Mexican Chocolate Mini Pound Cakes
October 28: National Chocolate Day
Colorfully-decorated altars are being set up in some Mexican homes around this time of the year here in South Texas in preparation for El Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities on November 2.
Mexicans have an interesting way to honor their loved ones who have passed away. Their altars are a memorial to the dearly departed and they are adorned with bright flowers, candles, photos and candy skulls. Sometimes, pan de muerto (bread of the dead) and other favorite foods of the deceased are displayed. The dead are not forgotten; their lives are celebrated by those they left behind.
Inspired by this cultural custom, we made Mexican chocolate mini pound cakes for National Chocolate Day. But these pasteles de chocolate may be prepared ahead of time, then eaten by family and friends during graveyard gatherings or presented on the altars on El Día de Los Muertos.
(Adapted from Southern Living)
For the cake
- 4 squares (4 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Mexican vainilla)
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup chocolate syrup
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup buttermilk
In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla.
Beat in the eggs. Stir in the chocolate syrup. Mix in the melted chocolate. In another bowl, combine the flour, ground cinnamon, baking soda and pinch of salt. Gradually blend into the chocolate mixture until smooth.
Add the buttermilk to the batter. Grease the wells of a mini fluted/bundt pan (we used a Wilton brand pan). Pour the batter no more than 2/3 full to the top in each well. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Invert the pan onto a wire rack to cool the cakes completely. Yield: Approximately 1 ½ dozen mini pound cakes.
For the chocolate drizzles (glaze)
- 3 squares (3 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
- 1 ½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream, hot
- 1 teaspoon corn syrup
In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate. Stir in the whipping cream and corn syrup until smooth. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Put the wire rack with the mini pound cakes on top. Place the chocolate glaze mixture into a pastry bag outfitted with a small round tip. Or place it in a zipper top plastic bag and snip a small hole from the corner. Drizzle the tops in a back and forth motion, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides of the mini pound cakes. Transfer to a platter and serve.
- Mexican chocolate pound cake is a bit dense but dry. We prefer to put a chocolate glaze on top to make it more moist and have a richer flavor. A dusting of powdered sugar instead of the glaze is another option.
- This recipe can be made for a little loaf pan. Increase the baking time by another 20 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness. Double the recipe of the glaze to ice the loaf-style pound cake.
- Check out more chocolate recipes by searching our blog.