Iron Cupcake: Chili Pepper

I'm entering my ultimate cupcake in the ultimate challenge: Iron Cupcake. Hosted by Sandy at No One Puts Cupcake In A Corner, this month is the first ever global challenge. Every month she hosts a real, live event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since we all can't be there to experience the magic, she is bringing the magic to us in the form of this event.

I'm competing to win prizes from here, there, over here and over there, too. I've been stressing out over this little pan of cupcakes all month. These prizes are so incredibly awesome and I desperately want to win any contest I enter, so I brought out the big guns, and made my signature recipe: Chili-Lime Chocolate Cake. The recipe has been tweaked for cupcake-dom because the original cake is a little too moist to enjoy as a cupcake alone. More flour and less liquid, an awesome cupcake do make :)
So, voting will begin on Sunday, August 31st at 12 noon at NO ONE PUTS CUPCAKE IN A CORNER, and will be open throughThursday, September 4 at 12 noon.

Don't think I won't be reminding you incessantly...

So this luscious little ditty is a lot chocolaty, a little spicy, and cooled down with a sweet, creamy, sumptuous avocado buttercream. The the texture of the avocado makes it perfect to blend in with butter and sugar. The cream doesn't lose it's sheen or color after mixing. It's my best invention yet!

Chili-Lime Chocolate Cupcakes
with Avocado Buttercream
makes 6 cupcakes or 4 giant cupcakes

2 cups cake flour
2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
4 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp salt

Sift flour and sugar into large bowl.
Bring butter, cocoa, and lime juice, to a boil in saucepan. Alternatively, using a heat-safe mixing bowl, warm in the microwave on HIGH for 2 1/2 minutes. Pour over flour mixture and mix well. Add buttermilk, baking soda, chili powder, vanilla, eggs and salt and mix well.
Pour into greased and floured muffin tin. Bake at 400 degrees F for 16 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.

Let all ingredients come to room temperature before starting.

Avocado Buttercream
makes 2 cups

2 large avocado, ripe, pitted
2 tsp lime juice
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
16 oz confectioners' sugar

Combine all the ingredients in large mixing bowl and whisk or mix at slow speed until smooth. If stiffer icing is needed, or if the weather is very warm, add a little extra sugar. Firm up buttercream in refrigerator until it is just pliable enough to not melt when decorating the cupcakes.

After decorating cupcakes, place in refrigerator to set icing.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. wow, avocado buttercream?! what a great entry! This is going to be a good contest, so many of the entries are wonderful

  2. Okay, I "get it" with the cupcake and all that, but wouldn't this also be great as a savory muffin? Without the sugar frosting? You could make like a garlicky, cream cheese spread for the top. OOOh yummeh.

    This is definitely an original creation and will be a standout at NOPCIAC. Good luck!

  3. Well, Nikki, you got me there. Avocado frosting! WOW. Neat idea. I bow to the queen of creativity.

  4. kat: thanks! I still have yet to make candied peel like you did.

    heather: Chocolate and garlic? For real? I'm speechless.

    teresa: thank you!

  5. Wow, everyone really is breaking out the big guns for this event. I've never seen so many variations of chili cupcakes... or chili cupcakes at all for that matter :)

    This is gonna be a tough one Nik, but I will admit, avocado frosting is calling me. Hmmm what is a guy to do?

  6. No, with a savory muffin instead of chocolate cake, silly!

  7. Adam: I feel like I should have sugared up a pepper for garnish. But I actually ate my cupcake. I don't think I'd pony up to eating a whole chili, covered in sugar or not.

    I mean...I can only promise you gravy and biscuits and a good time in exchange for you vote. That's all.

    Heather: Oh, OK. I was scared. I thought you knew something I didn't LOL That is a good idea. That's your Crayola creativity at work, right there :)

  8. Avocado buttercream?! You're a genious!

    Good luck to you

  9. These are great and very creative. Wheres the eclairs?

  10. Nikki, today a friend took me to an ice-cream shop that his son owns. It was way cool, with a good-sized selection of organic ice creams and stir-ins. As I stood in front of the board displaying all 110+ things I could have added to my ice cream, I channeled you and came up with-- chocolate ice cream, smoked habanero pepper, and avocado. :D It was incredible! Actually, beyond incredible!!! I only eat the "real" ice cream a couple of times a year, and thanks so much for inspiring me in choosing the best combo I've ever had. :)


    ps- your cupcake recipe rocks and you'd better win!


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