Chocolate Chili Cupcakes


I made chocolate chili cupcakes last night because I had some leftover chocolate ganache (#firstworld problems, am I right?) and this was the result. Not bad. There’s a nice spicy finish that you don’t notice until you’re just finishing it up, but it’s definitely there. Ancho chiles will give you some more depth of flavor, but if you don’t have it, just heap on a little bit more of cayenne pepper and you’re all set.


Topped with chocolate ganache, a dusting of cinnamon, and a Hot Tamale.

Want the recipe? It’s below the cut.



  • 1 (18.25 box) chocolate cake mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ancho chile pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 3 eggs



  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 10 oz fine-quality chopped bittersweet chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line cupcake tray with paper liners.
  2. Mix box cake mix with all the cake ingredients until smooth.
  3. Spoon batter into cupcake liners, about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake cupcakes until they come out clean in the center with a knife or toothpick.
  5. For ganache, bring cream to a simmer in a sauce pan. Whisk in chocolate until smooth.
  6. Transfer the ganache to a bowl and let it cool for about 4 hours so that it is cool yet still spreadable. If it’s too thick, let it stand at room temperature until slightly softened.
  7. Frost cupcakes and refrigerate them so that the ganache hardens. Sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon and top with a Hot Tamale candy, if so desired.

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