Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes.

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Cupcakes because Wednesday. Cupcakes because chocolate. Cupcakes because I love you.

I’m almost 99% sure that this recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes is not authentic southern Mexican, or Mexican at all really, and that you’d be hard pressed to find it anywhere south of the border. However, these little buggers channel all those wonderful flavors that I’ve been talking about for the past three regions: chiles, vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate.

I can’t remember the first time I made these, but they’ve always been such a huge hit. The cake is a twist on your typical 1-2-3-4 cake, a blank, buttery canvas that does nothing to obscure the vanilla and cinnamon speckled throughout, and the chocolate frosting…well, it’s chocolate. Dark Chocolate. Packed with both hot chili pepper and cayenne, it’s a kick that doesn’t hit you right away, but rather as an aftertaste, but the good kind. Be still my heart.

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Plus, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve thrown a dessert at you, so it really was time. If you were wondering how to mix it up at your next get together, here’s your answer (hint: I think these would pair spectacularly well with some chili at…I don’t know…a super bowl party. Just sayin’).

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
Yields 24
Cinnamon-vanilla cupcakes with a chili and cayenne dark chocolate frosting
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For the cake
  1. 1 cup butter, unsalted, at room temp
  2. 2 cups granulated sugar
  3. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  6. ½ tsp salt
  7. 2 tsp cinnamon, preferably canela
  8. 1 cup whole or 2% milk
  9. 1 ½ tsp vanilla, preferably Mexican
For the frosting
  1. 1 cup butter, unsalted, at room temp
  2. ½ cup cocoa powder, preferably dark chocolate
  3. ¼ cup milk
  4. 2 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  6. 1 tsp hot chili powder
  7. 2 tsp vanilla
  8. 2 TB brewed coffee (not granules)
  9. 4-5 cups confectioner’s sugar
Make the cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Prep two muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.
  3. In a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and beat well.
  4. Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add the dry to the egg/sugar mixture, alternating with the milk. Mix well.
  5. Divide into the prepared cupcake tins, filling each about 2/3 of the way, with approximately ¼ cup batter each.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out done. Let cool 15 minutes and then move cupcakes to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
Make the frosting
  1. Beat together the butter and sugar, slowly to avoid a cloud of sugar blowing back in your face.
  2. Slowly add the cocoa, vanilla, spices, milk and coffee, adding more or less milk depending on how thick or thin you desire it. Frost cupcakes once they are cool.
Notes
  1. You can make this into 2 9” layers: Grease and flour the pans, line with parchment and bake for 30-35 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes and then invert on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  2. As far as Mexican vanilla, it really is very nice. Next time your friends run to Cancun to escape the cold, ask them to pick you up a bottle.
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World http://thehungarybuddha.com/

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