Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fire & Ice Cupcakes

Fire & Ice Cupcakes

Chocolate, chipotle, cinnamon … sizzle! That’s right, I said chipotle, as in pepper. As in, why in the world would I put that in a cupcake. Well, normally I wouldn’t. But I was invited to join Iron Cupcake Earth, a monthly cupcake challenge using not so ordinary ingredients. I’ve been wanting to branch out and try using other flavors besides plain old chocolate and vanilla, so I figured this was the perfect way to force me to push myself. So I joined just in time to try this month’s ingredient: chili peppers.

Chipotle Chili Powder

I made Chocolate Chipotle Cupcakes with Chili Chocolate Ganache and Cinnamon Dulce de Leche Ice Cream. Yummy!

Chocolate Chipotle Cupcakes
1 cup Scharffen Berger unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup boiling water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp chipotle powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp canned chipotles in adobe sauce, pureed

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cupcake trays with baking cups (36)
  3. Puree canned chipotles and set aside.
  4. Boil water. Transfer 3/4 cup of boiling water to bowl. Stir in cocoa until dissolved to form chocolate mixture and set aside.
  5. With a wire whisk, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and chipotle powder in a separate bowl and set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar, butter and eggs until light and fluffy. Add buttermilk and vanilla and mix well.
  7. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three additions, alternating with chocolate mixture in two additions, ending with flour mixture. Beat until combined with each addition.
  8. Add pureed chipotles and beat until combined.
  9. Scoop batter into prepared cupcake trays,
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes and cool completely.

Chili Chocolate Ganache
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
3 oz. chocolate with chili pepper
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups confectioner’s sugar

  1. Combine chocolates and heavy cream in medium bowl.
  2. Microwave on high in 30 sec intervals. Stir in between.
  3. Gradually add sugar and whisk mixture until smooth.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Pour into squeeze bottle.

Cinnamon Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
just kidding.
I didn’t make this, but
Haagen-Daz did.

Assemble: Remove paper liners. Cut cupcake in half horizontally. Place a small scoop of ice cream in between the two cupcake halves. Top with another scoop of ice cream and drizzle with Chili Chocolate Ganache. Sprinkle chopped chocolate shavings to top it off. Eat right away.

Fire & Ice Cupcakes

Here’s the chocolate I used for the ganache. It’s an organic dark chocolate bar with cayenne, pumpkin seeds, and cinnamon.

Iron Cupcake

I also made some Chocolate & Vanilla Chipotle Cream Cheese Frosting for some of the cupcakes.

Chocolate Chipotle Cupcakes
Red Fire Bar from Vosges Chocolates

3 oz. chocolate with chipotles (Vosges Red Fire Bar)
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. chipotle chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cups confectioner’s sugar

  • Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 sec intervals., stirring in between until melted. Let cool.
  • Sift sugar and add chili powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and cream cheese and vanilla in a large mixing bowl on low until combined.
  • Add sugar in small batches until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl in between.
  • Set aside half of frosting and set aside for the Vanilla Chipotle Cream Cheese Buttercream.
  • Add melted chocolate to the other half and mix until combined for the Chocolate Chipotle Cream Cheese Buttercream.

Note: If you are extra generous with your frosting and only want to use the buttercream instead of the ganache, you may want to make two batches to ensure your cupcakes are covered.

Chocolate Chipotle Cupcakes

I had chili powder and cupcakes everywhere by this time. My counters were covered and my cupcake carrying case was full, so thank goodness I had this cute little cupcake stand to put them on. If I win. I wouldn’t have this problem. I could store them all in the fabulous Cupcake Courier. It holds 36 cupcakes by the way.

You can vote for me, I mean your favorite recipe here between August 31 and September 4th at noon.

The winner will receive these super prizes:

You can also join in on the fun yourself. Learn more about the challenge at

Brian, Liz, Benjamin, & Rose said...

Wow, that’s a different kind of “hot chocolate”, maybe my husband will like it :D

August 24, 2008 10:51 PM
Janelle said...

