Here from New Mexico is the kind of Chocolate Cake we love: A bit of zing a bunch of zest. Yes!

By on March 29, 2020

Red Chile Chocolate Zucchini Cake • Recipe

I grew up about 40 miles from the New Mexico border in the panhandle of Texas.  We knew the best way to give a recipe some zip was to add a bit of New Mexican Red Chili Powder.  What we didn’t know was what a nutritional power house this was.  Yes!

Sweet tooth and a spicy tongue? Well, then this one is just the right recipe for you. Depending on how spicy you want it, you can add more, and more, and more, and more…. you know how it goes!

Red Chile Chocolate Zucchini Cake


  • 2-1/2 c Sifted flour
  • 1/4 c Unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 c Butter
  • 1/2 c Vegetable oil
  • 1-3/4 c Granulated sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs New Mexican red chili powder*
  • 1/2 c Buttermilk
  • 2 c Zucchini, grated
  • 6 oz Semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c Chopped walnuts
  • whipped cream for topping


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9- by 13- by 2-inch pan. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, vegetable oil and sugar, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Next, add the vanilla and chile powder. Mix in the dry ingredients that have been set aside, alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the zucchini. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the chocolate chips and walnuts. Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack. Top with chili flecked whipped cream to taste.  Yum


Red New Mexico Hatch Chile Powder , 18 Ounce Jar

by Angelina’s Gourmet (order from Amazon  HERE)

Price: $15.95 ($0.89 / Ounce)
  • grown, dried and processed in the New Mexico Hatch Valley, this Chile’s smoky flavor complements poultry, meats and fall squash
  • Use in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, BBQ ribs and corn bread
  • Perfect addition to marinades, spice rubs, or a traditional adobo
  • Gluten Free, Kosher Parve Certified, Non-GMO
  • Product treated with irradiation.


About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”