Fire in the Hole Cupcakes

Christopher Elbow Chocolates

Christopher Elbow Chocolates (Photo credit: ulterior epicure)

This is a spicy sweet combo that was inspired by a chocolate sample I had at a wonderful shop in San Francisco called Christopher Elbow.  I started with a cake my mother use to call Wacky Cake.  This is a depression era cake that bakes up moist and rich but not too sweet.  It was a great base to add some KICK too.  I used a combination of Chipotle Morita Chile Powder and Ancho Chile Powder to get a nice heat going.  These spices can be found at AllSpice in the East Village. I started with a teaspoon of each and found myself a little overwhelmed by the heat so I have reduced the amounts below.  Feel free to add as much kick as you like.   Sweetness from the frosting combined with the heat from the chilies and the moist chocolate cake created a WOW factor you just can’t beat.

Preheat oven to 350


3 cups sifted flour

2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking soda

6 tbsp sifted cocoa

3/4 cup oil

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp chocolate extract

1/2 tsp Chipotle Morita Chile Powder

1/2 tsp Ancho Chile Powder

2 tbls cider vinegar

2 cups water

Mix ingredients together until smooth, pour into lined cupcake tins, and bake for approx. 20 – 30 minutes.  Let cool before frosting.


3  sticks butter at room temperature

5  cups powdered sugar

1 cup cocoa

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp chocolate extract

Add milk to desired consistency (about 1/3 cup)

Depending on how sweet or chocolately you like it, adjust the powdered sugar and cocoa amounts accordingly.  Cream butter. Add vanilla and chocolate extracts.   Slowly mix in powdered sugar and cocoa.  Add milk to desired consistency.


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