Mexican Brownies

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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 these Mexican Brownies “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 of these Mexican Brownies 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.

Mexican Brownies are 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 Mexican Brownies without thinking. Then I shipped them off to school. #imnotstupid #iwouldhaveeatenthewholepan #wishiwaskidding

Mexican Brownies
4 from 16 votes

Mexican Brownies

My favorite brownie recipe with some added kick!! Cinnamon and spices make these chocolate brownies perfect for when you want some spiced up brownies.
Servings 24
Calories 164 kcal
Author Dorothy Kern


  • 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, salt, 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.
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Brownies
Amount Per Serving (1 brownie)
Calories 164 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 424mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 16g
Protein 2g 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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


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  1. Yummy brownies that I haven’t tried before! Putting them on my list 🙂 Thanks.

  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.

  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!

  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!

  5. Fun!! Cinco de Mayo recipes!!!! I love these browniiiies-so dense and chocolatey and with that fun kick!

  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!

  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!

  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!

  9. Love these mexican brownies and the spices that go in them! Perfect for Cinco De Mayo!

  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!! 🙂

  11. Wow cinco de mayo has come round fast.. where on earth has this year gone! These look fabulous. Just love the spices.

  12. 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!

  13. Mexican brownies are my favorite thing ever! I love the kick of spice combined with the chocolate.

  14. 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!

  15. It’s a law to eat Mexican food at my house on a weekly basis! LOVE these brownies, Dorothy! PInned.

  16. 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 🙂

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

  18. 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!

  19. These look incredible, Dorothy! Adding cayenne and cinnamon to brownies must add such a nice flavor to all that chocolatey goodness. Pinning. 🙂

  20. 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. 🙂

  21. 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!

  22. 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? 😉

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

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  26. I love a little bit of spice in my chocolate, these look fantastic Dorothy!

  27. I have a soft spot for flan, but chocolate trumps any day! These are the perfect cinco de mayo treat!

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  29. This would probably be a brownie that my hubby would devour without a second thought! 😉 They sound fantastic! Pinned!

  30. 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!

  31. amazing insight. Really enjoyed reading this blog. Keep up the
    good work and to everyone keep on learning!

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  34. These are in the oven now! Can’t wait to try them. But a quick note – yout ingredient list includes salt, but the instructions don’t indicate when to add it. I accidentally left it out – so hopefully they turn out ok! Thanks for the recipe! 

    • Sorry Rachael! Thanks for letting me know. I always forget to add salt too, which is why I probably forgot! (I never actually add salt to my recipes, I prefer it without!)

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  36. Do these freeze well?? (Thinking of making these for my sisters bachelorette party!)

  37. I made these for my mom’s 50th tonight and adapted them to be gluten and dairy free (some finicky guests). They turned out amazing and the spice from the cayenne is AMAZING. Thanks for a great recipe!

  38. I plan on making these for a fiesta party I am having! How far in advance do you think I can make these?


  39. I went searching for a dessert in observance of Cinco De Mayo and found your brownies on Pinterest. I am baking them as I type. The batter is DELISH

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  41. I grew up in Burlingame and went to Celias in San Mateo with my folks so your story warmed my heart (my parents have both since passed). I made these today for a little reunion of girls I went to High School with…. they’re amazing!

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