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Chocolate Chili Splatter Paint Cake

Molly Yeh

With a hint of cayenne pepper, this beautiful cake packs a kick.



  • For the cake:
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup flavorless oil, such as canola
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • For the frosting:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons tequila, or to taste (optional)
  • For the splatter paint:
  • Gel or liquid food coloring in a variety of colors
  • For each color:
  • 1 tablespoon liquid (water, alcohol, or milk all work)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Let's get Cooking...

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients for the cake. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients except for the boiling water. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then stir in the boiling water.
  3. Pour batter into cake pans and bake until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Begin checking doneness at 28 minutes. Cooking times will vary from oven to oven.
  4. Once cakes are done, let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes onto a lightly greased cooling rack.
  5. Beat together all of the ingredients for the frosting using an electric mixer.
  6. Prepare each color of splatter paint by combining a few drops of food coloring with 1 tablespoon liquid and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in small bowls.
  7. To assemble, level cakes. Place one layer on a cake stand and spread a thick layer of frosting on top. Place the other layer of cake on top of that. Use an offset spatula to frost the cake smoothly all over. Freeze the cake for about 10 minutes to help firm up the frosting. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle splatter paint all over the cake. Enjoy!