A triple Lucci cake is a unique and decadent cake that originated in Mexico. It is made up of three layers of rich, moist chocolate cake filled with chocolate buttercream frosting. The cake gets its name from the three layers or “triples” of cake and from the last name of its creator, pastry chef Ignacio Lucci.
The Origins of the Triple Lucci Cake
The triple Lucci cake was created in the late 1990s by Ignacio Lucci, a pastry chef in Mexico City. Lucci wanted to create a new cake using Mexican flavors and ingredients that would be truly indulgent and over-the-top. He began experimenting with combinations of chocolate, chiles, cinnamon, and dulce de leche to come up with the perfect recipe.
After months of testing, Lucci finalized his recipe for a rich, moist chocolate cake made with Mexican cocoa powder and filled with chocolate buttercream made with Mexican cinnamon and chiles. He stacked three layers of this chocolate cake together and enrobed the whole cake in more chocolate buttercream frosting. The result was so decadent and indulgent that he named it the “triple Lucci cake.”
The cake quickly became popular at Lucci’s bakery in Mexico City and it started gaining fame nationwide as the ultimate chocolate lover’s cake. The distinct layers of cake and frosting became iconic. As Lucci’s cake grew famous, other bakeries started making their own versions of triple layer chocolate cakes filled with chocolate frosting and calling them “triple Lucci cakes” after Lucci’s original creation.
Ingredients in a Triple Lucci Cake
The triple Lucci cake gets its decadence from the high-quality ingredients used throughout the three layers of cake and frosting. Here are some of the key ingredients that go into making a triple Lucci cake:
- Mexican cocoa powder – The cake layers are made with real Mexican cocoa powder, which provides a deep, rich chocolate flavor.
- Butter and eggs – The cake recipe calls for plenty of butter and eggs to provide moisture and richness.
- Mexican cinnamon – A touch of cinnamon adds warmth and depth of flavor to the chocolate cake layers.
- Chiles – A small amount of chile powder or cayenne pepper brings a hint of heat to the chocolate frosting.
- Dulce de leche – Mexican dulce de leche, or caramelized sweetened condensed milk, is swirled into the chocolate frosting for sweetness.
- Chocolate – High quality dark chocolate and cocoa butter ensure deep chocolate flavor in the frosting.
The combination of these ingredients creates an intensely chocolatey cake with a nice kick of spice and the sweetness of dulce de leche contrasting the bittersweet chocolate. The moist, tender crumb of the cake soaks up the rich chocolate frosting for a truly decadent dessert.
The Layering of a Triple Lucci Cake
A true triple Lucci cake consists of three distinct layers of chocolate cake stacked together with chocolate frosting in between each layer and covering the top and sides of the cake.
The bottom and middle cake layers are moist, dark chocolate cake infused with Mexican cinnamon. Each cake layer is approximately 1 to 1.5 inches high. A layer of chocolate buttercream frosting about 1/2 inch thick is spread in between each cake layer. This chocolate buttercream is silky smooth and rich, with additional cocoa powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper worked into it.
After frosting each layer of cake, the three layers are neatly stacked on top of each other. Then the frosted cake is chilled to allow the frosting to set.
Finally, the chilled cake is covered in more chocolate buttercream frosting on the top and sides. This frosting layer is typically a bit thicker to create a real chocolate coating over the entire cake. Decorations like chocolate shavings or chips are often added over the top layer of frosting.
Serving Triple Lucci Cake
There are some special considerations when serving and eating triple Lucci cake due to its multiple layers and generous amount of frosting:
- Use a sharp, thin-bladed knife to neatly cut individual slices and prevent excessive frosting smudging.
- Allow slices to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving so the chocolate layers soften slightly.
- Provide small plates and forks to enjoy the rich cake without it collapsing.
- Offer glasses of milk, strong coffee, or teas to help cut through the chocolate intensity.
- Warn guests about the spicy cinnamon and cayenne kick hidden within the chocolate.
- Cut small portions, as a little goes a long way with this decadent cake.
Slice triple Lucci cake into thin wedge shapes for perfect portions that allow all the layers to be seen and tasted in each bite. The slices reveal the distinct striations of chocolate cake, buttercream, and more chocolate cake for a beautiful presentation.
Unique Traits of Triple Lucci Cake
Here are some of the unique traits that set triple Lucci cake apart from other cakes:
- Over-the-top chocolate intensity from multiple layers of real Mexican cocoa powder.
- Contrast of bittersweet chocolate and sweet dulce de leche caramel.
- Peppery spice kick from Mexican cinnamon and cayenne.
- Ultra moist and tender crumb thanks to plenty of eggs and butter.
- Stacking of thin layers creates visual appeal when sliced.
- Chocolate frosting provides decadence without being cloyingly sweet.
- Ideal for chocolate aficionados who want an intense cocoa hit.
No other cake combines the deep chocolate flavors and texture of triple Lucci cake. The time and care taken to layer the components results in a truly memorable eating experience for serious chocolate lovers.
