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Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting

Rated as 4.42 out of 5 Stars

"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!)"
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1 h 18 m servings 273
Original recipe yields 24 servings (2 dozen cupcakes)


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  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.


  • Cook's Note
  • If you dare, chop ONE small, red dried chile into frosting. Remove seeds first (Or Not!!!)

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 273 calories; 13.5 36.1 3 57 249 Full nutrition

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  1. 106 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Fantastic!!! Love, love, LOVE this recipe! The ancho and cayenne work wonderfully with the richness of the devil's food cake. As written, I found it to have just the right amount of kick - not o...

Most helpful critical review

Good recipe. But if want spicer simmer dried chiles in the water for 15 min then let cool. Use the water as directed in the cake batter. It activates true heat of peppers and really gives a kick.

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Fantastic!!! Love, love, LOVE this recipe! The ancho and cayenne work wonderfully with the richness of the devil's food cake. As written, I found it to have just the right amount of kick - not o...

WOW...these were AMAZING!!!! Made them exactly as written and feel there are no changes needed...just the right amount of 'heat', not a hot, spicy heat, just a warm heat that you can feel in the...

This was quite interesting! I just made this for my husband & our neighbors whom were over.. These were a hit with all the guys for sure... very different, but worth a try.. IMO the frosting d...

This is my recipe and I was requested to make 50 for an event in Eugene. I amped up the Ancho and Cayenne ground pepper per request to two teaspoons Ancho and 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne in the CC batt...

Fantastic!!Made these according to the recipe as written mainly out of curiosity! WoW!!! They were a big hit at a party I had tonight. I made them as minature cupcakes and served them as a "Gue...

These cupcakes were good, just not great and my opinion is it's because of the box mix rather than from scratch. I couldn't find ancho chili pepper, but a friend brought me dried pasilla chilis...

Wonderful! My husband is in the Army and I made these for a bake sale at his work! Everyone loved them! They sold out in a flash! Will def make again!

Excellent recipe. I tasted the batter and loved it, I tasted the frosting which would have been delicious with no spices and decided to add more of each type of chili per personal taste. They ...

made as directed, but made mini's (bake time 15 minutes). they were a huge hit - every one got eaten, most people ate two!