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Mexican Brownies – These are inspired by Mexican chocolate – warm spices like cinnamon and cayenne with rich chocolate fudgy brownies!!
There is nothing I like more than a big plate of Mexican food…except maybe brownies.
What is a Mexican Inspired Brownie?
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!
Spices in Mexican Brownies
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?
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.
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.
I ate three Mexican Brownies without thinking. Then I shipped them off to school. #imnotstupid #iwouldhaveeatenthewholepan #wishiwaskidding
- 2 ounces (57g) unsweetened baking chocolate coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces (57g) semi-sweet baking chocolate coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter
- 1¾ cups (350g) sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons + ¼ teaspoon (12g) unsweetened cocoa powder I used Special Dark, divided
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon divided
- ¾ teaspoon + ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (124g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Nutter Butter Truffle Brownies
Caramel Brownie Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
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
Last Updated on March 5, 2022
I made these and followed the instructions exactly. They came out really dry and flat. I had to toss them in the trash. The flavor was okay if you could chew through the dryness.
If they were dry you baked them too long. They stay fudgy as long as you don’t over bake.
Is there an easy way to make these vegan?
Loved the brownies, loved the heat and the powder on top! So easy! Also my go to brownie!!
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!
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
I plan on making these for a fiesta party I am having! How far in advance do you think I can make these?
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!
I’m so glad you liked them! I’m glad to know you made them GF and DF successfully!
No baking powder? Do they rise?
No baking powder? Do they rise? They are in the oven now and it is boiling not baking. Hope I didn’t waste perfectly good ingredients!
Do these freeze well?? (Thinking of making these for my sisters bachelorette party!)
Yes they will! Just don’t sprinkle them with topping until after you’ve defrosted them, right before serving!
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!)