It’s no secret that I’m addicted to chocolate. I always have a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the house and have to keep them in a high cupboard out of reach because otherwise I will eat them by the handful. However, I’ve always been skeptical about Mexican hot chocolate desserts (cookies, gelato, brownies, etc.) because of the added cinnamon. Even though this sounded like a strange combination to me, I made some Mexican hot chocolate brownies for bookclub recently because it was a fiesta theme and OMG! Where has this been all my life?! I’ve been missing out these past 27 years because it is delicious! The subtle spiciness from the cayenne pepper and cinnamon complements the sweet chocolate perfectly! Since I loved the brownies so much I decided to make Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes since I found these cute sugar skull toppers at HomeGoods. How perfect are these for Dia de los Muertos?! For the cupcake I made a regular chocolate recipe but added cinnamon and cayenne pepper. I also made a basic chocolate buttercream and sprinkled some in there as well. The cake was super moist and the creamy frosting made it even better. This is now my go-to dessert to bring for fiestas with friends!
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
These Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes are made with a basic chocolate cupcake recipe, but I added cinnamon and cayenne. The chocolate buttercream also includes these spices.
- 3/4 cup AP flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup light brow sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper or 1/4 if you like it spicier
- 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cayenne pepper, ground cinnamon and salt.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, canola oil and buttermilk until smooth. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Pour batter into the cupcake liners, filling about half way. Bake for 17 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium until smooth and fluffy, about one minute.
In a medium-sized bow, whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Gradually add to the butter while mixing on low. Add heavy cream and continue mixing until combined, scraping down the sides and bottom with a rubber spatula as needed. Continue mixing on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Transfer to piping bag fitted with your favorite decorating tip to frost the cupcakes.