Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake

Cake Dessert

This Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake is the softest, fluffiest cake I’ve ever made. Take some help from a boxed cake mix, but make it extra. Then add some rich chocolate frosting and simple decorations for a pretty little dessert people won’t be able to get enough of.

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re nearly there, kids. I finished work, I’ve probably forgotten to buy a bunch of stuff, and I still don’t know if I’m supposed to be cooking or baking anything for Christmas. But I’ve got something to wear for 70’s-themed Christmas day at my sister-in-law’s house, and hopefully a secret plan to not drink too much. I was off my Christmas game this year, but right now, my Christmas lights are on, She & Him is singing to me, and I’m starting to feel it.

Most importantly, I’ve gotten to spend lots of time this past week walking hand in hand with my love. When we’re together, all is well. Any challenge can be faced. Finding the right person to be on your team is so big. I don’t want to ever forget how grateful I am to be loved by someone so wonderful.

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Right. Enough of that nonsense. Let’s talk about cake. That’s why you’re here. People kind of freak out when I serve this Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake. It’s so incredibly soft and fluffy. The cinnamon flavor is subtle, just enough to make it a little bit more interesting than regular chocolate cake. I’ve known people to sneak a second piece because they can’t get enough.

The good news is, this cake is s simple to make, you could easily fit it in before Christmas if you’re still looking for a great dessert. We’re taking it easy on the measuring front by starting with a cake mix. But we’re gonna ignore the instructions on the box (for the most part) and go rogue by adding mayo. Don’t worry, it doesn’t make your cake taste like a ham sandwich. Instead it gives it an incredible moisture and lightness that make this cake stand out.

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m no cake decorator, so I kept things simple. I made a rich chocolate frosting and covered the whole cake in it. My one tip is to use an offset spatula to spread your frosting to keep your knuckles out of the way. I found a packet of cute speculaas biscuits at my grocery store to cover up my ragged border at the bottom of my cake. Then I placed a star cookie cutter on the top of the cake, sprinkled in some gold sprinkles, gave the sprinkles a gentle press with a tooth pick so they wouldn’t rolls away, and took the cookie cutter away. Voila. That’s it.

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

No matter what your plans this week, I hope you get to spend time with your favorite people. And if you get a chance, make this Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake, and share it with them. Everyone will love it.

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake

Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the cake
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup water

  • For the frosting
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

  • 2-2/3 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • For the cake
  • Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C) and lightly butter three 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together all the cake ingredients until a smooth batter forms.
  • Evenly pour batter into your three pans and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. If you don’t have space in your oven to bake all three layers at once, you can it’s fine to let one layer sit out on the counter until the first two are finished. Or do one at a time if needed.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the tin for about five minutes, then turn out to cool on a wire rack. Allow the layers to cool completely before frosting.
  • For the frosting
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until it’s smooth and creamy.
  • Sift in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and beat on medium speed. You may want to cover your bowl with a tea towel to avoid powdered sugar flying all over your kitchen.
  • Slowly add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add more milk if needed to reach a spreadable consistency.
  • Place your first cake layer on it’s final destination and spread about a quarter of the frosting on top. Carefully place the second layer on top and add another quarter of your frosting.
  • Finally, add your third cake layer to the top of the cake. Frost the side and top of the cake. Decorate as desired.

This recipe first appeared on Awesome on 20 in 2013.

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