Juju's Chocolate Birthday Cake


Juju’s Birthday Cake

Juju’s Birthday Cake

Pastel de Chocolate de Juju

Recipe Yield

10 to 12 non-hungry people

Cooking time

40 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.17 from 6 votes


For the cake:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs preferably at room temperature

For the Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles optional

To Prepare

To prepare the cake:

  • Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan with butter. Cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large pot, over medium heat, pour the water, stir in the cocoa and add the butter. Let it heat for a few minutes, stirring now and then, until it all dissolves. Remove the pot from the heat.
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In another, beat the eggs and combine them with the sour cream.
  • In turns, add a quarter of the flour mix and then a quarter of the sour cream mix at a time into the pot with the cocoa mixture; stir with a spatula, mixing all of the ingredients as you move along. Pour onto the greased cake pan and place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out barely moist but not wet.
  • Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool a bit while you prepare the frosting.

To prepare the frosting:

  • In a saucepan, over medium heat, pour in the milk and the vanilla. Stir in the cocoa and add the butter. Heat and stir until everything is all dissolved and combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the confectioners' sugar. Thoroughly mix with a spatula and set aside.

To assemble:

  • Run the tip of a knife around the edges of the cake. Turn the cake onto a platter and gently remove the parchment paper. Pour the still-warm frosting over the cake and gently spread it out with a spatula. If you wish, you may add sprinkles of your choice before the frosting hardens (NOTE: The cake is soft and moist the first couple days, then hardens like a brownie afterwards if left uncovered-- perfect for packing in school lunches).


83comments inJuju’s Birthday Cake

  1. Anonymous

    Jan 28

    Hi Pati thank you for teaching us your recipes!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 30

      It is my pleasure!

  2. Amy W

    Jan 21

    Making this cake this am. My friend calls it the devil cake because you can’t stop eating it.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 29

      Haha, love the name!

  3. Rebekah

    Apr 23

    This cake is absolutely amazing!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 01

      Glad you liked it Rebekah!

  4. Jaymer Rodriguez

    Mar 05

    I want that my birthday is on may 12th

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 07

      Hope you will love it as much as Juju does Jaymer 😉

  5. Yashodara

    Aug 02

    I love chocolate cake I am so excited to try this!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 05

      I hope you enjoy it Yashodara 🙂

  6. Johnnyd

    Nov 27

    Patients love your show and this cake! My wife made it for my birthday and used Dark Chocolate Cocoa. Wow! Out of this world. Thank you for the beautiful spirit you bring to cooking.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 29

      Aw thank you, Johnny!

  7. Janelle

    Oct 26

    I have made Juju’s cake before and loved it! I’m wondering does the recipe also work for Cupcakes?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 26

      Go for it, Janelle!

  8. Kim Castillo

    Sep 12

    Today l made your Jujus Birthday cake l have been wanting to do so for a long time , it’s really really yummy. I replaced the water with coffee. And l live in the high desert, so l added an additional 1/4 cup of flour. This will be my new favorite! Thank you Pati

    1. Pati

      Sep 13

      Super! I’m so glad it is a new favorite, Kim.

  9. Adriana

    May 07

    Hi Pati, my family and I are big fans of your show. My two year old daughter always asks to watch “Dame Dame show” (because of the song). One question: can I substitute the sour cream? Or just leave it out of the recipe? Thank you!

    1. Pati

      May 16

      Oh thanks so much! Maybe you want to try another cake like the Nana José Cake or the marbled pound cake. http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/nana-joses-flourless-chocolate-pecan-cake/ http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/alisas-marbled-pound-cake/

  10. Anonymous

    Nov 14

    I made this cake for my friend Judy’s birthday two years ago and she asked for it every year. she loves it and so dose everyone

    1. Pati

      Nov 14

      That’s awesome!

  11. Joey

    Nov 12

    Yum that looks great I go to juju’s school ask if he knows me

    1. Pati

      Nov 18

      Hi Joey, this Pati, Jujus mom! Juju is here with me right now and he says that he knows you!

  12. Barbarainnc

    Oct 17

    You posted a picture of Juju’s Birthday cake, 2 layers with a white buttercream frosting. I’d like your buttercream frosting. Please post it.

    1. Pati

      Nov 03

      I haven’t added that recipe to the blog yet…will try to soon.

