Chocolate and chilli cupcakes recipe

(140 ratings)

Chocolate and chilli cupcakes might sound odd but the fiery chillis used in this recipe work with the dark chocolate to make some wickedly spicy cupcakes.

Chocolate and chilli cupcakes
Preparation Time30 mins (plus cooling time)
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins (plus cooling time)

Chocolate and chilli cupcakes are a taste sensation - a bit daring and a bit naughty, perfect for grown-up parties.

Chocolate and chilli is actually a well-recognised flavour combination. In Mexico, it's normal to flavour chilli con carne with a little dark chocolate, so it makes sense to add a little chilli to chocolate cakes too. If you like a little spice, the combination is really effective and you can be creative with the decorating too. We've created little chillies to add to the top of the cakes (this serves as a handy little warning to your guests as well!). If you prefer, you could add little devil horns or tails, or red lips instead. We recommend using the best quality dark chocolate you can, to offset the kick of the chillis and create a rich, decadent flavour sensation.


  • 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 140g (5oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 115g (4oz) dark chocolate, melted
  • 1–2 red chillies, deseeded and very finely chopped

For the chocolate frosting:

  • 175g (6oz) best quality dark chocolate with cocoa solids of 70% or above
  • 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  • 150ml (1⁄4pt) soured cream
  • Red and green coloured marzipan or sugarpaste icing moulded into chillies, lips or devil horns




  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs and then stir in the golden syrup, flour, melted chocolate and chillies. Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for 20 minutes or until just firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. To make the frosting, chop or break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a bowl placed over a pan of steaming water, stirring until smooth. Remove the bowl to the work surface and beat in the sugar until dissolved, followed by the soured cream.
  4. Spread the frosting over the cupcakes and decorate with chillies, lips and devil’s horns moulded from coloured marzipan or sugarpaste icing.

Top tip for making chocolate and chilli cupcakes

Choose your chillies according to how hot you like your spices. Smaller ones, in general, are hotter. In a UK supermarket you can usually find red chillies, which are about the size of your thumb, and reasonably mild. Two of these provides a nice kick. Red bird eye chillies are smaller, slimmer and a little hotter so you might prefer to take it down to 1-1½. Scotch bonnet chillies are very hot so use this type with caution. Green chillies have a stronger flavour which we find doesn't compliment the chocolate as well as red ones, so are best avoided in this recipe. 

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Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.