How to Make the Best Mexican Brownies

Just a touch of spice (and a special frosting) makes this Mexican brownie recipe extra nice.

Your friends and family might never guess that cinnamon is the secret ingredient in this Mexican brownie recipe. But a pinch of cayenne will add a warm spicy flavor to the recipe, too. To amp up the chocolate flavor, you can also try adding a pinch of instant coffee granules to the batter before baking.

Brush up on these tips for baking better brownies before you get started.

How to Make Mexican Brownies


For the Brownies:

  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted, divided
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (See what brand our Test Kitchen recommends.)

For the Frosting:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 2-2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Forgot to soften butter ahead of time? Here’s what to do in a pinch.


Step 1: Prepare the batter

In a bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda; blend in 1/3 cup melted butter. Then add boiling water, stirring until thickened. Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla and remaining butter. Next, add your flour, cinnamon and salt. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Step 2: Bake your brownies

Pour mixture into a greased 13 x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° until brownies are done, about 40 minutes.

Test Kitchen tip: Brownies continue cooking even after you remove them from the oven, so if you wait until there are no crumbs on the toothpick, you’ll end up with an overcooked batch. For best results, stick to the time recommended in your recipe. See more mistakes everyone makes when baking brownies.

Step 3: Fix the frosting

Let the brownies cool completely. For frosting, cream butter in a bowl. Combine cocoa, confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon; add alternately with the milk. Beat to a consistency that’s easily spreadable and add vanilla. You can add more milk, if necessary.

Step 4: Finish and share

Spread the frosting over cooled brownies and cut into pieces. This recipe makes approximately 3 dozen brownies—and they’ll all be gone before you know it!

Test Kitchen tip:To cut brownies more easily, warm the knife blade in hot water, dry and cut. Clean and rewarm the knife after each cut.

Want to try another Mexican dessert featuring cinnamon? Check out the recipe for reganadas—traditional Mexican cinnamon cookies.

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Lauren Naru
Lauren has been working in media relations for 20 years and branched into freelance food writing in 2016. Her work for Taste of Home covers subjects like gift guides, sales and must-have kitchen items. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley region where she spends time writing, working in marketing and volunteering at her local community center. In her spare time, Lauren is hard at work mixing batter and piping intricate designs for her custom cookie business, Claire’s Custom Cookies. Outside of working and designing cookies, Lauren loves to spend time with her family and adorable dog, Murphy.