Chili-Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cocoa Buttercream

by horseradishsauce

You can't see how fluffy and wonderful the frosting is...


I found this recipe a while ago and I decided to make it last night because (1) I had a cup of buttermilk left over and I wanted to use it and (2) we had a Brigade Run today so I brought them for post-run morale noms. Nom nom.

Anyway, while I was writing the list of ingredients at work, I realized that she used a BOX CAKE! Oh noes. Inconceivable! But I didn’t have a list of other cakes using buttermilk, so I just looked through some chocolate cake recipes and they all called for freshly-brewed coffee and I don’t have coffee so I found a chocolate cake recipe on Annie’s Eats that I decided to use. Cos she uses espresso powder. So I used that recipe and added in the chili powder and cayenne pepper. Then I went to actually MAKE the cake and realized that, as usual, Annie was using sour cream instead of buttermilk. I don’t know how replacing buttermilk with sour cream changes it, so long story short and 24 cupcakes later, there’s still a cup of buttermilk in my fridge.

Now, I also mixed up the baking soda and salt measurements, so they had an extra 1/4 tsp of salt, which I countered with 1.5 tbls flour, which probably made no difference.

Anyway, everyone loved them but all the girls said there was too much cocoa powder, so maybe take it down 1/3 a cup.
This was the first frosting I made that didn’t come out more like glaze! It was stiff! Hoo-ray. Anyway, it wasn’t a LOT for each cupcake, but I think it’s a good amount just because it’s a lot of chocolate, all around. And by the way, I like to sift my powdered sugar first. I think it mixes better.

Chili-Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cocoa Buttercream
(Adapted from Annie’s Eats and Gimmesomeoven)

Yield: 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or 2/3 cup)
  • 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).  Combine the cocoa powder and espresso powder in a small bowl.  Add the boiling water and whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Set aside and let cool to room temperature.  Once cool, whisk in the sour cream and vanilla extract.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and chili powder in a small bowl.  Stir together with a fork to combine; set aside.

Combine the butter and sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.

Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternately with the cocoa-sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat each addition just until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon-Cocoa Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (more or less to achieve desired consistency)

Beat the butter, cocoa and cinnamon. Gradually add the milk and sugar, alternating to get the right consistency. Beat til it’s fluffy. Frost your cupcakes.

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