Mexican Chocolate Coffee Cake

December 28, 2011 in Categories: by

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The inspiration for this cake came from my daughter’s second birthday cake.  I baked Elena Amsterdam’s chocolate layer cake with coconut flour recipe and frosted with a lacto-paleo chocolate fudge frosting (the kind that is mostly chocolate with a little cream and butter for good measure).  Elena’s recipe produces a delightful spongy cake with a mild chocolate flavor.  Combined with the intense flavor of the frosting, my daughter’s birthday cake was a resounding success.  But, it got me thinking.  What if I could develop a chocolate cake that had all the lovely spongy texture of this cake but enough chocolate flavor to stand on its own without frosting.  This took quite a bit of tinkering and many iterations to boost the chocolate flavor sufficiently without giving up too much on the texture.  The chocolate flavor is enhanced by the cayenne and cinnamon which give this cake a delightful “kick”.

A note on cocoa:  There are three different “types” of cocoa that you can buy in stores.  The easiest to find is “Alkalized”, also called “Dutch-Processed”.  This cocoa powder has a darker color (and is considered easier to bake with) but also has many of the anti-oxidants stripped out in the alkalizing process.  Avoiding this type of cocoa can be a challenge because it’s not always labeled, but most of the grocery store brands are alkalized.  Look for either “Natural” or “Raw” Cacao Powder, both of which contain way more anti-oxidants.  While they are a lighter color, they are also a better flavor.

Mexican Chocolate Coffee Cake


1.    Preheat oven to 325F.  Line 5”X9” loaf pan with wax paper.  Grease wax paper with coconut oil.
2.    Sift cocoa, coconut flour, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and baking soda into a small bowl.
3.    In a food processor or blender, combine eggs, honey, molasses, and vanilla.  Pulse a few times to beat together.  Add melted coconut oil and chocolate and process/blend for 1 minute.
4.    Add dry ingredients to food processor, and pulse to combine.
5.    Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour (not a very forgiving cake if you burn it, so you might want to test for doneness with a toothpick at the 55 minute mark).
6.    Let cool completely in the pan.  Remove from pan and carefully remove wax paper.  Enjoy!

Do you need help finding any ingredients?  Check out  Important Pantry Items for the Paleo Baker.



That’s exactly what I did with it. My husband loved his birthday cake – he says best cake ever. I served it with homemade coconut milk cinnamon ice cream. It was delicious. Thanks!

I made this recipe a few days ago. My family gobbled it up and asked for more! My chocolate craving was satisfied and my son’s nightly question “Can I have dessert?”, was answered with a resounding “Yes!”. Thank you!

I loved this recipe and so did my son. I honestly had not had cake for over two years and this was the first. This was probably also my first attempt at baking, ever. So, I have to say that this was really a success.

I made this as a two layer round cake, and frosted it with Nourishing Kitchen’s sweet potato frosting – basically a buttercream with white Japanese sweet potatoes, lots of butter and maple syrup. It was gorgeous and tasted sophisticated but wonderful! The only thing is it is is definitely easy to overcook, and the one layer that I cooked just right cracked easily (no biggie, I put on extra frosting!)

I was super-bored at work:

6 Eggs
118ml or 109g Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted
97ml or 5½ tbsp or 40g Coconut Flour
80ml Cacao Powder
85g Unsweetened Chocolate, melted (100%)
118ml or 165g Blackstrap Molasses
118ml or 160g Honey
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Cayenne Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 160C. Line 13cm x 23cm loaf pan with wax paper.

Lots of love,

Oh, and that was 30g of cacao. But these were all look-up values so they might not be that precise. I haven’t checked but I did it once with the weight measurements and then I went and got some measuring spoons and did it again. The first one where I used the scales was more moist and my favourite. But maybe I just screwed up somehow when I did it with the measuring spoons / cups. I’m not that good at counting to be honest. I get distracted.

I made this last night and I can’t believe how well it turned out!! I didn’t include cayenne or other spice. For a paleo recipe, the texture was amazingly cake-like. Very, very impressed. Great job!!!

I would like to substitute stevia for the honey and molasses as its better for my diet (I know it’s not paleo then). Can I sub a dry for wet ingredients like that? Would I sub the equivalent of one cup of sugar?

This is a great combination of flavors and rich chocolate. Mine was so dark it was almost black. I may try it with honey next time as my son prefers it to molasses. It got spicier as it cooked, I think!!! Yum yum! I appreciate the info about cacao and cocoa!

Wonderful texture and depth, thank you Sarah. For me the honey flavour was fighting the molasses/chocolate so will try subbing with maple syrup next time. Thanks for acting on that scientific/creative instinct to lock in this texture.

