This Churro Cake has soft, cinnamon cake layers with a rich praline filling, and a buttercream frosting with melted dark and white chocolates mixed in. This is hands down one of the best cakes you will ever eat.
Several years ago my husband and I went through a phase where once a month we’d invite a couple over for dinner so that we could cook for them. At the time, we were adapting to life with our first child, and were missing our days of going out to dinner with friends. We wanted to recreate great meals at home, so we made it a point to try out new recipes for these monthly dinners, to try and improve our cooking skills.
July of that year, we invited two of our friends, Jayme and Michael, who were dating at the time, over for dinner. We decided to have a Mexican themed evening. If I’m not mistaken, my husband made his Chicken and Andouille Sausage Burritos.
But one thing I am 100% not mistaken about: that evening I made a version of this churro cake. I can’t forget my first time making this cake because it was that memorable. It was ugly … hideous really. The filling was spilling out the sides and layers were sliding off of each other. Usually I’m hesitant to serve ugly cakes, but this thing was so ridiculously delicious that there was no choice. It had to be served.
Jayme and Michael loved it. And, maybe related, maybe not, a few months after that dinner, Michael proposed to Jayme.
A Churro Wedding Cake
During their engagement Michael and Jayme asked me something that I still consider to be one of my greatest honors: they asked me if I would be willing to make a cake for their wedding. I was ecstatic. A few months beforehand, I did a little cake testing for them.
For their wedding reception they choose a version of my White Almond Cake with Raspberry Filling and Buttercream Frosting for their bigger cake, and then two churro cakes. The churro cakes were a huge hit, and the first thing to go. I was so excited that my husband had to call me out when he noticed I was walking circles around the dessert table at their reception so that I could listen to people complimenting the cake.
The moral of this story is: This cake is so ridiculously amazing that it leads to love and marriage.
Churro Cake Tips
This Churro Cake is my most popular dessert among my family and friends. I am asked to make this cake all the time, so I have plenty of tips to share:
Do not skip browning the butter, it adds a lovely, nutty taste to the cake. Often, I’ll make the brown butter a day or two in advance and put it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to make the cake.
This recipe makes quite a bit of praline filling. If you want a lot of filling, you can use all of it, but do a ring of frosting that is about 1 inch tall around the outside of each cake layer. Also, keep in mind that you’ll likely have filling come out when you cut the cake. If taste is your end goal, it will be worth it, but if you want neat, tidy slices, stick with using half of the filling and saving the other half for another time.
Heating the Chocolates
Chocolate, and especially milk chocolate, can burn easily in the microwave. Make sure that you microwave on 50% power and stir well every 30 seconds. As soon as the chocolate is smooth, it’s ready to be poured into the frosting.
- 3/4 cups unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral oil such as coconut oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup buttermillk
- 2 cups pecans
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 1/4 teaspoon miso paste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1 1/3 cups whipping cream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup all vegetable shortening
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 4 ounces white chocolate chips
- 3-4 tablespoons whipping cream
To Make Cake
- First, brown the butter. To do this, melt butter in medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until butter turns amber in color and has a nutty smell, about 10 minutes. Transfer butter to a heat safe bowl and allow to re-harden for at least an hour. You can also put in the fridge and use again the next day.
- When ready to make the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 3, 8″ baking pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour sides (I use baking PAM for this).
- Beat together butter, sugar and light brown sugar on medium high speed until lightened and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- With mixer on low, slowly beat in eggs, egg yolks, grapeseed oil, and vanilla.
- In medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, corn starch, baking powder, kosher salt, and cinnamon.
- Slowly beat about 1/2 cup flour mixture into sugar/butter mixture. Then, beat in about 1/3 of the buttermilk. Alternate beating in rest of flour and buttermilk, ending with the flour.
- Spread batter evenly between the three prepared pans.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until tops are golden and toothpick in center of cake comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Let cool completely before assembling cake.
To Make Praline
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In a small bowl, mix together pecans, maple syrup, salt and cayenne paper.
- Lay pecans out on prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, stir, then bake for another 8 minutes.
- Let pecans cool for at least 5 minutes. Then, place pecans in a food processor and grind until they turn into a butter consistency, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
- In a small pot over medium-low heat, add white chocolate, corn syrup, miso, salt, and brown sugar. Stir constantly until chocolate melts.
- Once chocolate melts, turn heat to medium and continue stirring constantly until the mixture turns to a light brown color (just a little bit darker than the miso).
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the heavy cream. Once cream and chocolate are well mixed, fold in the pecan butter.
- Place in fridge for at least 6 hours before using. NOTE: I only use half of this for each cake, so I freeze the other half to use again. It freezes well in an airtight container and I have used it up to 6 months later.
To Make Frosting:
- In a small bowl, melt dark chocolate. To do this I place in microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval. Once melted and smooth, repeat with white chocolate. Set aside to cool while you perform the rest of the steps. About 5 minutes is sufficient for them to cool down.
- Beat together butter and shortening until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Then, on medium speed, beat in powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time. Scrape down sides with spatula as needed.
- Next, beat in vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
- After this, slowly mix in melted chocolates. Once incorporated beat on high speed for about 30 seconds to mix thoroughly.
- Mix in 3-4 tablespoons of heavy cream to reach desired consistency.
- If needed, level cakes. As there is not much leavening and the cake does not rise much, I find I generally do not have to do this.
- Place one layer of a cake on a cake board. Put frosting in a pasty bag and pipe boarder along outside of one layer. Fill inside boarder with desired amount of praline filling (I use about 1/4 of the mixture for each layer). Place a second layer on top, and repeat. Finally, place third layer on top.
- Use frosting lightly frost outside of cake. Place cake in fridge for about 15 minutes, then finish frosting/decorating as desired.
- Use a cinnamon/sugar mixture to sprinkle top of cake.
If you enjoyed this Churro Cake, you might enjoy these other SugarSpicesLife recipes:
Items used to make this cake:
- Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Round Cake Pan, 8-inch I use these for all my 8″ cakes as I believe they bake well
- Parchment Paper Liners for Round Cake Pans 8-inch These cut out a lot of time in my cake making process
- Kitchen Aid Mixer My go to for all mixing, especially things like frosting
- Wilton Buttercream Tip Set These make buttercream frosting look beautiful
- Wilton Pastry Bags I use the 12″ bags for almost all frosting
- Wilton Cake Turntable Great for frosting and decorating cakes
- Wilton 8-Inch Cardboard Cake Circle For stacking the cake