Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Cinnamon Buttercream

I am going to a work potluck tonight and (surprise surprise) signed up to bring a dessert.  I really wanted to bring some cupcakes but thought full cupcakes might be a little much so I went with a miniature version.  I’ve been wanting to try these cupcakes for a long time so this of course seemed like the perfect opportunity! The beauty of these cupcakes? They come from a box mix! You can whip them up in a flash! Shhhh.  Nobody will ever guess.  I used a gluten free chocolate cake mix but you can use any type of chocolate cake mix you wish.  The most amazing part of these cupcakes is definitely the smooth (somewhat spicy) taste… not to mention the irresistible chocolatey frosting!  I piped these minis with a star tip (my personal fave) and topped them with some sugar pearls I have stashed away in my baking drawer.


  • 1 (18.25 oz.) box Devil’s Food cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s gluten free mix but any chocolate mix will do)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 4 eggs

Frosting Ingredients:

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


To Make Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • Add the first six cake ingredients (cake mix through cayenne) together in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until moistened, about 30 seconds.  Add eggs one at a time, until the batter is well-mixed. Increase speed to high and beat until thick, 2 minutes longer.
  • Pour or scoop the batter into the paper liners until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cupcakes cool on a wire rack.

To Make Frosting:

  • Cream butter in an electric mixer on medium-speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Then add cocoa powder and cinnamon and mix on low-speed until combined.  Gradually add in the milk and powdered sugar, alternately, until combined.  Then beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, another 3-5 minutes.  (Add in more powdered sugar if consistency is too thin.)

Note: You may want to double the frosting if you are going to be piping the frosting like I did!


Source: Recipe adapted from Mayan Chocolate Cupcakes from Gimmie Some Oven

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