This 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats is so far 2 weeks of cupcakes. Are you complaining? Last week it was my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, and this week a new brainchild: Cinnamon Chocolate Cayenne Cupcakes.
A lot sweet and a little spicy, these have some Christmas spice by way of cinnamon and some Texas spice by way of cayenne. Plus: chocolate. Rob and I taste-tested and they were just the right amount of spicy. It comes at the end, and is tempered by a luscious cream cheese icing.
- For the cake
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/2 T cinnamon
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 T butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup milk
- For the icing
- 1 block cream cheese (8 oz), softened
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking cups in pan.
- Mix together the first seven dry ingredients. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until well mixed. Add one egg at a time, beating each until incorporated. Add the extracts and then alternate adding milk and dry ingredients until well mixed. Pour into baking cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake 15-16 minutes.
- While the cupcakes are baking, cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and extracts. Melt the chocolate over a double broiler or in a microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between. Use either plain cream cheese icing or mix in the melted chocolate for a chocolate cream cheese icing.
- *You can never have too much icing, but in this case, more icing really helps offset the spice, so pile it on!
- *To make these extra pretty, garnish with a cinnamon stick, drizzle of chocolate, or dust with cinnamon.
For more Christmas-themed treats, come check out these fabulous (and delicious) links, or link up your own!