The Ultimate Belizean Bake: Maya Chocolate Cake

by Vivian Roe

Did you know that some of the best chocolate in the world originates in Belize? History shows the ancient Maya were the first to discover chocolate. Further evidences suggest the Mayans had chocolate at every meal, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And whilst we wish, this was still the case for us in modern day, we still know that everyone likes a sweet treat. So we are sharing one of our favorite bakes from the Flavors of Belize cookbook: Maya Chocolate Cake. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion, having a few friends over, or just in the mood to bake, this recipe will have everyone complimenting your cooking skills!

Maya Chocolate Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9″ round cake pans.  Dust with flour and line with parchment paper. Combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Add eggs one at a time, blending thoroughly. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients 1/2 cup at a time, mixing with water as needed. Mix until well blended. Pour better evenly into the two baking pans. Bake 40 minutes or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, loosen sides, then cool to room temperature and remove from pan.

Chocolate Icing

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water, if needed


Beat butter and vanilla. Sift powdered sugar, salt and cocoa powder. Add to butter, alternating with boiling water as needed. Beat at highest until creamy. If frosting is too thick add water, 1 teaspoon at a time. If the frosting is too soft, add powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time.

More about the Flavors of Belize Cookbook

flavors of belize cookbook

The Flavors of Belize Cookbook represents a remarkable collaboration between Belize’s most valuable asset… its people. Your culinary journey would be incomplete without sampling the flavors and traditions of some of Belize’s most diverse cultures: Maya, Mestizo, Creole, East Indian, Garifuna, Lebanese, Chinese, Mennonite, Caribbean and British, all of which are represented in this cookbook. Enjoy another recipe, like Fish Tacos from the cookbook, and learn more about Belizean cuisine here.

The Flavors of Belize Cookbook is available to purchase on Amazon.

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