Chocolate Chili Surprise

To some people, chocolate and chili may be a peculiar combination and you may be disgusted by such a flavor combination; but if you are like me, you are intrigued by the peculiar and can’t wait to sink your teeth and envelope your taste buds in an explosion of flavor.

I first encountered this combination while traversing the streets of New York City. My husband and I took a trip to the American Museum of Natural History on a cold February day. After a day filled with amazement and adventure, we stopped by a Mexican restaurant, and after a delicious meal, I saw that they had a chocolate chili milkshake. I thought for a moment and I knew I needed to try it; the spice, with the sweet, and cool of the milkshake, I just had to indulge! Life is about balance right? Sometimes you need to indulge little and drink that milkshake!

I was so happy that I did! That chocolate chili milkshake is the best milkshake that I have had to date. Ever since this day, I have loved the chocolate and chili combination and I was craving it a few weeks ago. I was asked to possibly make some cupcakes for a baby shower and I asked if they would like to try chocolate chili cupcakes. They were all a little hesitant to have spicy cupcakes, but they said they would try it. In result, I turned that milkshake into a cupcake with a few twists.

I followed recipes, but put a few twists in there. For the cupcake part, I followed Betty Crocker’s Aztec Chili-Chocolate Cupcakes with some tweaks I will write in my recipe.

For the frosting, I followed Allrecipe’s Cinco de Chili Cupcakes, again, with some tweaks I will write in my recipe.

Chili Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting

Yields around 24



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder (I actually added 1/4 tsp because I couldn’t really taste the spice. If you try your batter and it is not spicy enough, go ahead and add another 1/8 tsp of cayenne)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa or cacao powder
  • 3/4 cup butter or coconut oil or shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, or more as needed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (room temperature)
  • ½ cup butter, softened (room temperature)
  • ½ teaspoon clear vanilla extract, or to taste 


  • 4 cups diced strawberries
  • 1-2 tablespoon granulated sugar


  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne



  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place cupcake liners in the muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients (flour to cayenne pepper). Set aside
  3. In a small bowl mix the hot water and cocoa powder. The water doesn’t have to be boiling, just hot enough to dissolve the powder. I turned my faucet all the way hot and it worked perfectly.
  4. In a large bowl, preferably with a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time waiting until each egg is mixed well. Add the vanilla and the apple cider vinegar.
  5. Add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then about half of the cocoa mixture; repeat until all mixed together. Taste, if you are not afraid of salmonella, and add more cayenne powder if so desired.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full, about a quarter cup each. I used a large ice cream scooper and it made a little less than 24.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.


  1. For the strawberry filling just add the sugar to the chopped strawberries and let sit until you are ready to fill your cupcakes.
  2. For the chocolate ganache filling place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl with the milk and microwave for 30 seconds. Mix and heat for another 15 seconds if needed. Add the cayenne pepper and mix. Taste and add more if needed/wanted.


  1. Beat the room temperature butter and cream cheese until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes on high. While mixing on low speed, add the powdered sugar in batches, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. Pour the vanilla in and mix until stiff.


  1. Wait for your cupcakes to cool completely. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. If you don’t let the cupcakes cool then the frosting will melt off. To prevent this I normally bake the cupcakes the night before and place in the refrigerator over night.
  2. Take a frosting tip or spoon and hull out the center of the cupcake. Fill with your desired filling.
  3. Place a frosting tip inside a plastic gallon bag and frost your cupcakes!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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