Aztec Mocha Cupcakes & Cream Cheese Frosting

Last week was a friend’s going away party . The theme for dinner was Mexican. Other than re-fried beans I had absolutely nothing to contribute. What I did have was a bunch of pink cream cheese frosting left over from the fairy cake I  made a few days before. Rather than throwing it away or eating it, which would most likely be the case, I decided to make some cupcakes. To go along with the Mexican theme I made Aztec Mocha Cupcakes.

Have you ever had an Aztec Mocha? It is pretty much mocha with just a dash of cayenne pepper. Sounds weird, aye? I remember being leery the first time I was offered one of these, but I gave it a shot and wow, chocolatey spiciness….YUMMO!

I read several recipes and saw that many of them used ancho chili powder along with the cayenne pepper. I wasn’t able to find any ancho chili powder, but with a little help from a friend I was able to get my hands on some dried ancho chilies.

To make these cupcakes I decided to modify my standard chocolate cupcake recipe which uses coffee. I infused the coffee with the ancho chili. To do this I brought about 2 cups of coffee just to a boil; placed one chili in the pot and let it simmer for about 10- 15 minutes.

I then poured the coffee and chili in to a large measuring cup covered it and let it sit over night. When I was ready to use the coffee I poured it through a strainer to get the seeds out.

These cupcakes were a big hit. I brought 24 to the party and came home with 2. Several people people went back for seconds:)

The spiciness in these can be adjusted to fit your taste. I suggest adding the cayenne one teaspoon at a time and tasting before adding more.

The pink frosting from the Fairy Cake was cream cheese frosting & it paired very well with the spicy chocolate.

Here’s the recipe:

Aztec Mocha Cupcakes & Cream Cheese Frosting

Rating: 51

Cook Time: PT20-25M

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Aztec Mocha Cupcakes & Cream Cheese Frosting

A moist rick chocolate cupcake with a kick


For the cupcakes

2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 eggs

1 cup cold ancho infused coffee (or 3 teaspoon ancho chili powder and cold strong coffee)

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1-3 teaspoons cayenne pepper

For the Frosting

2 8 oz package cream cheese

2 stick unsalted butter softened

4-5 cups powdered sugar


    For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cupcakes pan with liners
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, infused coffee, buttermilk and oil. Stir just until blended.
  3. Stir in the cayenne pepper (and ancho chili powder if you are not using infused coffee) one teaspoon at a time until you get the kick you desire.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups.
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack.
  7. For the Frosting
  8. In a bowl of an electric mixing bowl using paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  9. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time mixing well between each addition until the desired consistency is achieved.