Maybe that contest is why this is the 3rd chipotle/cinnamon/chocolate thing I’ve seen this week on baking sites. This looks really good, though.

August 24, 2008 10:54 PM
lynette said...

these look divine!
i was wondering if you have a good recipe for regular cream cheese frosting? i live in chile so i’m looking for one with basic ingredients. any ideas?



August 24, 2008 11:09 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi…. I love your creations…. thank u.

I have a Q. I want to bake Choc-Orange cupcakes… can I add orange oil to the batter ( 1-2 tsp) or OJ…. or rind of orange to give me best result.

Gonna bake it Thur for teacher’s day celeb and give to my son’s teachers…. I am sure they will love your idea…

Thanku, thank u. Singaporean

August 24, 2008 11:19 PM
Clumbsy Cookie said...

Love the cupcakes but love the ice-cream recipe even more! You’re just to funny, lol!

August 24, 2008 11:41 PM
Natalie said...

Those look divine! I’m a fan of the first one! It’s so big!

August 25, 2008 12:53 AM
The Housewife said...

These look fantastic! I love the chili and cocoa combination… Ole! Yum!

August 25, 2008 02:14 AM
Rachel said...

Very interesting! Your pics are amazing!!

August 25, 2008 02:44 AM
Bakerella said...

brian, liz, benjamin, & rose – I was surprised and so was everyone else at how good they tasted with pepper.

janelle – thanks and they'll probably be more.

lynette – I'll email you.

anonymous – I haven't done much with that before, but I did just try adding orange oil to the Nickelodeon cake balls that I made recently. I added it to the chocolate, but you can also add it to the batter. You just need a few drops of the oil though.

clumbsy cookie – thanks. glad it gave you a laugh. I'm not that dedicated. I'll leave ice cream to the experts.

natalie – it was pretty good.

the housewife – me too, surprisingly.

rachel – thanks rachel!

August 25, 2008 03:52 AM
The Cookie Girl said...

Gotta try these! I am loving the combination.

August 25, 2008 04:24 AM
wan-nabe said...

i’m cracking up at the “i didn’t make this, but haagen dazs did.” too stinking funny!

August 25, 2008 04:26 AM
Sarah {SCS: Sairabee} said...

I found your blog recently thanks to a rerun of your Martha Stewart special. I just love everything about it! I gave you a shout out today on my (rubber stamping) blog. You can check it out here if you’re interested:

link to

You’re very talented, and you have a kick butt sense of humor! I love it! :)

August 25, 2008 05:35 AM
Emily said...

Wow! I don’t bake a lot but your recipes are inspiring! They look wonderful!

August 25, 2008 05:41 AM
PaniniKathy said...

That melting tower of chocolately goodness drew me in before I even knew what I was looking at! What amazing flavors – especially the frosting (I firmly believe that if more people baked with cream cheese frosting more often this world would be a better place). Good luck in the competition – I hope you win!

August 25, 2008 05:55 AM
morgana said...

Oh my… This is the cutest and yummiest mountain I’ve ever seen. A delicious mountain of cupcakes, ice cream and ganache…

I hope you win that amazing cupcake courier ;-) It looks really glamurous and profesional. When I first saw it I thought about going through an elegant hall, wearing a very expensive dress and saying (with a very silky voice) something like.. “Hi, I am 007, a cupcake agent” or so.

Yes, I’m crazy, I know it.

August 25, 2008 07:19 AM
Anonymous said...

Hello Bakerella,

Wow your cupcake pops make me hungry. I want to try these wonderful stuff. I am from Singapore….. what else could I replace Chocolate Bark. We dun have it here. What is it by anyhow??


August 25, 2008 08:43 AM
Kimonos and Sushi said...

I look at your site and you make me hungry.
Some of the ingredients are just amazing.
Happy cooking

August 25, 2008 09:28 AM
Katrina said...

Wow! They look “killer”.

