The Tastiest Churro Cake Recipe

churro cake by sugar and sparrow

What’s better than a churro? A churro CAKE of course. Especially when it’s topped with my favorite local xurros from 180pdx (if you’re a Portlander or ever come to visit, this spot is a must). Creating a churro cake has been on my list of ideas for a long time, and I’m so proud to bring you the result of my kitchen experimentation. Behold! 

No matter what event or time of year, this cake is a true crowd pleaser. Not only is it pretty to look at, it’s bursting with flavor. The cake is cinnamon vanilla as well as the buttercream, and the real kick comes from the Mexican chocolate ganache. It’s spiced with a little cinnamon and cayenne to give your tastebuds a little spice burst after the sweetness of the chocolate.

cinnamon vanilla buttercream with mexican chocolate ganache drip

churro cake recipe with mexican chocolate ganache

This recipe makes enough for a triple-layer 6 or 8 inch cake. Dress it up with your favorite local churros or homemade churro recipe (I still have yet to try making them from scratch, but when I do I’ll be sure to let you know!), or get creative with the presentation and let the flavors speak for themselves.

churro cake recipe with cinnamon vanilla buttercream

churro cake with mexican chocolate ganache and cinnamon vanilla buttercream recipe

However you decide to decorate, I can promise you this: it will be absolutely delicious. I know this because I brought it to work one day and it was gone before lunch – the whole crew at my day job ate it for breakfast! Now that’s a sign of a frickin’ good cake.

Churro Cake Recipe

A light and fluffy churro-inspired cake with cinnamon-vanilla buttercream and spicy chocolate ganache

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Churro Cake

  • 2 3/4 Cups (290g) cake flour, sifted before measuring
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 Cups (358g) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (112g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 Cups (296ml) whole milk, room temperature

Mexican Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 Cup (183g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Cinnamon Vanilla Buttercream

  • 2 Cups (452g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 7 Cups (840g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 Tbsp (74ml) whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Make The Churro Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare three 6-inch or two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray and placing a wax paper circle in the bottom of each pan.  

  2. Whisk together sifted cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

  3. Cream butter on med-high for one minute. Add sugar and beat on med-high for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl and paddle as needed. 

  4. Turn the mixer down to low and add the eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix for one minute on high, scraping down the bowl and paddle once more.

  5. Add all of the dry ingredients at once with the mixer on low speed until just combined, then add the milk all at once with the mixer still on low. Scrape down the bowl and paddle and mix on low until it all just comes together, about 30 seconds. You might need to hand whisk at the end to get rid of some lumps, but be careful not to overmix. 

  6. Fill prepared cake pans no more than ⅔ full and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Make The Mexican Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and set aside.

  2. Whisk together heavy whipping cream, cinnamon, and cayenne in a saucepan over medium-high heat until small bubbles start to form (aka right before it starts boiling).

  3. Pour over chocolate chips and let sit for 30 seconds before whisking together until the ganache is uniform in consistency. You’ll need to let this cool on the counter to room temp before filling or dripping the cake. 

Make The Cinnamon Vanilla Buttercream

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

  2. Cream butter on med-high until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes), scraping down bowl and paddle a few times in between.

  3. Add powdered sugar/cinnamon mixture a few cups at a time, scraping down bowl and paddle between intervals. Mix on medium until fully incorporated. 

  4. Turn mixer to low and add vanilla and milk. Mix on medium for two minutes. Scrape down bowl and paddle and add salt. Mix for another minute on medium until incorporated.

Assembly

  1. Torte each cake layer to desired height. Pipe a circle of buttercream around the top edge of the first layer (to make a buttercream dam) and fill with half Cinnamon Vanilla Buttercream, half (room temperature) Mexican Chocolate Ganache. 

  2. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat step one, then add the final cake layer on top.

  3. Crumb coat the cake with Cinnamon Vanilla Buttercream, then ice with a final layer of buttercream.

  4. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to chill the buttercream before dripping with room temperature Mexican Chocolate Ganache.

  5. Top with your favorite local churros or topper of your choice. In this design I’ve also piped a few open stars with buttercream using Wilton tip 4B.

Recipe Notes

The cake layers can be made ahead, wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to two days. Alternatively, you can wrap and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

The ganache can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. To bring back to dripping consistency, heat in the microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until room temperature. 

The buttercream can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Bring back to room temperature and re-whip in your stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add milk, one tsp at a time, if buttercream is too thick. 

Did you make this cake? Let me know by tagging me on Instagram! You might get a shoutout 🙂

12 Comments

  1. i want to make this cake into cake pops. instead of using candy melts to cover the pops, can i use the chocolate ganache? will the ganache harden like chocolate candy melts?

    • Hi Evette! I think I answered this question already on Instagram but I would use melted chocolate as opposed to chocolate ganache. Melted chocolate will harden like candy melts, while ganache will set up more soft.

  2. Hi, I’m in the middle of making this recipe. Currently working on the buttercream. I’m following the grams measurements for more accurate results. Well, I just wanted to let ya know that the grams for the butter (buttercream) is not correct. I noticed this when I was mixing in the powdered sugar. It was way too thick. Anyway, I’m trying to fix this by starting over. I’ll let ya know how this turns out.

    • Hi Sally! The butter and powdered sugar mixture is intended to be super thick, it will thin out beautifully when you add the liquids (vanilla and milk). I hope it worked out for you in the end!

  3. Hi Whitney. This cake looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it out! I do have a question. Is the buttercream considered an American buttercream?

  4. I want to make this for Mother’s Day but do cupcakes instead! (Easier to distribute) do you have any tips? I’m thinking of maybe eliminating the chocolate ganache only because I’m not sure where I would put it on the cupcakes although it sounds so delicious.

    • Hi Jazmine! This recipe is amazing in cupcake form! Just be sure to fill the cupcake tins no more than 2/3 full and bake at 350 for about 17 min. For the ganache, you can either leave it out completely, fill the cupcakes with it, or drizzle it over the frosting. Excited for you to make these!

      • Jazmine

        Just finished making them and OMG delicious!! Pretty sure I overmixed the batter because they kind of crumbled but still amazing! And I filled them with ganache like you suggested. Thank you!!!

  5. April Avery

    Hello, quick question can the cake flour be substituted for all purpose flour? I would like to make cupcakes for my daughters birthday in October using this recipe.

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