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!