Cinco de Chili Chocolate Cupcakes with Chili Cream Cheese Frosting
Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.
- 1 (18.25 ounce) box devil’s food chocolate cake mix
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ancho chile peppe
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, or more as needed
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract, or to taste
- 24 small dried red chiles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.
- Empty the boxed cake mix into a mixing bowl, and whisk in 1 1/2 teaspoon of ground ancho chile and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat in the water, vegetable oil, and eggs; beat for 2 minutes. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake cups, filling them 2/3 full.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Remove and cool completely before frosting.
- In a bowl, sift 1 teaspoon of ground ancho chile, 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and the cinnamon with the confectioners’ sugar. Beat in the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until the frosting is smooth; mix in the vanilla extract. Spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes in attractive swirls, and poke a small dried chile, stem-side up, into the frosting as a garnish.