Becky, an old friend from high school came across a recipe for a Mexican spiced chocolate cupcake a few weeks ago, and passed the recipe along to me. I couldn’t wait to try them! A heavy dose of delicious spices are added to the batter to make them sing of spice. It’s funny how spice can be like that, isn’t it? Spicy doesn’t necessarily mean hot!

Ancho chile powder for a punch of smoke, cayenne pepper for a little bit of heat, and of course cinnamon to round everything out and kick the spice factor into the next stratosphere. These cupcakes were very different, but very well received. The first and foremost thing you taste is definitely the cinnamon – but the other additions are there, simmering on the back burner. The original recipe called for a ganache topping, but I opted for a buttercream instead, and loved the outcome!

If you have a hard time finding ancho chile powder, do what I do – and just grind your own. Dried peppers are a great thing to have on hand in your pantry. A ton of flavor, and they never go bad! If you’re looking for something different, try these cupcakes – they won’t disappoint!


  1. Nan L
    Posted September 9, 2012 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    I have finally gotten into the baking stage of my life, and felt it was time to bake some cupcakes. I wanted to find something chocolatey but a tad different. These were super easy, and taste amazing! Thank you so much. I am so happy I found your page. Cheers!

    • Laura
      Posted September 9, 2012 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

      Nan, so glad you enjoyed them!

  2. Peggy Priebe
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    I am from South Dakota and a recent transplant to Colorado. I work in Pueblo – a very Latino community. I have been making gourmet cupcakes as a hobbie (I’m an IT geek), and bringing them into work. I am not good at eating spicy food so waited anxiously for my friends to taste your cupcakes. Reviews are in – OUTSTANDING. They were delighted with the little “KICK” at the end.
    I am telling everyone where I got the recipe. Keep up the GREAT work!

  3. Nora
    Posted December 4, 2012 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    What if I swap the Dutch processed cocoa for cacao powder? I’m having a Mayan Apocalypse party and I thought that would make it more “authentic.” Also, I couldn’t find Dutch-processed cocoa in the store.

    • Laura
      Posted December 5, 2012 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

      Nora, I think regular cocoa powder would be just fine.

  4. Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:38 PM | Permalink

    These look fantastic! I would love to make these over the holiday.

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