Cinco de Mayo Churro Cake with Mexican Hot Chocolate Frosting

Cinco de Mayo is here, and it’s the perfect excuse for us to all drink many margaritas on a Tuesday, under the guise of celebrating our neighbors to the South, you will need something sweet and spicy to go along with that drink(s).

A couple of Cinco de Mayos ago, living in the glorious New York City, I was lucky enough to celebrate this holiday with two wonderful friends, one including my almost sister-in-law! I was introduced to the Bulldog, which may someday be the death of me because they are so dang delicious. Not only is it a salty and limey margarita, but add a Corona and there you have it, the infamous Bulldog. If you’re ever in NYC and want one of these, Mother Burger and Blockheads do them right. So, after a couple too many, eating our body weight in chips and salsa, and overall having a very silly Sunday, I walked back to my apartment with my first Cinco de Mayo celebration completed.

So, two years later and 500 miles south, that very exciting 5th of May is upon us again. There will be margaritas and, even better this time, a churro cake with spiced pecans and a Mexican hot chocolate frosting.

This is the most fabulous food to ever accompany a margarita. You start with an incredibly moist cinnamon cake, add cayenne pepper spiced pecans between the layers, and a spicy-sweet milk chocolate frosting. It does not get any better than that! You have a bit of heat paired with the ever so wonderful cinnamon, a nice crunch, all wrapped in smooth milk chocolate. Grab your margarita, or bulldog, and get to baking!


cake ingredients

Butter—4 oz, or ½ C

Sugar—4.5 oz, or ½ C + 1TBL

Brown Sugar—6.5 oz, or ¾ C



Canola Oil—1.6 oz, or ¼ C

Vanilla—0.2 oz, or 2 tsp

Flour—7.6 oz, or 1 1/3 C

Baking Powder—0.2 oz, or 1 tsp

Salt—0.15 oz, or ½ tsp

Cinnamon—0.2 oz, or 2 tsp

Milk—4 oz, or ½ C



Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Cream the butter until smooth.

Add in both the sugar and brown sugar, mix until combined.

Add the eggs and yolks; mix and scrape the bowl.

Add in the oil and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients.

Scrape the sides of the bowl.

Once everything is incorporated, slowly add in the milk.

Spray two-6” cake pans; line the bottom with a parchment paper round.

Split the batter between the two pans, they should each be halfway full.

Place in the center of the rack, which should be in the middle of the oven.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when touched.

Allow to cool on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes, and once you can handle the pans, remove the cakes/parchment and allow to finish cooling outside of the pan.


spiced pecan ingredients

Butter—1.5 oz, or 3 TBL

Brown Sugar—2.25 oz, or 4 TBL

Salt—0.3 oz, or ½ TBL

Cayenne Pepper—0.2 oz, or 1 TBL

Pecans—6.25 oz, or 1 ¾ C




Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Melt the butter in a small pot on the stove.

Mix together the brown sugar, salt and cayenne pepper.

Once the butter has melted, add in the dry ingredients and mix.

Off the heat, add the pecans and mix to coat.

Pour the pecan mixture on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes.



Remove from the oven, allow the pecans to cool for about 5 minutes, then separate them and put on parchment so that they don’t stick together.

Once completely cool, chop into small pieces for cake filling.





cinnamon chocolate frosting

Butter(room temperature)—8 oz, or 1 C

Confectioner’s Sugar—15.5 oz, or 3 ½ C

Cocoa Powder—2.6 oz, or 1 ½ C + 2 TBL

Cinnamon—0.2 oz, or 2 tsp

Vanilla—0.3 oz, or 2 tsp

Heavy Cream—2 oz, or 4 TBL



Cream the butter until smooth.

Sift together the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder and cinnamon.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter.

Once all incorporated, stream in the vanilla and heavy cream.

After all the liquids have been added, turn the mixer to medium-high and whip for about 10-20 seconds.

You are now ready to assemble your churro cake!



Trim the top off of each 6” cake.

Take one cake, place about ½ C (or a large dollop!) on the cake, spread to make even and flat.

Sprinkle enough chopped pecans to heavily cover the frosting.

Cover the pecans with enough big dollop of the frosting, spreading again to make even and flat.

Place your second 6” cake on top.

Cover the top and the sides of your cake with the frosting, about ½” thick.

Decorate however you would like! Some options are using any pecans you have left over, sprinkling a cinnamon–sugar-cayenne mixture on top, or simply leaving plain!

Bon Appetit!