Mexican Brownies

Guess what? Cinco de Mayo is next week. And I’m super excited, because it’s practically a law to eat Mexican food on May 5th.

There is nothing I like more than a big plate of Mexican food…except maybe brownies.

Mexican Brownies: super rich and fudgy with a little spicy kick!

These Mexican brownies are the first of a few recipes I have for you this week that are perfect for Cinco de Mayo. I know traditionally we gorge ourselves on beans and rice and chips and fajitas on May 5th, but really, you have to have dessert.

And if you know me at all, you can probably guess Flan is not my thing. *shudder*

I much prefer chocolate…and brownies!

When I lived in the Bay Area we used to go to this Mexican restaurant, Celia’s, every almost every Sunday. Sunday was fajita special night. They’d bring out steaming hot (literally) griddles of steak and peppers and onions to go along with huge plates of beans and rice and tortillas. My parents would each order fajitas and I would order a side of beans and rice and tortillas. After all, I was going to eat my weight in tortilla chips – I didn’t need to add all sorts of other stuff to it.

Now when I go to Celia’s it’s super special because we don’t live there anymore, and I go all out. Enchiladas, beans, rice, the whole shebang.

The one thing missing on the menu? Mexican brownies. Those would be my first choice every time if they were!

What makes them “Mexican”? Really nothing…except I added some spices: cinnamon and cayenne.

Cinnamon and cayenne work magic when they’re combined with chocolate, didn’t you know?

Mexican Brownies: super rich and fudgy with a little spicy kick!

Like how adding coffee to chocolate intensifies the flavor, so does adding cinnamon and cayenne pepper. However, unlike the coffee (which you don’t usually taste) you do get a kick from the spices. It’s one of those things you eat and then after you get this little kick…and you’re not sure why.

These brownies do not taste like chili. Much like these truffles, they taste like chocolate. Like they should! But the spice just adds a little something extra, and it takes the brownies to the next level.

I can guarantee that, if you make these and people don’t know what’s in them, they won’t know. They’ll wonder, but they won’t know.

I used my favorite brownie recipe for these. It’s my go-to recipe that I’ve made so many versions of. All I added were some mini chocolate chips (perfect to give these an extra fudgy chocolatey flavor) and the spices.

By themselves, they’re the perfect brownie. But if you’re wanting something a little more…maybe you should garnish them.

I sprinkled them with powdered sugar…that had been mixed with cocoa, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.

Mexican Brownies: super rich and fudgy with a little spicy kick!
Adding the extra sprinkle on the top intensifies the heat a little. And it makes them prettier!

Now, if you’re not much for heat, or you think some of your guests might not be, you can omit the cayenne from the topping. Or just use a pinch. The recipe calls for a pinch up to 1/8 teaspoon. The mix in the photos used 1/8 teaspoon and they had a definite kick. Use less, or omit, if you prefer.

Either way, adding some cocoa and cinnamon to the powdered sugar sprinkle definitely sets these brownies apart.

They’re perfect for any Cinco de Mayo party…or because you need chocolate TODAY.

Mexican Brownies: super rich and fudgy with a little spicy kick!

I ate three without thinking. Then I shipped them off to school. #imnotstupid #iwouldhaveeatenthewholepan #wishiwaskidding

Mexican Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies

Mexican Brownies

Super chocolatey with a spicy kick, these brownies are perfect to satisfy any chocolate addiction!


  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Special Dark), divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 3/4 + 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place the two baking chocolates and butter in a large, microwave safe bowl. Heat on HIGH power for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Stir in sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon cayenne, and 2 tablespoons cocoa and stir well. Add flour and stir carefully. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
  3. Spread brownie batter in prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs stuck to it. Let them cool completely before slicing into squares.
  4. Whisk powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cocoa, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch (up to 1/8 teaspoon) cayenne pepper. Sprinkle over sliced brownies.


You can omit the cayenne from the powdered sugar/cinnamon/cocoa sprinkle on top, if you wish. If you do add it, be sure to start with just a pinch and add more to taste.

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Mexican Chocolate Truffles

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Sweets from friends:
Mexican Hot Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats by Something Swanky
Mexican Chocolate Thumbprints by Wine & Glue
Mexican Chocolate Pudding Oatmeal by Cupcakes and Kale Chips




  1. Yummy brownies that I haven’t tried before! Putting them on my list :) Thanks.
    Medeja recently posted..Apelsininis Keksas su Saldžiosiomis Bulvėmis/ Orange Sweet Potato Pound CakeMy Profile

  2. Oh yum!! I love Mexican hot chocolate so I know I would love these brownies. I get pretty darn excited for Cinco de Mayo too!! I cannot wait to see your other recipes. I am planning quite the feast next week.
    Emily @ Life on Food recently posted..Scalloped PotatoesMy Profile

  3. I have never tried Mexican brownies because I am afraid of mixing spiciness with chocolate. So crazy, I know. These look too good not to try though!
    Tieghan recently posted..The Barn: The Plans.My Profile

  4. Holy moly – I am pretty excited about this recipe! I have been looking for a new brownie recipe for a little while now, and LOVE a spiced chocolate. This is going to be divine!
    Kim recently posted..Six months (Facebook) clean.My Profile

  5. Fun!! Cinco de Mayo recipes!!!! I love these browniiiies-so dense and chocolatey and with that fun kick!
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted..Something Saturdays (4/26/14)My Profile

