SMiLes by Meg

Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

I am solidly back into procrastination cooking mode. As tends to happen when my work picks up, I convince myself to make increasingly elaborate recipes in an effort to justify not doing that work. This week, I did this both with my baking AND my regular cooking.

For cooking, despite quite a bit of reading that wasn’t going to do itself, I decided to make a Eggplant and Mango Soba Noodle Salad, which managed to dirty just about every pan in my kitchen in the process. For baking, I pulled out all of my cookbooks and went through each and every one before settling on Chocolate Chili Cupcakes (aka Taco Cupcakes – more on that in a bit), which didn’t need to include the time I spent frosting them and sprinkling them with chocolate chips, but procrastination, remember?

Anyways, the cupcakes are actually pretty simple, and can easily be made as mini or regular sized by just adjusting the cooking time.

First, cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy.Chocolate Chili Cupcakes - 1 Chocolate Chili Cupcakes - 2Next, beat in the eggs, one at a time.Chocolate Chili Cupcakes - 3 Chocolate Chili Cupcakes - 4Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and chili powder and beat until well blended, about 3 minutes on medium speed.Chocolate Chili Cupcakes - 5 Chocolate Chili Cupcakes - 6The Taco Cupcakes comment comes in. The chili powder blend at Whole Foods has just enough difference in flavor from traditional chili powder (aka McCormick’s) that the cupcakes were less hot spicy and more different spicy. Can’t really describe it, but use a good ground cayenne instead if you can find it.

Finally, stir in the mini chocolate chips.Chocolate Chili Cupcakes - 7Distribute the batter into mini muffin tins lined with papers, filling each cup about 2/3.Chocolate Chili Cupcakes - 8Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes (20-22 for regular sized) until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in cupcake tin for 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.Chocolate Chili Cupcakes - 9Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat together the butter, confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso on medium speed until well combined and desired consistency. Chocolate Chili Cupcakes - 11Use to frost the cupcakes, and sprinkle with additional mini chocolate chips. Because this is a true buttercream icing, I’d store them in the fridge if possible, otherwise just eat them fast.

Enjoy!Chocolate Chili Cupcakes - 12

Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons brewed espresso, chilled
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

Directions:

  1. For the cupcakes, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Beat in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and cayenne pepper until well combined, about 3 minutes on medium speed.
  4. Fill mini muffin tins lined with papers 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the frosting, beat the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, espresso, and butter on medium speed of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and creamy and of desired consistency.
  7. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with additional mini chocolate chips.

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