I first tasted this cake at the Rather Sweet Bakery in Fredericksburg, Texas.  When I got one of my all time favorite cookbooks, The Pastry Queen, by Rebecca Rather, I was excited to make the cake.  I have since made it many, many times. The extra vanilla and cinnamon give it a special taste.  I like the fact that you don’t have to get out the mixer or a bunch of bowls to make it and it always turns out perfect.
Mexican Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Pecan Glaze

Chef Julia Dunaway

Adapted from The Pastry Queen

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardelli is what I use.)

3/4 cup water

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Pecan Glaze

1 cup pecans

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 cups sifted powdered sugar (sift, then measure)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 12 cup Bundt pan generously with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour it well.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat.  Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth.  Add the water and whisk until smooth.  Do not let the mixture boil.  Remove from heat and add the sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla all at once.  Whisk until smooth.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and whisk together.  Add the dry ingredients to the saucepan and whisk until incorporated with the chocolate mixture.  There may be small lumps, but that’s ok.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 40-45 minutes; the cake is done when it has pulled away slightly from the sides of the pan and feels firm to the touch.


Arrange pecan in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Toast at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.  Chop the pecans into large pieces.

Melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan.  Add the milk, cocoa, and powdered sugar and whisk until glossy.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, salt, and pec ans.

Loosen the cake with a knife or spatula and turn the pan onto a serving plate or foil covered 10 inch cake board.  Spoon the glaze onto the cooled cake.  The cake will keep up to 3 days, covered, at room temperature.