In the colder months, I always want to eat things that are warming – soups, hot chocolate, baked goods that are full of spices. Hot chocolate favored with chili powder and cinnamon is especially warming. These little cakes are easy to make, without any prior preparation, and are the perfect treat for a cold day.
Notes on Ingredients
Cocoa Powder – Since these cakes are leavened with baking soda, avoid using dutch-process cocoa. Dutch-process cocoa is treated with alkali, and thus already neutralized. Non-dutch-process cocoa powders are more acidic, and will react better with the baking soda to leaven the cakes.
Baking Soda – While I normally prefer to use baking powder as a leavener, I find that baking soda always reacts really well in recipes that use a combination of non-dutch-process cocoa and sour cream or buttermilk.
Cinnamon – I like to use cinnamon in chocolate-chili recipes because it really ties the flavors together.
Cayenne and Ancho Powders – I used two different chili powders to get a combination of the different flavors that chilis offer. The cayenne has more heat, while the ancho powder has a smokier flavor. To adjust the heat level to your preference, just add a little more or less of the cayenne powder.
Brown Sugar – I prefer brown sugar in this recipe, rather than white sugar, because its caramelized flavor brings more richness to the cakes.
Sour Cream – The sour cream reacts with the baking soda to make the cakes fluffy, while also keeping them moist.
Notes on Technique
- The flour and cocoa powder may be prone to forming lumps in the batter. It will help to sift the dry ingredients as you mix them in.
- If you are new to baking bundt cakes, be aware that they can be extremely difficult to get out of the pan! If you are using an older pan without a nonstick coating, you will need to spray generously with nonstick cooking spray or even grease and flour the pan. I used a newer Nordicware pan with a coating, and I only had to spray a little cooking spray.
- This recipe is made for a mini bundt pan with 6 molds. But the capacity of the molds may vary depending on the shapes, so you may need to adjust the recipe.
- There should be enough batter to fill the molds up ¾ of the way. This batter rises a lot, so if you fill the molds up all the way, the cakes will poof up like muffins and the holes at the bottoms will disappear.
- When you make the ganache, be sure to chop the chocolate finely. This will help it to melt completely so that there will not be any lumps.
- Heat the cream to a full simmer, then pour it over the chocolate and let it rest for a couple of minutes. This helps the chocolate melt all the way, because it will begin to cool down once you start stirring it.
- Stir the ganache until it is smooth and shiny, then let it cool for about 10 minutes. Giving it a little time to set up will prevent it from sliding off the cakes.
Chocolate Chili Mini Bundt Cakes
- 6 cake mini bundt pan
For the Mini Bundts:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (90 g)
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ancho powder
- 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 2/3 cup brown sugar (135 g)
- 1 large egg (room temp)
- 1/3 cup oil (80ml)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (120 ml) (room temp)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Ganache:
- 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 2/3 cup heavy cream (160 ml)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ancho powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
Chocolate Chili Mini Bundt Cakes
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C) and grease and flour your mini bundt pan, or use nonstick spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cayenne powder and ancho powder until they are fully combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, egg, oil, sour cream and vanilla exract, and whisk these until they are well combined. Sift in the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, whisking until the flour is incorporated but being careful not to overmix.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the mini bundt molds and bake at 350° F (180° C) for about 15-18 minutes, or until the top of the cakes spring back when you touch them. Allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes before covering them with the ganache.
Chocolate Chili Ganache
- Chop the dark chocolate and add it to a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer, then pour it immediately onto the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to sit in the hot cream for about 2 minutes, then begin to stir gently, continuing until the ganache is smooth and shiny. Stir in the cinnamon, ancho powder, and cayenne powder.
- Let the ganache cool for about 10 minutes to set a little. Place the cakes on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan or paper, then spoon the ganache over the cakes. You can store them at room temperature for about 4 days.