While the original triple Lucci cake is made with chocolate, the concept of layering cake and frosting in threes has spawned some popular variations:
- Red velvet triple Lucci – Layers of red velvet cake filled with cream cheese frosting.
- Tres leches triple Lucci – Sponge cake soaked in three milks topped with whipped cream.
- Rainbow triple Lucci – Vibrantly colored vanilla cakes with colorful buttercream.
- Confetti triple Lucci – Vanilla cake baked with sprinkles and funfetti frosting.
The layered look of the triple Lucci cake works well with many cake and frosting combinations besides chocolate. Pastry chefs enjoy coming up with creative new triple Lucci cakes showcasing seasonal flavors.
How to Make Your Own
Making your own triple Lucci cake is an ambitious baking project but well worth the effort. Follow these tips for success:
- Use high quality cocoa powder and chocolate for maximum flavor.
- Bake thin, even cake layers so they stack neatly and absorb moisture.
- Chill cake layers before filling and frosting to firm them up.
- Spread smooth, evenly thick layers of frosting between each cake layer.
- Refrigerate the assembled cake before final frosting to prevent messy smudging.
- Use an offset spatula to create sharp edges and clean frosted sides.
- Plan ahead – this is a multistep process requiring time and patience!
With care and some practice, you can create a gorgeous and delicious homemade triple Lucci cake. Your extra effort will pay off in chocolatey, cinnamon-spiced bliss with each bite.
Storage and Handling
Triple Lucci cakes are highly perishable due to all the butter and cream used in the recipe. Proper storage is important for maximum freshness and quality:
- Store uneaten triple Lucci cake in the refrigerator.
- Keep loosely covered with plastic wrap or a cake dome to prevent drying out.
- Allow to come to room temperature before serving for best texture.
- Consume within 3-4 days of baking for optimal taste and texture.
- Freeze for longer storage, but quality may decline after thawing.
- Shelf life is shorter than single layer cakes due to more surface area.
- Avoid refrigerating slices after serving since condensation can make the chocolate too soft.
With proper storage and handling, you can enjoy this special cake for several days after baking. Share it with friends and family soon before the quality deteriorates.
Where to Find Triple Lucci Cake
Since the triple Lucci cake originated in Mexico, the best place to find authentic versions is still in Mexico City bakeries. The cake is especially popular around the major holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Dia de Los Muertos.
However, the cake has expanded in fame beyond Mexico. Many Latin American bakeries in the United States now offer their own triple Lucci cakes. You may also be able to special order the cake from high-end bakeries with advance notice.
Baking specialty stores with imported Mexican ingredients are also a good place to check for triple Lucci cakes. Look for Mexican cinnamon, chile powder, and dulce de leche as signs they may bake this cake.
If you have the time and skill, your best bet for enjoying triple Lucci cake is to follow an authentic Mexican recipe and bake your own at home. It takes effort, but offers a fun baking challenge with a delicious reward.
Reviews of Triple Lucci Cake
Here are some reviews of the triple Lucci cake experience from people who have managed to enjoy this rare treat:
“This has got to be one of the most decadent cakes I’ve ever tasted. The layers of moist chocolate cake paired with the cinnamon and spice in the frosting take it over the top. Absolute heaven for any chocolate lover but almost too much richness with every slice. You definitely need some strong coffee or milk to balance it out.”
“I was in Mexico City last year and tried this cake at a local bakery. I was amazed at the intense chocolate and deep cinnamon flavors. I loved how you could see the beautiful striations of cake and frosting with each slice. The hint of heat from the cayenne was unexpected. Definitely a memorable cake I would travel back to Mexico to eat again.”
“We had this for my Abuelita’s 80th birthday and it was incredible. You can tell how much meticulous work goes into creating the three layers. The taste transports you back to Mexico with the cinnamon, spice, and dulce de leche woven into the chocolate. A stunning cake both visually and in rich decadent flavors.”
It’s clear from these reviews that the triple Lucci cake makes a lasting impression on all who are lucky enough to experience it. The combination of layered textures and Mexican-inspired flavors come together to create a truly extraordinary chocolate cake.
Like most indulgent, multilayer cakes, the triple Lucci cake is quite high in calories, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates. Here is the nutrition information for a typical serving (1 slice):
As you can see, the triple Lucci cake is clearly meant for special occasions and not everyday consumption. The high calorie, fat, sugar, and sodium numbers reflect the large quantities of chocolate, butter, eggs, and caramelized milk. This makes each slice a truly decadent experience to be savored in moderation.
The triple Lucci cake brings together luxurious layers of chocolate, spice, and caramel for an unforgettable Mexican-inspired dessert. Its multiple layers of cake and frosting require skill and patience to create properly, but provide a beautiful visual effect and decadent culinary experience. While high in calories and rich in flavor, the triple Lucci cake is perfect for chocolate enthusiasts to indulge in on special occasions. For the adventurous baker or avid chocolate lover, seeking out or making your own version of this unique cake is a rewarding challenge.