Yes, more cupcakes {Spicy Dark Chocolate Cupcakes}

8 Jul

As promised, here is another cupcake recipe – Spicy Dark Chocolate with Cardamom Buttercream!  This is the second time I’ve used this recipe, and it’s one of my favorites!  I know spicy chocolate can be very divisive; but *IF* you are in the pro-spicy-chocolate camp, I think you will really enjoy these cupcakes!

Finished product!

I found this recipe while I was on a quest to find a good cupcake recipe that uses cardamom.  My husband and I took an Indian cooking class months ago, and I totally fell in love with cardamom.  I love the way it makes our whole spice cabinet smell warm and inviting every time I open it!  I love the way its soothing flavor compliments sweet and savory dishes alike.  Love it.  {Side note – please go try the cardamom gelato at Pitango if you live in the DC/Baltimore area!}

It is worth mentioning, just in case you’ve never cooked with cardamom, a little goes a long way.  It’s pretty strong, and can definitely overpower a dish; but in moderation, it can be such a comforting flavor that kind of subtly plays in the background.  I digress …

This recipe comes from Sugar Crafter, and was apparently developed for a contest in which contestants had to pair chocolate with “adventure ingredients”.  The only slight changes I made to the original recipe, which follows, were to use instant espresso instead of ground coffee beans and to use just a little more cardamom in the frosting (maybe 1/2 teaspoon).

{Spicy Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Cardamom Buttercream}


(makes about 12 cupcakes, or 24 mini-cupcakes)

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 ounces 99% cacao dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed chili pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp ground coffee beans
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream {I used fat free}

Cardamom buttercream frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom {2 1/2 tsp}

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a non-stick muffin pan with cupcake liners.  Combine the butter and chocolate in double boiler and melt, or place in a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 50% power for 30 second increments until melted.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, pepper flakes, and coffee grounds {instant espresso}.  In another small bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar.  Stir in the vanilla extract and sour cream.  Add the chocolate mixture, stir until combined, and then add in the flour mixture half at a time until well-combined.  Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Move to a wire rack to cool before frosting.  

Red pepper flakes in cupcakes??

To make the frosting, beat the butter, vanilla extract, and cardamom until smooth.  Add in the powdered sugar gradually until all of it has been incorporated.  Beat until fluffy and then decorate the cupcakes as desired.

One more side note: thanks to my new mini-muffin tins provided by my mother-in-law {thanks, Mom!}, I made mini-cupcakes for the first time!  I will definitely be doing this more, as you can tell people are much more inclined to take a cupcake {or two, or three…} if it’s miniature.

If you are feeling a little adventurous yourself, definitely give this recipe a try!  We only took a handful home from the July 4th party, and they had mysteriously disappeared by the time I got home from work the next day!


3 Responses to “Yes, more cupcakes {Spicy Dark Chocolate Cupcakes}”

  1. Karin Tracy July 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    Hi Kelli,

    Fun blog! And, the cardamom gelato at Pitango is my WEAKNESS! Really, cardamom anything. The Helmand’s hot tea is steeped with it and served milky with a touch of honey.

    I’ve always liked that you’re so crafty AND a numbers person. Good use of all of your brain ;)

  2. kpolon July 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Thanks, Karin! Adam and I tried to get the cardamom gelato yesterday, but they didn’t have it in the Chinatown location :( That tea sounds amazing!


  1. Family and fall baking {Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting} « wedding withdrawal - October 26, 2011

    […] down my choices to the final four, I intended to only bake two, but ended up deciding on three: spicy chocolate cupcakes with cardamom buttercream, pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting from My Baking Addiction, and chocolate […]

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