  13. Karen

    Feb 09

    Hi Pati.
    I made this cake because it sounded so delicious, but I am trying to cut back on sugar so used one of the popular sugar substitutes. The batter was thicker than I expected. Could that have been the problem? Other than that, it was very good.

    1. Pati

      Feb 09

      Yes, probably. Sugar substitutes act differently than sugar…

  14. Brandi

    Feb 08

    I made this gluten free and it was amazing! However, the icing was a little too rich for my liking. Can’t wait for it to turn brownie texture…will eat with some whipped cream 🙂

    1. Pati

      Feb 08


  15. alexa

    Feb 05

    I would love to know that too since my husband is also from mexico and im practicing my mexican receipes.

  16. Patty

    Jan 19

    I saw this yesterday…it looks delicious as is but if I want to give it that Mexican chocolate taste should I use the cocoa combined with cinnamon or can I use a round of Mexican brand chocolate that is used to make the hot chocolate drink? Love your show…you have some of the best recipes…You should be on Foodnetwork and the Cooking Channel. Thank you. Patty

    1. Pati

      Jan 30

      Yes you can!

  17. Ana

    Oct 10

    Hi Patty
    Always do this recipe with great results !!! Thank you
    Do you have a vanilla one as easy as this?

    1. Pati

      Oct 15

      I LOVE baking and cooking with vanilla! Here are two of my favorite recipes: http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/2013/12/orange-vanilla-flan/ and of course http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/2010/02/tres_leches_cake/ I hope you enjoy and please let me know how they turn out!

  18. Pia Pedersen

    Mar 19

    I’ve baked this cake many times now. It has become a family tradition! I bring this cake to friends who are sick or to pot luck parties. It is always a hit! The chocolate sauce really makes it rich and decadent.
    Yesterday, I served 80 slices of Juju’s Birthday Cake to Navy League Cadets and their leaders as it was my son’s 12th birthday.
    Everyone wanted the recipe!
    When I want to make it extra fancy, I bake it in a smaller pan so it will be higher, cut in half and fill centre with banana cream (or vanilla pudding) and sliced bananas, decorate top with whipped cream roses and serve with chocolate sauce on the side. Rustic, rich and delicious.

    1. Pati

      Mar 19

      Hi Pia, I’m so happy your family is enjoying this recipe as much as mine! Love what you are doing with the banana – sounds decadent and delicious!!

  19. Susanne

    Nov 04

    My daughter and I watched the school lunch episode together and she immediately said, “I want Juju’s birthday cake for my birthday!” It’s the first of your recipes that I’ve actually made (even though I want to make all of them!!) and it was a hit at her birthday party this weekend.The cake is seriously delicious (even 2 days later)and I have a feeling it’s going to become THE birthday cake request in our house for years to come.

    1. Pati

      Nov 05

      So happy to hear, Susanne! Happy birthday to your daughter!!

  20. Paulina Almazocasterjon

    Oct 11

    I can’t believe how easy it is!

    1. Pati

      Oct 13


  21. Elizabeth

    Sep 27

    Thanks so much Pati, love the recipe and love the clear good instructions =0) God Bless.

  22. Irene

    Feb 13

    Wow this is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. I don’t have cable and rely on pbs food shows for recipes and you guys never let me down. I did use semi sweet chocolate for the frosting as I ran out of cocoa. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!!!

    1. Pati

      Feb 13

      Great to hear Irene! We never tire of this cake around here…

  23. Lynne

    Dec 24

    I made this was gluten free flour today, and it turned out fantastic! Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    1. Pati

      Dec 27

      Yey! Thank you, Lynne. So happy to hear it works gluten free. 🙂

  24. wanda

    Sep 14

    will juju’s cake work with stevia or sucralose instead of sugar?

    1. Pati

      Sep 16

      It should. Give it a try and let me know how it goes…

  25. Shannon

    Jun 10

    This was the most delicious cake I have ever tried. I was worried because I have not been successful in baking in the past, but I nailed it! I used dark chocolate cocoa. My boys LOVED this! Thanks so much Pati!

    1. Pati

      Jun 10


  26. Delores Gill

    Jun 08

    Made JuJu’s birthday cake for my 10 year old grandson. It was delicious!
    The recipe is a keeper…moist and very tasty.

  27. Susana

    Jun 06

    Hi Pati,

    I was wondering if I could use whole wheat flour instead and skim milk? Will it change the texture at all?

    Thank you!

