York to make the requested Tres Leches cake. It’s heavily adapted with help from the comments and Martha Stewart. Even if you don’t have anyone to bake a birthday cake for anytime soon, I highly recommend you find another reason to use three sticks of butter in one dish. It’s that good.

Spicy Mexican Chocolate Birthday Cake (Adapted from Epicurious/ Gourmet April 2004, with frosting from Martha Stewart.) 

* 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

* 1/2 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder

* 3/4 cup coffee

* 2 cups granulated sugar

* 2 large eggs

* 1/2 cup well-shaken butter

* 2 tablespoons vanilla

* 2 cups flour

* 1 teaspoon baking soda

* 2 teaspoons cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

For Frosting:

* 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

* 1 tablespoon honey

* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

– Butter 9 inch cake pan and dust with cocoa powder.

– Melt butter in a heavy sauce pan over low heat. When butter is completely melted turn off heat and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Whisk in coffee, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla one at a time.

– Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper.

– Fold flour mixture and cocoa mixture together until just combined.

– Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake approximately 50 minutes until tester comes out dry.

– While cake is baking, make frosting: Beat butter, confectioner’s sugar, honey, and cinnamon together for about 5 minutes.

– When cake is done, remove from oven. Let cool 5-10 minutes in pan and then remove from pan and cool on rack.

– When completely cool, spread frosting on cake.


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