Oh boy, we did just make it again with maple syrup instead of honey, finely grated fresh ginger instead of the spices, and raw cocoa nibs. Cor blimey. Thank you!

I also just made this cake for a birthday and I don’t like it at all! The molasses is so overpowering that it makes the cake taste awful!! Maybe I should try it next time with maple syrup instead, because its almost inedible.

I’m not a molasses fan either. I cut it with the maple syrup and it was much more palatable. I’m not a huge fan of the taste of honey in baked goods either, so sometimes I replace some of the honey with the syrup, too. Just got to find your combo, but when I figured out my preferred taste, it was worth it. I’ve made it four or five times as a last minute something for us to eat at social events. It works nicely.

Thank you for interesting recipe. I want to make this for my brother-in-law for at Christmas. Have you tried freezing this cake? Do you think it will freeze well?

Want to try this, but wanted to double-check one part of the recipe. It says to “Preheat oven to 325F. Line 5”X9” loaf pan with wax paper. Grease wax paper with coconut oil.”
Do you mean parchment paper or is it really wax paper? I’ve never heard of baking with wax paper before, but there are a lot of things in this new lifestyle I’m not familiar with so I just wanted to be sure!

I am so glad I found your website. You have so many healthy yummy recipes. My dear husband will be a happy man!!!

Can you list the fat, carbs, etc per serving? Making for company and need to be able to count the carbs. Thanks.

I just made these as cupcakes for my daughter’s second birthday party tomorrow. I used silicone heart shaped cups and cooked eight of them them at 325 for 18 mins. I’ve got the rest in a muffin pan and am doing the same amount of time. Looks like I’ll have a total of 19. I sampled one, you know, just to make sure they were good, and holy cow, they are fabulous! They most certainly do not need frosting. I may add some enjoy life chips next time, just because I love chocolate chunks. I used 72% chocolate as I’m also using these to prove to a couple of friends that grain-free desserts can be delicious. They turned out perfect for that purpose, but I could even go more bittersweet.

Also, I left out the cayenne since I’m not a fan of the chocolate-cayenne combo. The cinnamon, however, is awesome. I also did half honey and half molasses since some people seemed to say one or the other overpowered. I don’t like honey taste in my baked goods and molasses can be strong, so I figured this was a good compromise. I must say, I agree with myself that it is!

Oh my Gosh! I got up early to make this for Father’s Day, and it is soooo delicious! I lost my sense of smell nearly 20 years ago, and haven’t truly enjoyed chocolate cake since. But this is incredible. My husband loved it too! We halved the cayenne for our 4-year-old’s sake, and it still had plenty of kick. Thank you thank you!!

This is so good it’s ridiculous. I just whipped up a test batch in preparation for hosting my 3-year-old’s birthday party with 30+ people this weekend, and I am more than impressed! I know this will be a hit (even with the “normal” eaters in our midst). Thank you so much for your hard work and knowledge that bless so many of us who are navigating this healing adventure called “Paleo”!

By the way, I’ve made this three times now, and for my adrenal issues have cut back on the sweetener each time (at most, I’ve used 2/3 to 3/4 cup). The best-tasting combo has been honey and maple syrup (more honey than maple). I love this recipe and my only problem with it is that it’s ADDICTING. Thanks again! 🙂

Can I just say that I traded out the molasses for maple syrup (can’t have molasses) and I didn’t have coconut flour so I used my gluten-flour AP blend and I’m in HEAVEN!!! For someone who hasn’t been able to have wheat or refined sugars in years – this is astonishing! You are an angel! More than that – but I don’t know what that is! Wowsers. Thank you!!

Truthfully I think I’ll retry baking this one. I followed the recipe exactly as written and my experience was that it took and hour and a quarter to bake. When cooled I removed it from the pan and sliced off each end for taste testing. I agree with some others that the cayenne is too spicy for my taste. Beyond that, the cake was dense, very chocolatey/coconutty and looked amazing.

This looks delicious but I am wondering where the coffee is and how much we should put in when the title is “Mexican Chocolate Coffee Cake”

I’ve bought some cups from the US to make sure I use the right amount of each ingredient… so wish me luck for my first paleo baking attempt! I’ve been eating and cooking paleo for 3 years now, but never made a paleo cake before !
I’ll let you know what comes out ! 🙂 Cheers from Italy

The cake was easy to make and came out perfectly moist and soft! Molasses taste was Just a little bit too strong…. I mean, I like that liquorice flavour but it covered the chocolate and cinnamon too much ! Next time I’ll replace half molasses with honey and I’m sure it will be ok! Great recipe!

Thank you for the recipe. This is really easy to make. I substituted the molasses with organic blue agave and it came out really good. Chocolatey with a little kick of spice.

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