real life test kitchen: chocolate fire cake


Spice up your Valentine’s day… with chocolate fire cake! I love savory, brightly-spiced foods. So, when it came to making a dessert for my Valentine’s dinner party last year, I wanted to make something with an unexpected flavorful twist. So, I took my favorite Bon Appetit chocolate spice Bundt cake recipe – and added cayenne pepper to it! The pepper and cinnamon gave the cake a great fiery kick without being overpowering. I served it with a nice full-bodied red wine, and it was a huge hit with my dinner guests. This would also be great served with a brandied whipped cream, or ice cream. — Rebecca F.
Click for more fire, and the recipe, after the jump!
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
– 1 cup boiling water
– 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
– 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder, divided (or you can use instant coffee, in a pinch)
– 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
– 1 cup vegetable oil
– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
– 2 large eggs
– 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
– 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously brush 12- to 15-cup nonstick Bundt pan with oil.
2. Whisk 1 cup boiling water, cocoa powder, and 2 teaspoons espresso powder in 2-cup glass measure.
3. Whisk 2 cups flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt in medium bowl.
4. Using electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla in large bowl to blend. Add eggs; beat to blend. Beat mixture until smooth, about 30 seconds longer.
5. Beat in half of flour mixture, then cocoa mixture. Add remaining flour mixture; beat to blend.
6. Transfer batter to prepared Bundt pan. Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool the cake 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; cool 15 minutes longer. 7. Meanwhile, stir remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons espresso powder, and 2 tablespoons water in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar melts. Remove from heat. Add butter and chocolate chips; stir until butter and chocolate melt. Cool slightly. Using spoon, drizzle icing over cake. Cool cake completely.

Photo credit: Rebecca Firlik

From our partners

What about using regular ground coffee instead of instant or instant espresso powder? I don’t use instant enough to keep it on hand, but have *plenty* of the regular stuff … Has anyone tried it? Does it make the cake … sandy?

hm, i dont an even substitution would work in this scenario because, like you said, it might be sandy. BUT, you could brew v strong coffee (even reducing some in a saucepan) and substitute it for the 2 tablespoons of water called for. That would work just fine!

Tom @ hello kitty costumes

I would love to cook this for my honey.. i love spicy
food and this is very unique cake..i love the
cinnamon..thanks for sharing.


nom nom!


Save a piece for me…..I’ll be right over.


Some of the gingerbread cookies I’ve purchased have cayenne pepper as one of the ingredients and they are really great!