August 25, 2008 04:26 PM
Ann said...

Those cupcakes look so delicious, I’m not a big pepper fan, but I think I can handle some chipotle chocolate cupcakes. I don’t bake too often, but you’re really inspiring me to do more baking, especially since my boyfriend and I love food and we both have a sweet tooth. I am so happy to have found your blog!

August 25, 2008 04:33 PM
Tasty Trends said...

i love spicy! what a great combo!

August 25, 2008 04:46 PM
Cakespy said...

Oh, Bakerella. Once again, your sensuous food photography and gorgeously decadent take on dessert has left me breathless. These look awesome as usual. I love the play on flavors with the chili and chocolate. I’ve only really tried the combo in this past year but am an instant devotee: it brings out so much depth in both flavors. The perfect complement!

August 25, 2008 04:55 PM
My Sweet & Saucy said...

Great entry! These would be such fun cupcakes to bake!

August 25, 2008 06:34 PM
Snooky doodle said...

hmmmm they re strange but i think the overall taste is a winner :-)

August 25, 2008 06:38 PM
La Pixie said...

oh, I am soooo in love with that cupcake courier!! also, I have the exact same recipe for ice cream!!

good luck in Iron Cupcake!

August 25, 2008 07:13 PM
Marfa said...

Luscious! We used to go to Lake Champlain (on the Vermont side) a lot, went there last summer during vacation! I guess someone there buys the cacao beans and makes that spicy Aztec chocolate??

August 25, 2008 07:48 PM
Bakerella said...

The Cookie Girl – I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them

wan-nabe – glad you got a chuckle.

Sarah {SCS: Sairabee} – thanks and I'm glad you think so.

Emily – thanks!

PaniniKathy – Maybe I'll get a few votes at least.

morgana – your description cracked me up. Thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous – It's candy coating.

Here's some alternatives. link to

Kimonos and Sushi – Thanks Andrea

Katrina – Killer cupcakes!

Ann – if you both have a sweet tooth, you must treat yourself.

Tasty Trends – thanks!

Cakespy – Breathless… I love your way with words.

My Sweet & Saucy – They were, especially for me because I couldn't wait to see how they tasted.

Snooky doodle -thanks!

La Pixie – What a coincidence. The same recipe. I wonder if yours tasted as good as mine?

Marfa – I guess.

August 26, 2008 12:27 AM
Joy the Baker said...

I’m in love!!! So in love with these cupcakes! Just dreamy! So creative and lovely.

August 26, 2008 01:26 AM
Katie said...

That looks absolutely delicious, as do all of your recipes. :)

August 26, 2008 01:32 AM
Sarah, Jesse, and Isaac said...

Here’s hoping you win! I’ll definitely have to try this recipie as it looks delightful. Also, I happened to see the cupcake courier at Target and immediately purchased it (it’s pictured in a June 2008 entry on my blog). It has been so incredibly handy – I love it! Fun fact – did you know that the inventor is Jennifer Gunn, who is cousin-in-law to Jenna Fischer, aka Pam on “The Office”?

August 26, 2008 01:53 AM
puglyfeet said...

God, these picture so are awesome, I can taste the icing!

August 26, 2008 03:51 AM
BMoreSweet said...

These are sooooo much better than miiiiine……

August 26, 2008 04:47 PM
WishTrish said...

Okay, those are they mosty yummity-yumm things I have ever seen you post. I can’t wait to try them!!

August 26, 2008 06:09 PM
Bakerella said...

joy the baker – glad you love em.

katie – thanks!

sarah, jesse, and isaac – lucky. And how cool is that about Pam. I love The Office.

puglyfeet – Is your tongue on fire? Actually, they weren’t that hot.

bmoresweet – Are you kidding, yours look great. I love the idea of chocolate liqueur

wishtrish – Hope you like them

August 26, 2008 11:41 PM
Anonymous said...

OK got all my stuff and ready to try it.

No Chocolate Bark will use Dark choc instead.

