Mexican Hot Chocolate Piñata Bundt

Your New Year's health resolution is boring to me. Let's eat cake instead.


But not just any cake, friends: a Mexican Hot Chocolate Piñata Bundt Cake! This beauty is from the brand new book Beautiful Bundts: 100 Recipes for Delicious Cakes & More by Julie Anne Hession

OK, so this book is awesome. It delivers on the promise of the title, with plenty of beautiful bundt cakes in all shapes and sizes. However, it also has some unexpected recipes. From savory bundts to pull-apart options, there are creative options in addition to the classics. It's truly a book that will challenge the view of the bundt pan as one trick pony in the kitchen!

I'm delighted to have received permission to share this recipe for a Mexican Hot Chocolate Piñata Bundt cake on the blog. This happy cake is perfect for parties, Cinco De Mayo, or really, let's be honest, any day of the year that you crave chocolate and joy (which is most days for me!). 


Mexican Hot Chocolate Piñata Bundt

Photo credit (above) and headnote (below): Julie Anne Hession

A piñata Bundt? That sounds fun! Indeed. This Bundt is full of surprises and guaranteed to turn any occasion into an instant fiesta. Cut into the whole cake, pull out the first slice and you’re met with a cascade of colored chocolate candies spilling out onto your plate. Take your first bite, and what you thought was a standard chocolate cake hits you with notes of cinnamon and spicy cayenne. Whether or not you hit the dance floor, your taste buds will definitely be doing the salsa!

Makes 12 to 14 servings


After filling cake, it’s best to invert it onto a serving plate instead of a wire rack. Because sections of the cake have been removed and replaced, the cake should be moved as little as possible.

The ganache thickens quickly once poured over the cake. To coax it down the sides, firmly tap the cake-topped plate or wire rack on the counter a few times.

Before you bake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C); dark pan, 325°F (160°C)
  • Get yourself a minimum 12-cup Bundt pan, and spray it with nonstick spray


  • 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour (625 mL)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted  (250 mL)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
  • 1 tsp salt (5 mL)
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (15 mL)
  • 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper (1 to 2 mL)
  • 2 1⁄4 cups  granulated sugar (560 mL)
  • 3⁄4 cup vegetable oil (175 mL)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature 
  • 1 tbsp coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlúa) (15 mL)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (10 mL)
  • 1 1⁄2 cups  buttermilk (375 mL)
  • 1 3⁄4 cups mini candy-coated chocolate pieces (such as M&Ms), about 11 oz (330 g) 
  • 1 recipe Mexican Chocolate Ganache (see recipe below)    


1.    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cayenne.

2.    In the stand mixer bowl, beat sugar and oil on medium speed until blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in liqueur and vanilla.

3.    With the mixer on low speed, alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour and two of buttermilk, and beating until incorporated. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the top.

4.    Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until puffed and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then carefully invert cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.

5.    Prepare cake for filling as directed on page 88. Pour candies into the “moat,” filling it to about 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) from the top. Trim cut-out cake sections so that they fit snugly back together on top of the candies, pressing to adhere and completely covering up candies. Carefully invert cake onto a serving plate.

6.    Pour ganache over the cake, letting it drip down the sides (see tip). Let ganache set for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Mexican Chocolate Ganache

Makes enough for a cake baked in a 10- to 12-cup pan

  • 6 oz dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped  (175 g)   
  • 1⁄3 cup heavy or whipping (35%) cream (150 mL)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter (15 mL)
  • 1⁄2 tsp    ground cinnamon (2 mL)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlúa) (30 to 45 mL)

1. In a small saucepan, stir together chocolate, cream and butter over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and liqueur to taste.

Have you ever made a creative bundt cake?