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Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting

Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe


First made for a chili cookoff, these dark chocolate cupcakes have the zing and deep, rich flavor of dried ancho chile and cayenne pepper. They are frosted with a chili-flavored cream cheese frosting, and each cupcake is decorated with a cute dried chili on top.


  • 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
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
  • ⅛ 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 peppers small dried red chiles


  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.

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Nutritional Information

Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting

Servings Per Recipe: 24
Calories: 273.5
% Daily Value *
protein: 6 %
carbohydrates: 12 %
exchange other carbs:
dietary fiber: 3 %
fat: 21 %
saturated fat: 30 %
cholesterol: 19 %
vitamin a iu: 10 %
niacin equivalents: 3 %
vitamin b6: 2 %
vitamin c:
folate: 1 %
calcium: 3 %
iron: 6 %
magnesium: 1 %
potassium: 1 %
sodium: 10 %
thiamin: 1 %
calories from fat:
percent of calories from carbs:
percent of calories from fat:
percent of calories from protein:
percent of calories from sat fat:
*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.

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