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Chocolate Chili Cupcakes + Ginger Cream

Chocolate chili cupcakes

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter soft
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp ea. cinnamon & ground ginger
  • pinch bird's eye cayenne
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp boiling water

Fresh ginger cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 large nub fresh ginger peeled & grated

Spiced ganache

  • 7 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 whole dried chilies (or 1/2 tsp flakes)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • pinch sea salt

For the chocolate chili cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Prepare muffin tin with liners.  

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar & chili flakes. Mix for a few minutes, until sugar takes on a slight pink hue.  

2. Add soft butter and brown sugar; beat until creamy, 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.

3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, spices, and soda. Whisk together buttermilk & lime juice in a separate bowl. Add 1/3 flour mix to the stand mixer and stir on low until barely combined. Mix in 1/2 of buttermilk. Continue alternating buttermilk with dry ingredients, ending with the flour mix.  

4. Gradually, with mixer on low, stir in boiling water until just combined.

5. Pour, pipe, or scoop batter into prepared tins and bake until cakes spring back when touched, about 23-25 minutes.

Allow to cool completely.

For ginger cream:

While cupcakes are cooling, make the ginger cream.  

1. With a mortar & pestle, combine fresh grated ginger with the sugar.  

2. In a clean bowl, whip the heavy cream in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. When the cream begins to thicken, begin adding ginger sugar, a little at a time. Continue whisking until medium peaks form.

For spiced ganache:

1. Heat cream & chilies or chili flakes in a stainless steel saucepan until just shimmering (NOT boiling). Cover and allow to steep for 5 minutes.  

2. Place chopped chocolate, butter, and salt in a stainless steel bowl. Once cream has steeped, strain it into the bowl with the chocolate. Whisk ganache until smooth. If it doesn't melt thoroughly, place the bowl over a pan of shallow water and heat very gently, whisking until melted.  

3. Allow to cool until room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator about 15 minutes.

4. Place in bowl of stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium until thick enough to spread, about 3 minutes.

To assemble:

1. Poke holes in the center of cupcakes. Pipe ginger cream into the cavities, filling as much as possible.

2. Pipe or spread spiced ganache on top as desired.

Best served at room temperature. Keep refrigerated until 20-30 minutes before serving. Cupcakes will keep in fridge several days but are best the first day.

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