Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownie Cake

This time of year I always crave rich, comforting flavors like dark chocolate and cinnamon. If you’re like me, you’ll love this rich, fudgy Mexican hot chocolate brownie cake that’s spiked with cinnamon and nutmeg and topped with a sweet marshmallow buttercream frosting.

Note: I originally created this recipe for Sprinkle Pop, who compensated me for my time. But I genuinely love this brownie cake and I think you will, too!

I dressed up my brownie cake for Halloween, but it’s a cozy dessert that you can — and should — enjoy any time during the fall and winter.

Mexican hot chocolate isn’t as sweet as American hot chocolate, and it includes cinnamon and other spices. To achieve a rich chocolate flavor, this recipe uses hot chocolate mix and Hershey’s syrup. If possible, try a dark hot cocoa, or Mexican if you can find it! I also recommend using Hershey’s simply 5 or special dark syrup, which are less sweet than the traditional flavor.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind about this recipe:

  • Grease the pan with butter, layer the bottom with parchment paper, grease the top of that with butter and then add cocoa powder. That adds an extra bit of rich chocolate flavor and avoids the white residue from greasing with flour.
  • The brownie cake is done baking when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean and the top springs back lightly when touched. The cake will rise a lot in the oven, but the round dome will deflate once you take it out, so that don’t worry about that.
  • Let the cake cool completely in the pan, for about two hours. It’ll cool faster if you place the pan on a wire rack.
  • I explain in the directions how to get this look, but here’s one more picture of the spiral pattern you’re going for:

If you want to add toasted marshmallows like I did, either use a culinary torch or the broiler setting in your oven. This is the culinary torch that I used.

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INGREDIENTS

Brownie Cake Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.38 oz. packet of hot chocolate mix milk, dark or Mexican hot chocolate, depending on sweetness preference
  • 4 large eggs
  • 16 oz. Hershey’s Simply 5 syrup or special dark or regular, depending on preference
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour or substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-full cake

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 2 tbsp Crisco
  • 2/3 cup marshmallow creme
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt or 1/4 tsp, to taste
  • pink food coloring optional
  • mini marshmallows optional
  • Sprinkle Pop's "Dia De Los Muertos" mix

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and cocoa powder and line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

 

3. Cream in the hot chocolate mix.

4. Beat in the eggs two at a time, until completely incorporated.

5. Mix in the chocolate syrup, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the flour and mix on low speed until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

6. Bake for 55 minutes, or until the top springs back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. (This will rise a lot in the oven but the top will settle back down once out.) Let cool in the pan completely.

Decorating the Brownie Cake

1. Make the frosting while he brownie cake is cooling. Cream the butter and Crisco until smooth, then add the marshmallow creme. Mix in the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla on low speed until combined, and then cream on high speed until smooth and creamy.

2. Once the cake is cool, carefully flip it out of the pan and onto a cooling rack. The cake will be upside down. Flip it again, this time onto a cake board or serving plate.

3. Decorate as desired. To get this look, dye about 1/4 of the frosting pink and scoop into the center of the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread it almost to the edge.

4. Use an offset spatula and a turntable to create a spiral pattern. Lightly press the flat tip of the spatula gently in the center of the cake and turn the turntable as you lightly drag the spatula in a spiral pattern, all the way to the outer edges of the cake. Scrape off any frosting that overflows onto the edges of the cake.

5. Scoop the white frosting into a piping bag fitted with Wilton tip 1M. Pipe rosettes around the border, and then another layer to fill in the gap, so that the rosettes overlap.

6. Toast mini marshmallows using a culinary torch or the broiler in your oven and scatter them around the border.

7. Finally, add sprinkles to the spiral and the border.

8. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!


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