Aztec Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting

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Aztec Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting6 Not that chocolate cake needs an explanation, I mean who needs a reason to make a chocolate cake? But this one is a little different and there is some inspiration behind its little secret.

Aztec Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting1 First, let me say that becoming a food blogger has probably made me seem like a very odd teenager to anyone that isn’t in the loop. For example, it probably isn’t the most common thing in the world to have random pieces of aged wood and beaten-up baking pans cluttering your room. And where most normal teenage girls probably have collections of jewelry or high-heel shoes that they couldn’t live without, I have shelves and random piles full of dishes and odd kitchen items that have somehow ended up in my room.

Aztec Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting My room is actually my current photography studio because it happens to have the best lighting options in the house. While it may be expected for some teens to sneak food into their room regardless of what Mom says, the amount of food that goes in and out my door is ridiculous. You’d think I had a binge eating disorder and that I am hoarding food or something.

Aztec Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting2 I have developed an eye for the most unlikely objects that no one else would ever notice and I am constantly swooning over old objects and thinking “That would be so cool in a photo of my next recipe”. I know, I’ve become a real weirdo.

Aztec Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting3 So anyway, there is this table in the house that my family has been staying in for the past few months and it has the coolest indian-looking designs. Every time I’ve looked at it I’ve thought how much I wanted to include it in one of my recipes but It just didn’t look all that great behind things like funfetti cookies. Not happening. Aztec Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting. Well, I had the idea the other day to make an Aztec chocolate cake and I had one of those lightbulb moments where I was like “Perfect!”

That’s why it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I planned a recipe around a table or that I put hot pepper in my chcolate cake.

Aztec Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting5 It may seem really weird but you have to try it and see how well chocolate and spice go together. They were meant to be friends. Aztec Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting4

Aztec Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting

Prep Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 16 servings

Aztec Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Cocoa Buttercream Frosting


    For Cake:
  • 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper (or sub cayenne)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Cocoa Buttercream Frosting:
  • 9 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
  2. Whisk butter, sugar, and oil together in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and buttermilk, then all other ingredients and mix until well blended. Grease and flour 3, 8 or 9-inch round cake pans and divide batter amoung them.
  3. Bake cakes for 30 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. While the cake is cooling, beat butter and shortening in a stand mixer or hand mixer until creamed. Alternate between adding cups of powdered sugar and tablepoons of milk until all has been added. Add cocoa, vanilla, and salt and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. To assemble cake, carefully loosen sides of cakes with a knife and invert onto plates or cooling rack. Trim tops to level cakes if necessary.
  6. Place one of the cakes on the dish you plan to serve it on and spread frosting onthe top. Place second cake on top and repeat the last step until each layer is frosted. Frost sides and decorate with your favorite pastry tips or tools.

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    • Tori says

      Thanks for your question Maddie! This was one of the easiest cakes ever. I frosted the cake first with an even layer of frosting, then I used an open star tip to pipe the edges. After that I dusted the top with cocoa powder and added shaved chocolate. That’s it. I think the chocolate does most of the looking good all by itself.

  1. Jo says

    I can’t wait to try this but a little clarification onthe ingredients, please. The cake lists “3/4 cocoa” and the frosting “1/2 vegetable shortening”. That would be cup for each?
    Thanks for your help!

    • Tori says

      Yes. I’m so sorry about that. I’m getting better at those kinds of little typos but I still keep finding them in my early posts. I’m changing it now. Thanks, Jo and I hope you enjoy!

      • William says

        The recipe still says, 3/4 cocoa and 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening. Is it in fact supposed to be a cup of each, or was it correct in the first place? Looking forward to making this, but want to make sure I get it right. Thanks!

  2. Zeke says

    I’m using this recipe as the top layer of a 3-tier wedding cake. Was looking for a spicy chocolate coffee cake and, with some tweeks, I think this will make a great topper. Thanks!

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