    1. Pati

      Jun 07

      Of course you can use it… but of course it will change the texture: give it a try and report back!

  28. Delores Gill

    May 20

    The recipes from you show are amazing. i am going to make Ju Ju’s birthday cake for my grandsons upcoming birthday on May 23. Thank you for all your simple, yet delicious recipes. And the way you come across on TV is refreshing and kind.

    1. Pati

      May 20

      Gracias Delores! My kids love that cake…

  29. Ana

    Apr 23

    Hello Patti, I am Portuguese and love to cook and try new recipes, love Mexican food and to watch you show.

    1. Pati

      Apr 23

      Gracias Ana! I’ve still to go to Portugal….

  30. Judy

    Apr 19

    Is it all purpose flour or self-rising flour? I absolutely love your show. I love to listen to you talk. You have a beautiful family.

    1. Pati

      Apr 19

      Thank you so much, Judy! It’s all purpose flour for the cake. I will add that to the recipe. All my very best to you.

  31. Anna

    Apr 02

    Hi — I’m planning on making this cake for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. I plan to make it the night before the party (I’m actually going to frost it with a cream cheese frosting with berry puree because she wants a purple cake)! Do you recommend that I refrigerate the cake after making it or leave it room temp until I frost it before the party?


    1. Pati

      Apr 03

      Hi Anna, that sounds like fun! You can just leave it outside the refrigerator and covered… Happy birthday to your daughter!

  32. maria

    Mar 29

    Me encanto su programa!!!

    1. Pati

      Apr 01


  33. Francine

    Mar 01

    Hello Pati , i really enjoy watching your show , you make the best meals ever and tonight i will be making my husband and daughter this juju cake . Cant wait :))

    1. Pati

      Mar 04

      I hope everyone enjoyed the cake!! 🙂

  34. Gloria O'Brien-Garcia

    Feb 24

    Hi Pati,
    My husband and I just love watching your show, and enjoyed the very yummy JuJu birthday cake recipe, which I will make. Is that a traditional Mexican cake recipe? I am Irish and my husband is Mexican, and I like to pass down recipes to our children from both of our heritages….Thanks, Gloria

  35. Lourdes

    Jan 23

    This cake looks so good. Can I adjust for making it in cupcake form? Will that work?

    thank you and love the show

    1. Pati

      Jan 24

      Yes, Lourdes, of course you can adjust to make cupcakes!! Let me know how they turn out. Thank you for watching the show!!!

  36. Sharon

    Dec 22

    Hi Pati,
    I have a Juju too and this cake is something that I’m sure he will love!
    Love ur show.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 28

      Oh my gosh, Sharon, you must make the cake for your Juju!! Let me know what he thinks of it!

  37. Kathy

    Nov 17

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I’ve been looking for years for a chocolate cake recipe that uses sour cream. I just finished watching this episode and quickly came here to write down the recipe….and subscribed to your newsletter.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 21

      Kathy! Thank you for subscribing to the newsletter!! I hope you try the recipe for JuJu’s Birthday Cake. Juju and I make it all the time.

  38. Debbie

    Nov 13

    Hi Pati,
    You are lovely and inspirational. I love your show and recipes!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 21

      Thank you, Debbie! You are so kind!!

  39. Tamara

    Oct 13

    Just made this cake this evening…about to frost it. Can’t wait to taste! 🙂

  40. Deborah

    Oct 07

    We saw you do the JUJU bithday cake in your TV show, and we decided to try it. The cake was a success, and is absoulutely delicious. 🙂

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 17

      Hola Deborah, It’s so good to hear you tried the cake and enjoyed it! Thank you for watching.

  41. Required

    Oct 06

    Love your show Patti the recipes look great and bringing in the family at the end of your show was really a nice touch. See you again on NET1 here in Lincoln Nebraska.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 08

      Hola! Thank you for watching in Lincoln!! Let me know if you try any recipes.

  42. Favi

    Sep 15

    I always wanted a easy yummy cake recepie can’t wait to try it!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 17

      Thank you, Favi! Let me know how it turns out.

  43. Laura

    Sep 09

    Wow Pati! This cake looks amazing! Saw it yesterday, and am putting it in the oven right now! Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 11

      My pleasure, Laura

  44. Kristin

    Sep 08

    Is the cocoa supposed to be unsweetened or sweetened?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 08

      Hi Kristin, unsweetened cocoa.

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