Spiced Chocolate Buttercream

This recipe is used in our Zesty Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake.

  • Yield: Makes approximately 8 cups (enough to fill, frost, and garnish a 9-inch-round tier)

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2013


  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 pound (6 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • Pinch ground cayenne, or to taste
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, melted, and cooled


  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

  2. Attach the bowl to a mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until mixture is fluffy and glossy and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.

  3. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla, and then the cinnamon and cayenne. Switch to the paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed and stir in melted/cooled chocolate. Keep the buttercream at room temperature if using the same day; or store in a plastic airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.


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