A spectacular show-stopper cinnamon chocolate cake! This cake has a deep cinnamon and chocolate flavor, and is free of dairy, gluten and even oil and is devil's food moist thanks to a special baking trick involving boiling water!
When it comes to classic cakes, this cinnamon chocolate cake is right up there at the top of the list. And there is nothing more fun than veganizing a classic recipe and giving it a spicy spin. Like many of my chocolate cake recipes, this one is free of eggs and oil, and uses a special trick to moisten the texture. This recipe has more steps than my more straight forward chocolate fudge cake and my vegan vanilla cake, but the time is worth it. The texture is almost fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth, like devil's food cake.
Why You'll Love This
Easy to make. All you need is a pot, a bowl and two pans, and can be whipped up in 20 minutes or less, excluding baking. You'll love in particular the flavor, texture and the interesting technique that achieves it.
Incredibly moist. Using temperature manipulation, I keep the cake texture moist by adding boiling water.
Spicy chocolate flavor. Why isn't it more common to add cinnamon to chocolate? The result is a wonderful spiced chocolate flavor, along with a bit of heat.
Ingredients for the cinnamon cake:
- All purpose flour, or gluten-free baking
- Organic cane sugar. Organic tastes better but regular granulated sugar is also fine
- Boiling water. Moist texture trick
- Chocolate + cocoa
- Apple sauce
- Flax seed eggs
- Leaveners & Flavors: baking powder, baking soda, butter, vanilla, cinnamon
Ingredients for cinnamon chocolate frosting:
- Powdered sugar. I used organic which is free of bone char which makes it suitable for vegan diets.
- Butter. Room temperature
- Cocoa. I used regular, not Dutch processed
How to Make Cake
Here is a quick summary of the steps, but the detailed recipe can be found below in the recipe card below.
1. Start by preparing the pans. Butter them, then dust with cocoa powder. This is my secret trick to allow you to pop those layers out of the pan, but without white flour dust marks.
2. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
3. Combine your dry ingredients, and make the flax eggs if using and set aside. You can also use 6 tablespoon of aquafaba, the liquid from a can of unsalted chickpeas, if you prefer that to making flaxseed eggs.
4. Melt the sugar by boiling a cup of water, turning off stove, pouring in the sugar and stirring until melted, about 15 seconds. To that, add the chocolate and butter, stirring until melted. And then add in the vanilla and flaxseed eggs. Stir again until combined.
5. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, and blend with a whisk or hand-mixer until combined.
6. Fill pans, bake at 30 minutes at 350 F.
How to Make Frosting
1. Prepare your butter by either setting it out two hours ahead of baking or microwave each stick separately on a dish for 10 seconds to soften.
2. Melt the chocolate chips in a pyrex measuring cup for 1 minute.
3. Mix all ingredients with a hand-mixer. Frost cooled cake.
Don't burn sugar. The devil's food moist texture comes from the melting the sugar in the boiling water. Be sure the sugar melts completely in the boiling water before adding other ingredients, but be sure it doesn't burn or boil the water away. Allow the water to boil, add the sugar and stir - it should take about 15 seconds for the sugar to melt.
Make it spicier. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to contribute to the spicy heat that cinnamon provides, bringing the cake a Mexican chocolate cake kind of flavor.
Easy way to mix. Because the sugar is boiled in water, this cake is easy to mix without a mixer. Just mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, and add in the wet ingredients mixed in a pot on the stove.
Storage and Freezing
Store the cooled freshly baked and frosted cake at room temperature in a cake container for about 4 days.
To store unfrosted layers, allow each to cool, then wrap in plastic wrap and store in freezer for up to three months. Defrost on the counter, unwrapped for an hour, frost and allow to defrost a further 2 hours before serving.
How much cinnamon to add to chocolate cake
Add up to 2 tablespoons of cinnamon to the batter of a two-layer chocolate cake to spice it up. You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper to make it more of a Mexican chocolate cake flavor.
Does cinnamon go with chocolate cake?
Cinnamon goes well with chocolate, deepening the chocolate flavor, and leaving a pleasant heated aftertaste.
What is the purpose of adding hot water to a cake recipe?
The purpose to adding hot water to cake batter is to add moisture to the texture, by thoroughly dissolving the sugar and cocoa, both of which are hard to completely dissolve with room temperature ingredients.
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Cinnamon Chocolate Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (or use gluten-free baking flour)
- 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup boiling water
- ⅓ cup unsweetened dark chocolate chocolate chips or a 3.5 oz bar
- 6 tablespoon butter I used vegan Earth Balance. Or use ⅓ cup apple sauce to make this cake Oil-Free.
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 flax eggs 2 tablespoon flax seed + 5 tablespoon water
Cinnamon chocolate frosting
- 3 cups powdered sugar (organic powdered sugar tastes better, has tapioca not cornstarch)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoon dairy-free milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Prep two 8 inch round cake pans by greasing with butter, then dusting with cocoa powder.
- Make the flax eggs and set aside (stir together 2 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 5 tablespoon water) or use 6 tablespoon of aquafaba, the liquid from a chickpea can.
- For the frosting prep, set two sticks of butter out to reach room temperature or microwave each separately on a dish for 10 seconds.
Make the Cake
- In the large bowl, stir dry ingredients until well combined.3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoon cinnamon, 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
- In the medium pot, boil the 1 cup of water, and stir in 1 cup of organic cane sugar, turn off stove and stir until the sugar is melted, about 15 seconds.1 cup organic cane sugar, 1 cup boiling water
- Into the pot, add the chocolate and butter to this mixture and stir until melted. Then stir in vanilla and flax eggs (or aquafaba).⅓ cup unsweetened dark chocolate, 6 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 2 flax eggs
- Pour this mixture into the dry ingredient mixture and blend until creamy with a hand mixer. The batter should be a normal cake-batter texture.
- Pour the batter evenly into the pans, and bake 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
- Cool cakes for two minutes in pans, then remove and cool on a cake rack while you make the frosting.
- Add the butter and sugar to a bowl, and hand-mix until combined.1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, 3 cups powdered sugar
- Add in the cocoa, cinnamon, salt, vinegar and milk. Mix again until combined.⅓ cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 tablespoon dairy-free milk, 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Once the cake is cool, frost the bottom layer, and put the second layer on top, then frost that...enjoy!
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