For the most incredible chocolate experience of your life, give these Xocolati (Mexican Chocolate) Cupcakes by Anna of Icy Violet's a try! You're going to love them!
How to make Xocolatl Cupcakes for your next get together. These adult cupcakes will be a taste sensation that your friends keep coming back for.
Today our business is with chocolate. Real chocolate. Aztec chocolate. Nahua chocolate. They drank it cold, peppered with chili.
When I was a kid, I thought I loved chocolate. What did I know about it? I grew up with one brother, and at the soft-serve-dairy-queen-ice-cream-drive-thru he always chose vanilla. So it was understood, in my little girl brain, that I must choose chocolate.
But somewhere around college I took a look at the crap I was eating (ice cream, pudding, cakes from a box) and thought you know, I don’t like this. One tastes like another and it’s all the same. It’s plastic chocolate.
Chocolate should be serious. It’s not the trick-or-treat throwaway food it pretends to be. It’s something dark and mysterious, straight out of a Mesoamerican jungle. Bitter as coffee, and far more seductive. Theobroma cacao. The food of the gods. A sacrament of chocolate, consumed in place of blood in a sacred ritual.
Yeah, it got real heavy right there.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a place for Hershey’s Kisses, Rocky Road ice cream, even a box-mix cake once in a while (Lord knows I can’t reproduce the perfect, squishy fudginess of box brownies no matter how hard I try).
But chocolate deserves respect. It deserves to be paired with garlic and almonds in savory dishes. It deserves to be tried at full strength, melted over sweet oranges. It deserves to be called by its real name once in a while…xocolatl. It deserves to be paired up with its Mesoamerican cohorts, chili peppers and vanilla (not opposites after all, but best friends).
These cupcakes are a celebration of chocolate’s past. Cook some up, and dedicate them to the jungle gods.
This recipe is based on the chocolate cupcake recipe from Magnolia Bakery, my go-to for a chocolate cake with a flavor that favors the stronger notes of chocolate. Less milk, eggs, and sugar. More bean. The icing is my own.
These cupcakes can have as much or as little spice as you like. The recipe I’m giving you was described as ‘bitey’ from my friends/guinea pigs who tried it. I thought it could use a little more spice, to be honest, but I like things strong. Did you notice?
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate melted, 170 gm
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons chili powder (I used pasilla for a more complex flavor but regular is fine too)
Mexican Chocolate Icing
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 teaspoon chili powder
- 8 ounces butter at room temperature (important! microwaving can approximate it but you're taking risks with the texture), 227 gm
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoon milk or cool coffee if you want to be really exciting!
- Chili powder (again I recommend pasilla) to sprinkle on top
- To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for 5-10 minutes (about; stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces remain; remove from heat and let cool 5-15 minutes or until lukewarm).
- Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers; set aside.
- In a bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and chili powder together; set aside.
- In a big mixing bowl, cream the butter, using an electric mixer on MEDIUM speed, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for about 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beat well after each addition. Add the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients, in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overmix.
- Carefully spoon batter into cupcake liners; fill 3/4 full.
- Bake in a 350° oven for 20-25 minutes or until pick comes out clean. Cool in tins for 15
Mexican Chocolate Frosting
- With an electric mixer, beat together sugar, cocoa, chili powder, and butter.
- Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes.
- Add vanilla and milk/coffee, beating on medium for another minute.
- Pipe onto cupcakes and top with a sprinkling of chili powder.