“Healthy” Mexican Cake

I put “healthy” in quotes, because let’s be honest, cake will never be healthy. It may be low-fat or vegan or sugar-free, but it will never be healthy.  It’s cake.  It’s meant to be an indulgent treat, an unearned reward for finishing your meal, or having a birthday.  It’s no fun if it’s healthy.  It goes against the cake-code.

This recipe, taken from Serious Eats, removed some of the fat that comes from using oil.  As they mention, it was luck the entire project still worked. I’m one of the people who tends to believe sweet and savory need to stay segregated as far as dessert goes, spiciness is just enough to be noticed but not enough to ruin the idea of dessert

And at 196 calories per slice, at least it’s “healthier” than a usual piece of cake full of shortening, and covered in frosting.  I still think it would still be best served warm with some vanilla bean ice cream, which sadly would take the “healthy” completely of the name.

Mexican Chocolate Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first seven ingredients (flour through salt). Make two small wells in the mixture. In one, pour in the vinegar. In the other, pour in the vanilla extract. Pour cold water over everything. Stir until moistened and a only a little lumpy.

Pour batter into an 8-inch round cake pan. Bake for 30 or 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then carefully pry out and finish cooling on a wire rack.

While cake is baking, whisk together 2/3 cup powdered sugar and 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in small bowl. Add water. Stir to make a thick glaze. When cake is completely cooled, drizzle over cake.

Serves 10.

This entry was posted in baking, chocolate, health, mexican, recipes, vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

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