Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting


Dark chocolate cupcakes with a bite! Topped with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting. This recipe was inspired from a combination of recommendations from AR Buzzers. Thanks all! They were a huge hit at our annual Chili Cook-off. Many wanted THEM to be allowed as an entry. Add more chili and cayenne powder to taste. (IF YOU CAN TAKE IT!)

Original recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes


1 (18.25 ounce) box devil’s food chocolate cake mix
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ancho chile pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, or more as needed
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract, or to taste
24 small dried red chiles

  • PREP

    30 mins

  • COOK

    18 mins


    1 hr 18 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.
  2. Empty the boxed cake mix into a mixing bowl, and whisk in 1 1/2 teaspoon of ground ancho chile and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat in the water, vegetable oil, and eggs; beat for 2 minutes. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake cups, filling them 2/3 full.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Remove and cool completely before frosting.
  4. In a bowl, sift 1 teaspoon of ground ancho chile, 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and the cinnamon with the confectioners’ sugar. Beat in the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until the frosting is smooth; mix in the vanilla extract. Spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes in attractive swirls, and poke a small dried chile, stem-side up, into the frosting as a garnish.


Calories: 273 kcal
Carbohydrates: 36.1 g
Cholesterol: 60 mg
Fat: 13.5 g
Fiber: 0.7 g
Protein: 3 g
Sodium: 249 mg