  6. Aren’t you clever!?!! Love this idea for mexican brownies. Those extra spices make *such* a difference! I can see my feast now…beans, rice, tacos, enchiladas, margaritas and mexican brownies!! Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!
    Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking recently posted..Peanut Butter Stuffed Double Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter FrostingMy Profile

  7. I don’t do flan, either. Too…jiggly.
    These, though? Anytime! Love the Mexican flair! Can’t wait for Cinco de Mayo. These have the perfect kick!
    Mir recently posted..Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie CakeMy Profile

  8. One time at TJs I had a seasonal chocolate item of theirs. I think it was a brownie, maybe it was a cookie, but it had a little cayenne in it and I vowed to make something at home with a kick and never have…your brownies look delish!
    Averie @ Averie Cooks recently posted..The Best Glazed Mixed Berry SconesMy Profile

  9. Love these mexican brownies and the spices that go in them! Perfect for Cinco De Mayo!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted..Vanilla Chia Seed PuddingMy Profile

  10. Dorothy these look stunning, so rich, chocolatey and decadent! I need to add cayenne to my brownies next time I whip up a batch! I love the Lindt Chili Chocolate Bars so I am pretty sure I’d devour these!! :)
    Ceara @ Ceara’s Kitchen recently posted..Pecan Cashew Butter (vegan, gluten-free)My Profile

  11. Loving these brownies…. Yum!
    Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent recently posted..Beef EnchiladasMy Profile

  12. Wow cinco de mayo has come round fast.. where on earth has this year gone! These look fabulous. Just love the spices.
    miss messy recently posted..Yellow Thai Curry Noodle Soup #MailleFlavoursMy Profile

  13. I’m a BIG fan of Mexican hot chocolate and things of that nature. So I’m sure these will be right up my alley!
    Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) recently posted..Smoky Chipotle Popcorn Chicken BitesMy Profile

  14. Mexican brownies are my favorite thing ever! I love the kick of spice combined with the chocolate.
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor recently posted..Carrot-Nut Cream Cheese Swirl LoafMy Profile

  15. So my mouth is watering looking at these brownies. However, I don’t know if I can get behind the cayenne thing. We had Mexican Chocolate ice cream at a food truck in Alaska once and it was spicy indeed.
    Thanks of reminding me to get my Mexican food ready!
    Kristin recently posted..Thoughts on a t.v. show I never got around to in 2003My Profile

  16. It’s a law to eat Mexican food at my house on a weekly basis! LOVE these brownies, Dorothy! PInned.
    Julie @ This Gal Cooks recently posted..Marvelous Mondays 96 + Breakfast RecipesMy Profile

  17. These Mexican brownies look fantastic – love the kick of spice in here! They are just perfect for Cinco de Mayo and can’t wait to see all the recipes you have lined up :)
    Kelly recently posted..Despicable Me Minion Birthday PartyMy Profile

  18. Yes ma’am! These babies are going on our Cinco de Mayo menu stat! YUM!

  19. Love the addition of spices to these brownies! The perfect bite of spice with every bite and I can’t wait to try them. Love the pics!

  20. These look incredible, Dorothy! Adding cayenne and cinnamon to brownies must add such a nice flavor to all that chocolatey goodness. Pinning. :)
    marcie recently posted..Brown Butter Hummingbird CakeMy Profile

  21. I have a friend that makes cookies that are similar to these brownies. They’re my fav! I’m going to have to try these brownies. :)

  22. I made a mexican hot chocolate cake with this same idea in mind and it was so delicious. The spices really do accentuate the chocolate without making it sweeter and richer. These look fantastic! And yes – it’s law to eat Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo, especially here in California!
    Luci {Luci’s Morsels} recently posted..Shoes Speak Louder Than WordsMy Profile

  23. Oh my gosh Dorothy, these are brilliant!! I love spiced chocolate desserts (who am I kidding, I love anything with chocolate!), but that spice adds the perfect touch. You’d love the Mexican restaurant that opened up in our town last summer — they serve churros, cheesecake burritos, and nutella chimichangas on their dessert menu in addition to flan!I’ve only tried the cheesecake, but it was so phenomenal that the chimichangas are next on my list! Maybe you and Jordan want to come sample them with me? ;)
    Amy @ Amy’s Healthy Baking recently posted..Fudgy Strawberry Shortbread BrowniesMy Profile

  24. Wow. Just, wow. Yup, I need to make these ASAP. I’ve made mexican hot chocolate before, but haven’t even thought of making the brownie version! Thanks for the recipe!
    Elizabeth @ Bowl of Delicious! recently posted..Five-Spice Orange Beef and Broccoli (better than take-out!)My Profile

  25. These sweet Mexican (my fav! foods) treats look out of this world wonderful. You have the most inviting photos too. I want to try these soon. Pinning too!
    The Better Baker recently posted..Homemade Copycat KFC ColeslawMy Profile

  26. I love a little bit of spice in my chocolate, these look fantastic Dorothy!
    sue/the view from great island recently posted..Parslied Bread Sauce with Poached ChickenMy Profile

  27. I have a soft spot for flan, but chocolate trumps any day! These are the perfect cinco de mayo treat!
    Laura @ Laura’s Culinary Adventures recently posted..Walnut and Raisin Honey PancakesMy Profile

  28. This would probably be a brownie that my hubby would devour without a second thought! ;) They sound fantastic! Pinned!
    Jocelyn@Brucrewlife recently posted..Strawberry Pretzel PieMy Profile

  29. These are fantastic! I didn’t make any changes and they were perfect. Incredibly easy. Almost like fudge! Melt in your mouth, ooey delicious-ness with a peppery heat. I think this will be my go-to brown from now on!


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