INGREDIENTS: 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups granulated sugar 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp. salt pinch chipotle chili powder (optional) 3/4 cup water 1/2 cup butter 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 1/2 cup buttermilk 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 large eggs
Frosting: 6 Tbsp. butter 1/3 cup milk 3 cups powdered sugar 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2 tsp. vanilla extract pinch of chipotle powder (optional)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan or sheet pan.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and chili powder (optional) and stir together with a whisk. In a small saucepan, combine water, butter, and cocoa and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Pour into flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs. Beat well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes (it will bake even faster if you are using a sheet pan), until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack.
3. To make the frosting, combine the butter, milk, cocoa, and chili powder (optional) in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Spread over warm cake. Sprinkle with pecans (optional). Cool completely.