A silly Q, If I were to use my normal cake recipe, I need to mix in creme cheese frosting before rolling into balls….. after all the coating of choc and candy coat… would it be awfully sweet. Where can I reduce the sugar. Please advise. Thanks


August 27, 2008 02:52 AM
estellehong said...

hey bakerella! im just a senior in high school but i saw your segment on martha and now im hooked on your blog =]

question: for cupcake recipes, can i just put in one half of each ingredient if i only want to bake a half of the total cupcake output?


August 27, 2008 03:01 AM
Anonymous said...

Could I have your creme cheese frosting recipe, Pleeassssssse.

Could I use something else? What would you recommend.

Many thanks in advanve. Wish me luck

August 27, 2008 03:07 AM
Bakerella said...

Anonymous – You can use any frosting flavor you want. Just try one that is less sweet.

estellehong – Here’s two links that can help:

link to

link to

Anonymous – Here you go.

link to

August 27, 2008 04:19 AM
Anonymous said...

Awesome sharing. thanks alot.
Learnt a whoe load from you.

Can you help me. When I bake, my cupcakes shrink a little when I take them out from oven. How do I get them to stay nice and domed?

I bake them at the suggested time and temperature. If I lower the temp a little and let it stay longer would that help.

Please give me your expert advise.

Desperatele seeking help!!! Thanks

August 27, 2008 10:07 AM
Joi said...

I have been drooling over your blog for the past few days, and when you posted these cupcakes, I wiped my mouth, went to and watched the video on how to make cupcake pops. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

August 27, 2008 01:45 PM
Maria said...

These look beyond good!!

August 27, 2008 10:28 PM
Bakerella said...

Anonymous – I have that problem sometimes too. This is a great site to visit to find out all kinds of baking answers.

link to

And here’s a “what went wrong page”

link to

The book, The Cake Bible is also a great baking resource.

Joi – wow, I guess they made an impression. Glad you like them.

Maria – Thanks!

August 28, 2008 03:42 AM
Lina said...

chipotle in cupcakes?! pretty cool! I looooooooove all of your photos! Im really curious about those cupcakes…

August 28, 2008 03:53 AM
We Are Not Martha said...

Oh wow. Wow. I love chocolate. And I love spicy. So put them together and I am in heaven. And the photo is amazing!


August 28, 2008 01:03 PM
Mia said...

can i come over to your house??

August 29, 2008 12:25 AM
Bakerella said...

Lina – it’s not as weird as you would think.

We Are Not Martha – thanks!!

Mia – come on over.

August 29, 2008 01:59 AM
Anonymous said...

Thanks Bakerella,

I took your advise and added 1 tsp of orange oil to my cake batter…. and viola! Chocolate orange cupcakes.

Thank you so much for that tip… it sure made a difference.

Love your blog!! Just cant get enuf!

Next to make the cupcake pops… have to hunt for the lollipop sticks. We dun have it in Singapore.

We have satay sticks but they are kinda thin…..

Won’t give up looking.

August 29, 2008 12:25 PM
sinked said...

A friend of mine from Germany got me hooked on this, and since then I’ve been crzy about chili pepper and chocolate together. These look delicious!

August 30, 2008 03:28 AM
Megan. said...

those photos are amazing. i think i’m going to have to try to make these right away. YUM!

August 30, 2008 03:48 AM
bonnie said...

my favorite entry by far.

August 30, 2008 07:01 AM
kelli jo said...

these look gorgeous, creative and mouth-watering! brilliant.

August 30, 2008 05:31 PM
Sunny Tuesday said...

I swear, just looking at your posts is enought to curb my sweet tooth sometimes! Also, I featured your football truffles on my Saturday Seven this week.

August 31, 2008 02:02 AM
Bakerella said...

Anonymous – Yay! I’m glad it worked for you.

sinked – Thanks. It was a first for me, but not the last.

Megan. – Hope you like them.

bonnie – Cool. I wasn’t how people would like it.

kelli jo – Wow. thanks!

