Celebrating two years of blogging with Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes filled with Nutella Chili Chocolate Ganache and Chili Cream Cheese Frosting

by Kirsten on March 1, 2012 · 43 comments

in Cookies, Cupcakes & Muffins, Desserts, Uncategorized

Two years pass so quickly, especially when you are having fun. Therefore I am proud to have reached the goals for my blog that I set myself a year ago.

One was to improve my pictures. Many thanks go to Jennifer Olson, my photography instructor, for being so patient with me. Through Jen I discovered a new passion – food photography. I would have never thought that spending time behind the camera and trying to style food could be so satisfying. I am loving it and learning something new every day.

Another important goal was to move my blog away from Blogger to WordPress. The biggest praise here goes to my husband, Mr. Rockies, for his endless patients, constant support and never-ending knowledge. I am still working on the appearance, but hope to be done in the next month or so.

I also wanted to thank my closest local food blogger friends Lea Ann, Michele, Karen and Toni for their support and friendship. I am glad to be able to share my passion for food and blogging with you. You girls rock!

But, my biggest thanks go to you my reader friends for sticking around! This blog wouldn’t be alive without you, your visits and your comments. Thanks so much. I couldn’t do it without you.

Since a special occasion calls for a special treat I would like to share with you this spicy cupcake recipe. This cupcake creation was my contribution towards my friend’s Tracy’s annual cupcake competition a few weeks ago (more pictures of the party to come later).

These spicy chocolate cupcakes are filled with Nutella chili chocolate ganache and topped with a chili cream cheese frosting. An irresistible creation out of chocolate and spice. So hold on tight and enjoy!

Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes filled with Nutella Chili Chocolate Ganache and Chili Cream Cheese Frosting
4.8 from 4 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground red pepper flakes (add more if you like it spicier)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • -
  • For the ganache:
  • 6 ounces (170 g) good dark chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup (146 g) Nutella
  • 3 Tablspoons (43 g) unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup (158 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • -
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar (original recipe calls for 4 cups)
  • 1 package, 8 ounces (228 g) cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 8 Tablespoons (114 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla extract, clear
  • cinnamon sticks for decoration
  1. For the cupcakes:
  2. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease and flour 24 muffin cups.
  3. Mix and sift flour, cocoa, sugar, pepper and baking powder together into a bowl. Add oil, vanilla, eggs, and milk; beat for 30 seconds with a mixer at low speed, scraping the bowl frequently. Beat for 7½ minutes more with a stand mixer at medium speed or 6 minutes with a hand mixer at high speed, scraping the bowl 4 – 5 times.
  4. Pour batter into pans. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from oven and cool in pans for about 12 minutes. Remove muffins from pans and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  5. Use an apple corer to remove some of the center of the cupcake for the filling.
  6. Altitude adjustments: 6,500 – 8,500 feet: Decrease baking powder to 1¾ teaspoons. 8,500+ feet: Decrease baking powder to 1½ teaspoons. Increase milk by 1 tablespoon.
  7. -
  8. For the Ganache:
  9. In a small pot bring the cream to a boil. Take form the heat and add chocolate, Nutella and butter. Let sit for a few minutes.
  10. Slowly stir until everything is well incorporated.
  11. Mix in the chili. Add more chili (I added ground red pepper flakes) to adjust the spiciness to your liking.
  12. Let sit and cool for 30 minutes before filling the cupcake.
  13. Fill the cupcake using a small spoon with ganache until the ganache reaches the rims of the top of the cupcake.
  14. The cupcakes are now ready to be frosted.
  15. -
  16. For the frosting:
  17. In a bowl sift together the chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and confectioners' sugar. Set aside.
  18. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed for about 4 minutes.
  19. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  20. Add the sugar mixture to the cream cheese mixture and mix together.
  21. The frosting is now ready to be piped onto the cupcakes. Use a bigger tip for bigger swirls. Decorate with a cinnamon stick.


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Melissa October 8, 2013 at 10:06 am

I was just wondering if this recipe makes 12, as indicated in the servings or 24 as indicated in the instructions. Thanks!

Vicki Haddy May 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm

These cupcakes look like sheer perfection. I am making them this weekend and cannot wait to have my friends and co-workers try them out !!! Thank you for sharing !

K B October 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm

A blog discussing what the cupcake tasted like instead how it looks would be helpful. Also, are these to be refrigerated?

sasha July 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Planning on trying this amazing looking recipe tomorrow but just wondering will the cupcakes come out that light brown color with the centre scooped out or the rich black color with the frosting on top? Congrats on your 2yrs blogging too x

Kirsten July 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Sasha, So sorry it took me so long to get back to you. They will be lighter. The darker version was a test bake I didn’t like.
Hope yours turned out well.
Happy Baking!

Ciarra March 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm

For the cupcakes you say add vanilla, but you don’t address how much in the ingredients.

Kirsten March 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Thanks, Ciarra. Fixed!

Yvette ~ Muy Bueno Cookbook March 5, 2012 at 11:31 am

Happy Anniversary! Your photos are gorgeous and I LOVE the combo of spice and chocolate — YUM! I’ve only met you once, but hope to meet you again soon. Oh, and I love those li’l cupcake papers. Gorgeous!

Karen (Back Road Journal) March 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Congratulations on your second year anniversary. You certainly have accomplished your goals and I look forward to your next year. Thank you for giving us a gift…the cupcakes sound wonderful and really are beautiful.

Jane March 4, 2012 at 8:30 am

Congratulations on all your achievements!

