Okay, so you can’t see the cayenne..but it’s there. It’s a fiery little undertone that sneaks up on you after the chocolate flavor seduces your taste buds into taking one more bite. I picked up the framework of this recipe from an old cookbook a while back. It was touted as an “egg-less, milk-less, butter-less, cake”. Originally, it called for oil and salt, but I nixed the salt and instead of oil used melted Earth Balance. Then I added cocoa powder, and cayenne pepper for a kick, and topped them with glorious cinnamon laced frosting. And yes, that is freshly ground black pepper on top. My new favorite sprinkle.
Chocolate Cayenne Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder, the darker the better
- 1 cup melted Earth Balance margarine
- 2 cups ice cold water
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper- or more if you dare- this amount will leave your lips feeling it
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix sugar, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, melted Earth Balance, baking soda, and vanilla in large mixing bowl until thoroughly blended. Gradually mix in a little flour, and then a little cold water, repeating until all water and flour is used. Mix well and stir in vinegar.
Pour batter into standard sized muffin pans lined with cupcake papers. Fill 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool.
Cinnamon Frosting Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup cold Earth Balance margarine OR 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (or hydrogenated if you swing that way)
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt if using shortening
Mix margarine or shortening together with confectioner’s sugar. [ Using an electric mixer works wonders, but is not necessary] Gradually add water, cinnamon, and vanilla and whip on high speed of mixer, or by hand until frosting is fluffy. Frost cupcakes once they have been thoroughly cooled. You can also make this frosting ahead of time and store in fridge.