Sunny Tuesday – Thanks for the shoutout.

August 31, 2008 01:53 PM
Mattias, Karissa & Enzo said...

You are truly talented! Your creations make me want to go home and start baking. Thanks for the inspiration and all the yummy recipes!

September 1, 2008 09:48 AM
Alexa said...

Your blog is so beautiful. Lots of delicious ideas and gorgeous pictures. I am loving it.

September 1, 2008 03:27 PM
Brooke said...

I love to try new recipes, and I can’t wait to try this one. It sounds very exotic and unusual!

September 1, 2008 04:48 PM
sammy said...

Woooow!!!! delicious… just a question how do you do to make that wonderful pictures I´d taken some pictures to my creations and the dont look like yours… some suggestions??

September 1, 2008 05:05 PM
MrsMarch said...

Just done voting for your cupcakes, once I find the ingredients to this recipe will do them for my friend who LOVES HOT stuff!

Thanks for sharing.

September 1, 2008 09:43 PM
bludab said...

I made these for a housewarming party, mine, actually – we moved in and five days later had a party complete with a double recipe of these cupcakes, sans ice cream as my freezer wasn’t delivered yet. These were such a hit! Some people said they couldn’t taste the pepper, and then they swallowed and their faces were priceless. Even my blandest food loving friend ate one and decided they “weren’t bad” – high praise! My husband and I are in love with them and have eaten several apiece. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

September 2, 2008 01:35 AM
Bakerella said...

Congrats on the new house and I’m glad the cupcakes were a success. When you get your freezer, you have to try that ice cream. It really makes it.

September 2, 2008 03:26 AM
Robyn said...

hurt me…help me….
i voted for you and predict you take the CAKE….sorry, I couldnt help myself! :)
Love your #1 Fan

September 2, 2008 03:54 PM
Rose said...

Love your Blog! Inspirational!

September 3, 2008 04:23 PM
Bakerella said...

robyn – thanks for the vote friend!

rose – glad you like it.

September 3, 2008 08:52 PM
Spogden said...

Congratulations!! Amazing job!

September 4, 2008 09:06 PM
AmandaMichelleSmith said...

Congrats!!! I’m so happy you won! :]

September 4, 2008 10:23 PM
MrsMarch said...

Congratulations Bakerella on being the winner for your HOT cupcake! Great recipe, just bought the last ingredients to try this masterpiece for my friend who likes things HOT!!!


September 5, 2008 02:50 AM
Bakerella said...

Spogden – Thanks! I can’t believe it won.

AmandaMichelleSmith – Thank you!

MrsMarch – Hope you like it Barb!

September 5, 2008 03:29 AM
Lisa Michelle said...

Congrats on your ICE Chili Pepper win, Bakerella. Your cupcake rocked :)

September 5, 2008 10:11 AM
Elizabeth said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I knew you’d win the iron cupcake competition with these! Will you enter the basil competition? Will you tell us all about what you do with the great prizes you’ve won?

September 5, 2008 06:13 PM
MrsMarch said...

This is a silly question but when you refer to mixing in the dry ingredients and the chocolate mixture it is to the sugar and butter/buttermilk base right? If so then the order of events makes a huge differene, they are in the oven now but they sure don’t look chocolaty like your do. I followed the recipe word for word but realized the butter,buttermilk and sugar etal were no where in the numbered sequence-duh on my part.

Oh well, let’s see what comes out of this.

Thanks for sharing and congrats again.


September 6, 2008 08:09 PM
Bakerella said...

Lisa Michelle – thanks a bunch!

Blogger Elizabeth – I’m thinking about what to do now.

MrsMarch – Hi Barb. Not a silly question at all. Thank you. You are the first person to notice that. I must have had a brain spasm that day. I just fixed it. I hope it didn’t mess you up too much.

September 6, 2008 08:42 PM
MrsMarch said...

