9 July 2015

Baking With Spirit: Aztec Cupcakes

Last weekend, in the midst of the heat, I met up with my mother in London. She lived there for many years during her twenties, so she took the opportunity to show me her old haunts and one of her old homes near Hyde Park. It was a nice walk down memory lane for her, and a chance for me to learn some things I never knew about her youth.

In her many years of living in London, my mum never went to Borough Market - perhaps it has only become such a bustling hub of food in recent years? In the two years since moving from Newcastle to Cambridgeshire, I've been getting to know London a little better and make fairly frequent visits to the market. The tables were turned, and this time I was the tour guide. My favourite parts of the market are the cheese counters and the cake stalls. I love the aged comté best, though I have to say my enjoyment of the cheese counters is bolstered by the flirty men who often sell them. For some reason, selling cheese and flirtation go hand in hand, or at least they do at Borough Market. My mum really enjoyed the market, and bought some bread and French cakes to take home with her. Success!

This is actually my second attempt at these cupcakes. I made them several months ago, but the tequila wasn't detectable and nor was the chilli powder I used, so essentially I had made fancy chocolate cupcakes. This time, I used chilli flakes to disperse the flavour much more effectively throughout the sponge, and a tequila syrup (seen before in these Tequila Slammer Cupcakes) adds a nice tequila background. These Aztec Cupcakes got rave reviews from my friends at work, and, as an added bonus, my good friend Kate found a double use for the edible gold glitter in the form of makeup.

Makes 12

  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 200g Butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 50g Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 50mL Milk
  • 200g Dark Chocolate
  • 75mL Tequila
  • 100mL Water
  • 25g Caster Sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan and line a cupcake tin with cases.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, stirring until smooth.
  • Chilli flakes until well combined.
  • Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder, then fold in.
  • Ensure the batter has a soft dropping consistency - fold in a couple of tablespoons of the milk until this texture is achieved.
  • Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake for 22 minutes.
  • Make the syrup by mixing 25mL tequila, the caster sugar and 25mL water until the sugar dissolves (gentle heating may be necessary). 
  • While they are still warm, poke holes in the cupcakes using a toothpick, then spoon a tablespoon of the syrup over each one, or brush it over them. Add as much as you dare, without drenching the cakes, and allow to cool.
  • To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a heatproof jug with the remaining tequila and water. Melt the chocolate in the microwave using 30-second bursts, stir well and allow to cool and solidify.
  • Get a smooth finish on the cupcakes by dolloping the solidified ganache onto the cupcakes, then dipping a metal spoon into a mug of hot water and using it to smooth the ganache. Decorate with edible gold glitter.


  1. These sound lovely - my experience of alcohol infused chocolate cake has previously been limited to whisky or rum and I know I love the chilli/chocolate combination. Those Borough cheese markets sound pretty good too ;)

    1. Try it! The combination is a definite winner :)

  2. I was so lucky - I used to work right next door to Borough Mkt! I miss it now.
    Love cupcakes with a bit of booze - these look divine!

    1. That IS lucky! I bet your lunch was never boring.


Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think! Comments are always appreciated. Unless they are spam.