Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes

If there was ever a sassy cupcake, this would be the one. A dash (well, maybe more) of peppery cayenne, a sprinkle (okay, more than that) of spicy sweet cinnamon and the smoothness of the delectable chocolate. I used your traditional moist and rich chocolate crazy-cake recipe as the base, just adding the cinnamon and cayenne for flavor. It pairs perfectly with the cinnamon buttercream frosting I’ve topped it with.

I first made these cupcakes on Día de los Muertos, but they were gobbled up too quickly for any pictures. Today isn’t Mexico’s Day of the Dead, but it has been a super cold month here in Chicago, and we could all use a little warming up and what better way to do it than by eating cupcakes with a kick? If a little spice in your belly doesn’t warm you up, an extra pound or two might. Okay, but really, Chicago weather gods, it’s been way too cold and grey lately! Send us some nicer weather!

It has been almost 2 months since my last post. What have I been up to in the past 2 months? Well I have been doing a lot of baking–but the kind involving mixing antimony, lithium, sulfur and other such elements to 800 °C. Please do not try this at home. As the days start to get longer I plan on having more posts and pretty pictures of food for you, so stay tuned!

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes
24 cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose white flour (or 1/2 whole wheat pastry, 1/2 white)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cayenne pepper (or less if you’re very sensitive to spice)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp apple cider or white vinegar

preheat oven to 350 ºF and place liners into a muffin pan
1. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cayenne pepper together.
2. Add the vegetable oil, water, vanilla, and vinegar to the dry ingredients and stir. Do not over mix; a few clumps are okay.
3. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way, bake for 15-20 minutes or until a knife pulls out clean.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
makes about 1 cup

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 to 2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup vegan butter sticks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup soy milk

1. In a medium bowl mix the cinnamon into the powdered sugar.
2. Add the shortening, butter sticks, vanilla, and soy milk and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
3. Spread over cupcakes (once they are fully cooled) and enjoy!

These cupcakes were so good, my cat was even licking her lips over them! Hah, okay in reality she was licking her lips over my plant that I just caught her eating red-handed (pawed?). But then again, I don’t let my cat eat cupcakes.


20 thoughts on “Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Definitely saving this recipe for my “to be baked” folder! They sound so delicious. My sister’s boyfriend is a huge (HUGE) fan of anything with a kick, so maybe I’ll save these to make for his birthday!

  2. If you are not vegan, how would you make these? There are no vegan butter sticks in the country I live and I am not sure of “vegetable shortening”.

    • You can definitely substitute butter for vegan buttery sticks and also the shortening if you cannot find it. Vegan buttery sticks made by a particular brand, Earth Balance, in the United States and are an alternative to margarine, which you could also use.

      The frosting comes out best if you use half margarine (or butter) and half shortening, but you can use all margarine (or butter). You can also substitute milk or whipping cream for the soy milk.

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  4. There’s a recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcakes in VCTOTW, and this cinnamon buttercream looks like the peeerrrfect addition! I will definitely be making that to go along with those! I’m going to need to hit the gym considerably more though. Jeez.

  5. Thanks for the recipe! We were having a Mexican themed dinner at church and this was perfect as I had all of the ingredients in my apartment! I didn’t have any muffin tins though, so I just went the 9 x 13 pan route and it worked out fine. I used regular butter and 2% milk as well. The baking took a little longer since I baked a whole cake… around 25 minutes, but it came out just fine… thank goodness for the knife test.

    Many people complained that it was too hot, but I thought it was just the right amount of spice to make it interesting, but not overpowering. Thanks so much!

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  8. I made these for Cinco de Mayo – delicious! I replaced 1/4 cup of the flour with an additional 1/4 cup cocoa powder to make them extra rich and chocolate-y , and used 1 slightly rounded tsp cayenne pepper. This gave a heat that kind of crept up on you – not apparent when you first taste the cupcake, but it builds to leave a tingle on your tongue! As I’m not vegan, I topped these with Swiss meringue buttercream frosting flavored with vanilla and cinnamon, and decorated them with mini marshmallows.

  9. I’ve now made these twice in the last week — had the brilliant idea of making Mexican chocolate cupcakes to bring to family gathering with similar theme, conducted a Google search and found your recipe, whipped them up (doubly excited that they were vegan!!), then had second thoughts as my in-laws can be a bit wimpy when it comes to spicy…. no need for nerves, they LOVED them (and the adults were delighted that they finally had their own dessert that the kids were too scared to wolf down!). I was even more excited that I got everyone hooked on something vegan!! My mother-in-law declared them “perfect” (along with the disclaimer(?) that she “knows cupcakes”). They were so much of a hit that everyone took the extras home, we were left with only enough to get me through to making another batch for my knitting group and, then, alas, we are without again….. I think I’ll laminate the recipe. Thank you!

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