This Mexican chocolate cake is my go-to cake, which I also call goodness cake. Why? It’s because this recipe is forgiving and comforting. It’s the cake you want to share with your friends and family whether someone is going through a hard time or wanting to celebrate, or simply enjoy over coffee and a good conversation. Whatever the case may be, this cake brings instant happiness.

My dear friend Jesse recently posted on Facebook one of the many reasons why he loves New York City, and it’s a subject that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately – the subject of unity and peace, and how no matter how different we all are, there are still moments in time when everyone comes together from all walks of life. It seems that we have been inundated lately with nothing but negativity all around us. From the senseless shootings that seem to be happening everywhere to the ever growing political upheavals that seem to divide instead of unite. One of the many reasons why I started this blog is because I found a world that is positive and supportive. So far, everyone I’ve encountered in the food blogging industry has been so kind and joyful. After all, how can anyone be negative around food? One of the easiest ways to bring everyone from all walks of life together is through food. No matter where you come from, what your background is, food is the one thing that can unite people. Differences can be put aside when we gather and feast at a table.

I’ve made this chocolate cake and variations of it on several occasions for several people. It’s not only rich and moist, but it has a depth of flavor that is complex and unique.  From the rich dark chocolate and coffee flavor to the hint of spice from the cayenne pepper and cinnamon that tends to show up at the end of each bite, this cake easily becomes the center of attention, the topic of conversation. All of sudden, no matter what differences there are, they are forgotten. This cake can bring peace, unity, and kindness to any table. Go ahead, give it a go!

“I think we can’t go around measuring our goodness by what we don’t do – by what we deny ourselves, what we resist and who we exclude. I think we’ve got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create and who we include.” – Pierre Henri

The cake is adapted from Real Simple and the glaze is adapted from the Joy of Cooking.

Photo by Maria Kennedy

Photo by Maria Kennedy

Photo by Maria Kennedy



(click here for full grocery list)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup cold brewed coffee

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan then sprinkle with flour. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together until smooth, then pour into the cake pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tester comes out clean. Let it cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.

Photo by Maria Kennedy



1 cup sugar

4 ounces dark semi-sweet chocolate

1 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 plus 2 tablespoons cups heavy cream

1 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 tablespoons cold brewed coffee

1/2 teaspoon finely ground coffee

1 ounce cream cheese

In a double boiler, add the sugar, chocolate corn syrup and heavy cream. Mix with a spatula until completely dissolved. Add the rest of the ingredient and let it dissolved while mixing with a spatula. Keep stirring until it’s smooth.

Photo by Maria Kennedy

Take it off the heat and place the saucepan in bowl of iced water to cool. Beat well with a whisk or hand mixer until it thickens. Pour it over the cooled cake and spread. Set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

Photo by Maria Kennedy

Decorate with raspberries or strawberries, and enjoy.

Photo by Maria Kennedy

Photo by Maria Kennedy

Photo by Maria Kennedy