Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting


Dark chocolate cupcakes with a bite! These little chili cakes are 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 these cupcakes to be allowed as an entry. Add more chili and cayenne powder to taste (if you can take it).

close up view of Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting, garnished with red chili peppers on a white platter
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
24 cupcakes


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) box devil's food chocolate cake mix

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ancho chile pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 ¼ cups water

  • cup vegetable oil

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper

  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, or more as needed

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • ½ teaspoon clear vanilla extract, or to taste

  • 24 small dried red chiles


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

  2. Whisk cake mix, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ancho chile, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Beat in water, vegetable oil, and eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed; beat for 2 minutes. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin 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. Sift 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and cinnamon with confectioners' sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat in cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth; mix in vanilla extract.

  5. Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes in attractive swirls. Poke a small dried chile, stem-side up, into frosting as a garnish.

Cook's Note

If you dare, chop 1 small, dried red chili into frosting. Remove seeds first (or not)!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

274 Calories
14g Fat
36g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 274
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 249mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 28g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 31mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 39mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love