Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe -
Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe by  

"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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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    18 mins

    1 hr 18 mins


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

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 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! :)

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 09, 2011

Made recipe exactly as stated (as much as I avoid using box mix because I hate the taste, I thought the spice would counteract the 'chemical' tones). Box mix just tastes like normal box chocolate cake, no spice tones to it, and the frosting tastes like spicy cream cheese. Maybe it's because I don't like cream cheese that much, but when I bit into a cupcake to try it I had to throw the rest out. If I were ever try to remake these, I'd make the cake from scratch and possibly double the spice, and either add a lot more powdered sugar or vanilla to counteract the strong cream cheese flavor of the frosting. Or I just won't try to make these again! Also only made around 15 cupcakes, same with the amount of frosting (might have been me over pouring into the paper cups though). Really disappointed and I'm almost ashamed to bring the rest into work since I've made a multitude of other recipes on this site for my coworkers, all of which were a hit. Hope this doesn't leave a bad taste for my baking in their mouth - live and learn!

Jul 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. :)

Jun 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.

Sep 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.

Sep 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!

Aug 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.

Nov 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.


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  • Calories
  • 273 kcal
  • 14%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 36.1 g
  • 12%
  • Cholesterol
  • 57 mg
  • 19%
  • Fat
  • 13.5 g
  • 21%
  • Fiber
  • 0.7 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 3 g
  • 6%
  • Sodium
  • 249 mg
  • 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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