Susi March 4, 2012 at 8:26 am

Auch von mir einen ganz herzlichen Glückwünsch zum Zweijährigen! Das hast Du Dir wirklich verdient :o) Die Nutella Chili Cupcakes schauen klasse aus!

Cathy at Wives with Knives March 3, 2012 at 7:14 am

Congratulations on your 2 years of blogging, Kirsten. I never thought when I started out that I would have enough to say to fill up 2 months let alone 2 years. Can you even imagine your life now without your passion for photography and blogging? Many thanks for sharing it with us. I would like to do what my granddaughter does and lick all the frosting off one of those cupcakes. I have dinner on my calendar. Hope to see you this summer.

Jennifer Neef March 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Congratulations! I just love the combination of chili and chocolate. I made cookies with ancho chili and I am additicted to them. Well, they look pretty boring compared to your wonderful cupcakes but maybe in 2 years I will make beautiful pictures too.

stadtgarten March 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Liebe Kirsten, ganz herzliche Glückwünsche zum Zweijährigen! Ich liebe Deine Rezepte und vor allem auch die Fotos!
Die Cupcakes sehen sooooo lecker aus, da würde ich am liebsten in den Bildschirm reinbeissen!
Ein schönes Wochenende, liebe Grüße, Monika

Toni @ Boulder Locavore March 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

Congratulations Kirsten! These cupcakes look fantastic; incredibly inspired flavors and a nod to our region to boot! What a wonderful way to celebrate. I hope you are reveling in your personal glory with all the clear hard work and thought you put into everything on your blog. Your commitment and sense of fun really show in all you do! So glad to have met last year and I’m humbled to be called out as part of your ‘team’!

Carolyn Jung March 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

Congrats on the milestone! No better way to celebrate than with Nutella cupcakes. The kick of chili is a genius touch, too.

JenO March 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

Chocolate, and Chili?! You got my attention.
Congratulations on 2 wonderful years! Your blog has grown, and your photography has blossomed. I am thrilled and very proud of you. You rock!

Casey March 2, 2012 at 9:47 am

Oh my gosh. I have no other words. YUM!

Rayna March 2, 2012 at 9:33 am

Congrats on your 2 years.
These are gorgeous!

Sandra March 2, 2012 at 7:48 am

Wow, die sehen so dekorativ aus!!! Das ist genau, was ich jetzt essen könnte! Schick mir welche nach Deutschland, bitte! 🙂

Kirsten March 2, 2012 at 8:42 am

Wuerde ich sehr gerne machen, aber bis sie ankommen sind sie wahrscheinlich nicht mehr geniessbar. Sorry.

Lea Ann March 2, 2012 at 6:37 am

Where do I begin with this? First of all that cupcake is fabulous and the frosting sounds like I could eat a bucket full of it. Fabulous Kirsten! And your photos are gorgeous. One of these days you’ll be announcing that a major magazine has called you! Happy blogiversary! You should have said something on Wednesday, we could have toasted with a baguette or something. 🙂 And you’re so sweet to mention me as part of the support team. Remember the first time we got together at California Cafe? We couldn’t stop talking, so much to share. Congrats on Wordpress, glad to hear you’re happy with it and as always, look forward to each and every post of yours. Hugs.

Kirsten March 2, 2012 at 8:43 am

I will never forget our first lunch. I am so glad that we met. Can’t wait to fly to Portland together.

Nuts about food March 2, 2012 at 3:48 am

Happy 2nd blogversary! These are the perfect, luxurious treat to celebrate with. You deserve it.

Kirsten March 2, 2012 at 8:46 am

Thanks, greetings to Italy!

Dominic March 2, 2012 at 3:18 am

congratulations on your second year!… such an amazing achievement… your blog is fab and your photography is wonderful… always a good read!

Kirsten March 2, 2012 at 8:47 am

Thanks so much Dom.

kitchen flavours March 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Happy Blog Anniversary, Kirsten! You are doing a great job with your blog. The cupcake sounds and looks wonderful, and spicy too! Got to keep a lookout for ancho chili powder as have seen many recipes using this!
Cheers! Here’s to another year of wonderful blogging!

Kirsten March 2, 2012 at 8:54 am

Thanks Lubna, to another year!

Lora March 1, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Tese cupcakes are sheer perfection. I love the flavors. Wow.

Kirsten March 2, 2012 at 8:48 am

Thanks for your visit Lora. Maybe you will find the time to bake them. They are pretty tasty.

Sue/the view from great island March 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Congratulations on 2 years of blogging, I love your blog!

Kirsten March 2, 2012 at 8:50 am

Sue, thank you so much.

Karen Harris March 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Happy anniversary my friend! Your beautiful cupcakes are perfect for such a special occasion.

Kirsten March 2, 2012 at 8:50 am

Thanks Karen. Hope to see you soon and hear all about your trip to England.

Susan March 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Happy 2-Year Anniversary! If I had known…I’d have baked a cake–oh, wait a minute, you Did! and they’re beautiful. Wish I was there to have one with you over a cup a tea and share the experience. Much love for MORE years of blogging! XOXO

Kirsten March 2, 2012 at 8:49 am

Susan, you are so sweet. You know that you are welcome any time. I would love to share my cakes with you.

Cooking with Michele March 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Happy Blog-iversary!!!! Gorgeous cupcake photos in this post – and chili in the frosting? I must try it! (Thanks for the mention – you rock too!)

Kirsten March 2, 2012 at 8:48 am

Thanks Michele. Looking forward to our next lunch!

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