Whaat. October already?! Sheeesh.
Time to bust out the pumpkin, ahhh yeahhh. Because as we know, I am the Queen of Orange.
But before we do that (and because of this ridiculous Indian Summer we’ve got going here: a hundred degrees in October?! Excuse me?! We know I loathe hot weather. Can’t it just be fall already?? I can’t quite do pumpkin until it’s at least a little cold-ish)… I bring you the end of Birthday Month!! Slightly belatedly, but hey–better late than never. So with that in mind, here’s this little bit of deliciousness: Vaccuum Vati’s birthday cake!!
As per request, things got a leeeetle spiiiicayyy up in hurrr since Vati wanted cayenne pepper in some form of dessertness. I thought about brownies for a split second but nahhh, why make brownies when you can make cake?! Pssh. Brownies. It’s a birthday, after all.
I’ve never baked with cayenne before, though I’ve had desserts where it was sneakily present.
I think I’ve decided I like it, at least in this cake—the pepper sneaks in subtly, rather than punching you in the face going “I’M SPICY! EAT ME AND CLEAR YOUR SINUSES, PITIFUL HUMAN!” Or at least that’s what a lot of those less subtle desserts feel like to me… sort of like the sea salt and vinegar Kettle Chips. But I digress. This cake is super hydrated (remember, we don’t like the m-word), rich, chocolately and spicy. Just sweet enough (though I didn’t cut the sugar on this one as per request as well, as SOMEONE has an (inherited, I’m sure) sweet tooth the size of Texas). And the frosting?! Oh yes. The frosting. Hooooly crap. I had to save myself from cleaning the bowl out with my face, it is that good. Maybe if you make this, double the frosting and save the second bowl for something creative. I don’t know, like eating with a spoon or something, with a token graham cracker so you pretend you’re using it as “dip”. Haha. Yeah right. I’m sure you’ll think of something, you’re a creative bunch.
Anyway. Go in the kitchen, get out a bowl. It’s simple. Spicy chocolate cake, you know you want it… you’ll thank me later!
Spicy Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting
Slightly adapted from Baked Bree, here! I made a half recipe in 6″ cake pans, so I’ll include those measurements here.
For the cake:
- 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 + 3/8 c whole wheat pastry flour (sorry for the awkward measurements…)
- 1/2 + 1/8 c granulated sugar
- 1/2 c packed brown sugar
- 4.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 c milk bev (I used 1% milk)
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4.5 tsp Bourbon vanilla
This couldn’t be simpler… in fact, it’s pretty close to instant cake gratification. Lezzz dooo eeeet!
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease two 6″ cake pans, line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper, and then lightly grease that (coconut oil is fab for this). In a largeish bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: cocoa through salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together milk, oil, applesauce, egg, vinegar and vanilla until combined. Pour wet into dry (see? EASY.). Chuck batter into prepared cake pans (ideally the top is evenish, if not.. oops oh well, you get to do trimming, which means there are cake scraps to be eaten), and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (For full-size cakes, increase bake time to 45 minutes). Let cool in the pans for a few minutes, then upend onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
While the cake is baking: make the frostinggg (Keep your fingers away from the bowl, please) (as if). I made half the recipe. Don’t kid yourself, make extra. My measurements below are for half but really… what else would you do with that leftover mascarpone?!
- half of 1 tub (8 oz) of mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp Bourbon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 1 c heavy cream
Whip yo’ cream (and yo’ hair) until stiff peaks form. Once cream is whipppp-ed, set aside. In a bowl, “whisk” (and by whisk, I mean sort of stir) mascarpone, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. Fold cream into the mascarpone mixture, and try not to eat it all at once. Some is supposed to go on the cake, you know…
With half the recipe, I had enough to put a layer between the two cake layers, and frost the whole thing.
Drool. Eat. Love!