Game Day Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

These are manly cupcakes. We’re talking devil’s food, white and dark chocolate, crushed chocolate covered pretzels and some cayenne pepper to heat things up. I’m not messing around. They are made for a nail biting Super Bowl Sunday (or any other day for that matter!) You may be turned off by the cayenne pepper. Don’t be! The heat is a subtle surprise that lingers well after tasting the lush chocolate. Followed by a sip of cold beer, and we’re in Game-Day heaven.


These are essentially just Martha Stewart’s classic Devils Food Cupcakes, only kicked up a couple notches, hence the cayenne pepper.

Flour and Cayenne Pepper

Whisk some salt, baking powder, baking soda and cayenne pepper into the flour. I’d say 3/4 tsp is the magic number for subtle heat. I didn’t want people to know there is cayenne pepper in these, I just wanted to hint at something special in there. Add more if you want people sweating, add less if you’re a wimp (or have kids eating them).

Melted Cocoa powder

Add very hot water to the cocoa powder, let it sit for about minute and whisk until smooth. Allow it to cool. Blend butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla.

Chocolate chile cupcake batter

Blend in the cocoa mixture and then alternate the flour mixture with the sour cream. Resist the urge to eat the entire bowl of batter.

Pouring out cupcakes

Line cupcake pan with liners and fill each 3/4 of the way full. I like to do this with an ice cream scoop to avoid messes.

White and Dark Chocolate

The buttercream frosting blends my favorites: white and bittersweet chocolate with another hit of the cayenne pepper. You can pretty much adapt any frosting recipe to pair with these cupcakes by adding a 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper to it.

Add cayenne to the butter

Blend softened butter, vanilla, cayenne pepper and half of the powdered sugar until smooth.

Chocolate Chili Buttercream

Whip in the melted white and bittersweet chocolate, add the remaining powdered sugar.

Frosting the cupcakes

Remove cupcakes from the oven after about 15-20 minutes or once toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let them cool on a cooling rack before frosting.

Frosted cupcakes

Add a generous amount of frosting to each cupcake, but no need to be fancy. These are meant to be manly!

Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

Add crushed chocolate covered pretzels as a garnish. Now go ahead and devour.

Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

Makes 32 cupcakes

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • Chocolate Chili Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Crushed Chocolate covered pretzels (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with liners.

Pour hot water into the unsweetened cocoa powder.  Let it stand for about a minute and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Whisk flour, cayenne pepper, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating each until combined. Add cocoa mixture and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low and add flour in two additions, alternating with sour cream. Beat until all ingredients are combined.

Using an ice cream scoop, spoon out batter into cupcake liners until 3/4 way full. Bake between 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Chocolate Chili Buttercream

  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a double boiler (or small saucepan over VERY low heat), melt bittersweet and white chocolate chips, whisking constantly until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl on medium speed, beat the butter until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add half of the powdered sugar, cream, vanilla and cayenne and beat until combined. Pour in the melted chocolate and remaining powdered sugar and scrape down the sides as needed. Beat until frosting is combined and smooth.

Top each cupcake with a generous (about 2-3 tbsp) portion of frosting and smooth it with a spatula. Top with crushed chocolate covered pretzels as a garnish, if using.

Adapted from The Butch Bakery Cookbook

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8 Responses to Game Day Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

  1. Lauri Candee says:

    I think we’re coming to YOUR house on Sunday!

  2. Mr. Kiim says:

    Thanks, Doo! I’m definitely gonna have to try these. I looooove love LOVE chili chocolate!!

  3. Oh yum! I’m a big fan of spicy chocolate… It’s always a welcome surprise to me! These are gorgeous! Sorry, maybe shouldn’t say gorgeous… They’re handsome. 😉

  4. Mrs Deer says:

    Good idea your decoration!

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