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!)

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
18 mins
additional:
30 mins
total:
1 hr 18 mins
Servings:
24
Yield:
2 dozen cupcakes
Advertisement

Ingredients

24
Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.

    Advertisement
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

274 calories; protein 3g 6% DV; carbohydrates 36.1g 12% DV; fat 13.5g 21% DV; cholesterol 57.2mg 19% DV; sodium 248.9mg 10% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (90)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/28/2011
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 overwhelming at all. It really is a great 'adult' cupcake. The frosting is KILLER and compliments the cupcakes perfectly. I will definitely make these again. Thanks!:) Read More
(43)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
10/21/2014
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. Read More
(5)
107 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 64
  • 4 star values: 29
  • 3 star values: 11
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
06/27/2011
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 overwhelming at all. It really is a great 'adult' cupcake. The frosting is KILLER and compliments the cupcakes perfectly. I will definitely make these again. Thanks!:) Read More
(43)
Rating: 5 stars
07/13/2011
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 back of your throat....SO YUMMY! The icing is definately the star of these cupcakes and would go great on a variety of cakes or from a spoon as I was doing lol. Even my little guy LOVED these but he is partial to spicy foods so I knew that he would be ablr to handle this. Can't wait to share these with my family and friends. Definate repeat recipe! Thanks for sharing.:) Read More
(30)
Rating: 4 stars
06/24/2011
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 didn't look too appealing because of the spices so I topped it with caramel sauce to help. Regardless by the time everyone left they had eaten them all gone! They are an adult cupcake I wouldn't recommend these for kids unless they have a eclectic pallet & can tolerate heat.. I will note that I used tofutti non-dairy cream cheese & earth balance butter. Read More
(24)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
09/17/2012
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 batter. Actually I thought it tasted good and was still not too hot for this wimp. That's why I like this recipe. Make it as you like... less pepper powder or more. Of course I made some for hubby too! He liked the spicer version too. Read More
(21)
Rating: 5 stars
08/27/2011
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 "Guess the ingredient " dish. Only one person out of 22 came up with the Ancho chili and cayenne pepper. Highly recommend this recipe. Read More
(16)
Rating: 4 stars
11/11/2012
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 which I ground myself. The cupcakes could use a little more heat so don't be afraid to bump up the peppers if you like spicy. I will make them again from scratch. I think a dark chocolate cocoa would be great. Read More
(11)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
09/07/2011
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! Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
10/04/2011
made as directed but made mini's (bake time 15 minutes). they were a huge hit - every one got eaten most people ate two! Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
11/06/2011
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 are just delicious and I love how they look. Thank you for posting. Read More
(10)
Rating: 3 stars
10/21/2014
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. Read More
(5)