Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes with Chilli – totally Chomptastic!

some chocolate cupcakes with a hand reaching in to grab one

Every so often, I stumble upon an idea for something and it results in the best flavours! This is that idea – these cherry chocolate cupcakes with chilli are insane! (yes I know, I’m at it again with my alliteration!) Everyone likes chocolate right? Well adding the chilli doesn’t make it spicy, it makes it richer. And then that hit of cherry as well? OMG I almost need to get back in the kitchen and whip up another batch!

Now I actually used tinned cherries from the Ocado website (in the UK) to make these cupcakes so I saved myself a few pounds in the process. I am really pleased with the way they turned out and I implore you to have a go at making them – the whole family will be over the moon. And yes, you’ll probably have to make them again and again – sorry! 😆

I know chocolate and cherry might have you thinking of black forest gateaux and the like – but this recipe doesn’t have any cream. That’s not to say I won’t try it at some stage to see if it works, but for now, this recipe works brilliantly well and I don’t think it needs anything else.

Top Tips

I used small cupcake cases for these cakes so I managed to get 24 cupcakes, but if you use larger cases, the quantity will be reduced.

The size of the cakes will also affect the timings in the oven. Mine took 16 minutes, but larger ones will take longer – do the skewer test to check they are cooked perfectly.

I put some whole cherries in the cases after pouring the cake batter in – this was my choice, and I think it tastes awesome, but my kids were less enamoured, so maybe do half and half!

I made these cupcakes around Valentine’s day, so I made the cherry icing even more pink with food colouring. Feel free to play around with colours of your choice or you could even do some different chocolate cupcake icing – see my chocolate ganache icing here for my chilli chocolate cupcakes

A flat lay view of some chilli chocolate cherry cupcakes

Benefits of Chilli

Now I know I use a few spices in my cooking, and I make no apology for it – I really think it adds interest to most dishes. With chilli, well what can I say, you’re actually improving your health if the reports are anything to go by.

This report by the Independent newspaper states that consumption of chillies apparently leads to a reduction in cardiovascular and cancer mortality! I knew chilli chocolate cherry cupcakes weren’t all bad. Chilli chocolate is the way forward!

So quick, let’s get cooking!!

A tray of chocolate cupcakes with cherry buttercream icing

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes with Chilli

Bitesized cakes with rich chocolate and gorgeous cherries – just delicious!
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 16 minutes
Plus icing the cupcakes 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 46 minutes
Course Afternoon tea, Dessert
Servings 24 cupcakes


  • Electric hand mixer


  • 175 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 175 g softened butter
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 3 medium free range eggs
  • 30 g plain chocolate melted
  • 1 tin black cherries in syrup or equivalent (macerated fresh cherries)

For the Icing

  • 190 g softened butter
  • 420 g icing sugar – sifted
  • 100 ml cherry and syrup liquid – blitzed (from the tin of cherries)

To decorate

  • chocolate hearts and/or sprinkles


  • Preheat the oven to 180 C (170C fan). Line 24 cupcake cases into their trays
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, cocoa and chili powder into a bowl.
    Bowl containing flour, cocoa, baking powder
  • In a separate bowl, add the butter and caster sugar and beat together using the electric whisk until smooth and creamy.
    Softened butter and caster sugar in a bowl
  • Add the eggs one by one and whisk until smooth
  • Gradually add the flour mixture, whisking between each addition.
  • Finally stir in the melted chocolate and 60g of cherry syrup from the tin of cherries.
  • The mixture should be like hummus! Spoon it into the paper cases using two spoons. Take the cherries from the tin of cherries and put one into the centre of each cupcake. (Make sure you retain 6 cherries as these will be needed for the icing).
  • Bake in the oven for between 16-22 minutes depending on the size of your cases. They should rise evenly and be firm to the touch. It would be best to do the skewer test to be sure (a skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcake should come out totally clean if the cakes are ready).
  • Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and leave to cool
  • Meanwhile make the icing. Cream the butter and gradually add the icing sugar, beating between each addition.
  • Take around 6 cherries and some of the syrup and blitz in a food processor until smooth (no need to strain). Measure 100ml of this, and add to the icing mixture, folding in to make sure it is incorporated. The consistency should be enough that it is pipeable. If it is to thick, add more cherry syrup. If too thin, add more icing sugar.
  • Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe swirls of icing onto each cooled cupcake and then decorate with sprinkles of your choice.
    Chocolate cupcake with a swirl of cherry icing
Keyword cherry, Chilli, Chocolate, cupcakes
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