It was actually rather funny cause at first my daughter asked if the flour mixture and the chocolate, which is how I proceeded was SAND! LOL… then i realized the butter et-al and thought oh boy should have added the mixtures to the base not each other. Hence they looked like sand. They came out not as dark as your pictures but tasty and with a nice KICK! Thanks for clarifying,love the cupcakes!


September 6, 2008 11:02 PM
Bakerella said...

Yay, I’m glad everything worked out!

September 7, 2008 07:17 PM
Rachelle said...

The mail lady came! ;)

Congrats on your hot cupcake win!

September 11, 2008 05:44 PM
Ashley said...

You’re site makes me mad. Okay so not really mad. It just makes my mouth water so bad and I want to taste all of your delicious scrumptious-looking desserts. I do love to bake, but don’t think I have the patience for all of it, though I do want to taste them all. Mmm. Thanks for sharing!

September 24, 2008 09:12 PM
Bakerella said...

ashley – it is time consuming. So leave it to me. I’ll bake and you can look at everything.

September 25, 2008 04:19 AM
Ashley said...

Looking just won’t do. I wish I could just pick up your delectable goodies right off the computer screen and gobble them up!

September 30, 2008 06:37 PM
Bakerella said...

I wish you could, too.

October 1, 2008 03:11 AM
Scoopalicious said...

you better enter these in the ice cream cupcake roundup at next spring! These look amazing! xo Scoopalicious

October 18, 2008 02:05 AM
Bakerella said...

That sounds fun. Just let me know when!

October 19, 2008 08:08 PM
aubrey said...

I know I’m super late for the party, but I am hoping to make these for a birthday dinner next week. I have a friend coming who cannot tolerate “hot” spicy very well…

Can anyone tell me if these are actually spicy hot, or if it just gives the good flavor of chipotle? Does the chocolate maskt eh heat of the chilis?

January 19, 2009 05:26 PM
Bakerella said...

aubrey – I definitely don’t think these are too hot. They have a little kick, but don’t burn your tongue or anything like that.

I think it just hints to the chipotle flavor.

January 20, 2009 01:15 AM
Maggie said...

Oh these sound great! I could’ve used this recipe a while back I was looking for something sweet and spicy. Better late then never :)

April 5, 2010 02:08 PM
Jasmine said...

Can somebody tell me why did my cupcakes skrink after i took them out of the oven. The more i left them to cool, the more they skrank further till about half the size and from the sides too.

The texture of the cake is abit lumpy in the middle as well.. doesnt feel like there’s air pockets in the cupcakes.

I added 3 medium size eggs to 150g castor sugar n 110g softened butter. Are the eggs too much or?

Somehow i just couldnt cream it until its light and fluffy. So i thought maybe i shld add it the sifted flour and baking powder but however the more i cream it, the more creamy it became… :( this is my first try and quite disappointed that it has gone all wrong.

No mood to do the buttercream and fondant after that…

Can someone pls advise where i have gone wrong?

August 19, 2010 11:23 AM
marti Carrington said...

wow! these look so sinful. You know that i can’t wait
to sin.

June 11, 2011 09:20 AM
Elizebeth said...

They look wonderfully decadent! I’ll have to make a batch. YUM

June 13, 2011 11:31 AM
grace said...

Interesting! I love trying new things!

March 20, 2012 10:20 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi, when it says combine flour mixture with wet ingredients, do u mix the chocolate with sugar and butter?

August 14, 2012 10:33 AM
genessa said...

That is amazing!

April 25, 2013 08:24 AM
Green Coffee said...

Oh no, please let me stop see these. I eat so much and can not eat anymore…

April 27, 2013 10:14 PM
MeiZiTang said...

Amazing cakes, real artwork!

July 2, 2013 05:55 AM
Jennifer said...

Can I use regular chili powder in these? In the same amount?

March 15, 2014 12:44 AM
Elizabeth said...

Would this cake/frosting recipe work well in cake pop form?

January 8, 2015 11:16 AM
anna said...


April 10, 2015 07:53 PM
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