Recipe courtesy of Kathy Iannuzzi

Dark Magic Cupcakes

Save Recipe
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes
Share This Recipe


2/3 cup (80 grams) cocoa

1 cup hot water

1/4 cup pureed chipotle peppers

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 cups (400 grams) sugar

2 cups 1 1/2 tablespoons (275 grams) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup cold water

Lime Buttercream, recipe follows

Chocolate Ganache, recipe follows

Lime Buttercream:

2 pounds unsalted butter

2 pounds confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest and juice of half a lime

Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup semisweet chocolate

1 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat the convection oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the cocoa with the hot water and add the chipotle peppers, chili powder and cayenne. Let steep for 10 minutes.
  3. In a standing mixing bowl, add the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Add the oil to the dry ingredients and mix for 1 minute on low. In a separate bowl, lightly mix the vanilla and eggs. Then add to the mixer and blend until incorporated. Add the cold water and the cocoa mixture to the mixer, a little at a time, until incorporated. Scrape the bowl and mix on low for 1 minute.
  4. Fill cupcake liners two-thirds full and bake until done, about 20 minutes.
  5. To assemble: Cool the cupcakes completely and top with the Lime Buttercream and dip in the cooled Chocolate Ganache.

Lime Buttercream:

  1. Mix the butter until it is smooth, scraping the bowl every couple of minutes. Add the sugar, and mix until smooth. Then add the vanilla, lime zest and juice. Beat until smooth and creamy. Yield: 6 cups.

Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Put the chocolate in a stainless steel or glass bowl. In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream until just before a boil. Remove from the stove. Pour over the chocolate, and mix until all the chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool.