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!

Fire & Ice Cupcakes
Yield: 36 cupcakes

Fire & Ice Cupcakes


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

Chili Chocolate Ganache

  • 3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 oz. chocolate with chili pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

Ice Cream

  • Cinnamon Dulce de Leche Ice Cream By Haagen Daz


  1. Cupcakes: 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. Bake for 13-15 minutes and cool completely.
  10. Ganache: Combine chocolates and heavy cream in medium bowl. Microwave on high in 30 sec intervals. Stir in between. Gradually add sugar and whisk mixture until smooth. Let cool. Pour into squeeze bottle.
  11. Assembly: 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. Enjoy 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

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93 comments on “Fire & Ice Cupcakes”

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

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

  3. Amazing cakes, real artwork!

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

  5. That is amazing!

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

  7. Interesting! I love trying new things!

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

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

  10. 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?

  11. 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 :)

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. That sounds fun. Just let me know when!

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

  16. I wish you could, too.

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

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

  19. 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!

  20. The mail lady came! ;)

    Congrats on your hot cupcake win!

  21. Yay, I’m glad everything worked out!

  22. 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!


  23. 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.

  24. 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.


  25. 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?

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

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

    AmandaMichelleSmith – Thank you!

    MrsMarch – Hope you like it Barb!

  28. 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!!!


  29. Congrats!!! I’m so happy you won! :]

  30. Congratulations!! Amazing job!

  31. robyn – thanks for the vote friend!

    rose – glad you like it.

  32. Love your Blog! Inspirational!

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

  34. 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.

  35. 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!

  36. 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.

  37. 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??

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

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

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

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

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

  44. my favorite entry by far.

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

  46. 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!

  47. 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.

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

    We Are Not Martha – thanks!!

    Mia – come on over.

  49. can i come over to your house??

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


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

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

    And here’s a “what went wrong page”

    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!

  53. These look beyond good!!

  54. 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!

  55. 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

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

    estellehong – Here’s two links that can help:

    Anonymous – Here you go.

  57. 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

  58. 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?


  59. 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


  60. 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

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

  62. These are sooooo much better than miiiiine……

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

  64. 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”?

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

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

  67. 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.

    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.

  68. 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??

  69. 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!

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

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

  72. 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!

  73. i love spicy! what a great combo!

  74. 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!

  75. Wow! They look “killer”.

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

  77. 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??


  78. 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.

  79. 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!

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

  81. 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:

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

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

  83. Gotta try these! I am loving the combination.

  84. 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!

  85. Very interesting! Your pics are amazing!!

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

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

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

  89. 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

  90. 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?



  91. 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.

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

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