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I saw a recipe for basil buttercream and adapted it for cilantro. Steeping the herb in a milk and cream mixture followed by an overnight stay in the frig helps to the liquid to better absorb the flavor. I used natural cane sugar, which gave the frosting a slight caramel color – no green. I could have added green paste for color, but opted to keep it more natural.

The hint of cilantro was more than enough. It wasn’t my favorite frosting. I think next time I’ll go back to my tequila lime frosting, and put a drop or 12 of tequila in the cupcake batter and/or instant pudding. The addition of the dry spices, I think, added dryness to the batter.

We’ll see how they go today at work…I think I’ll owe my colleagues a do-over.

UPDATE: Apparently I was much too hard on myself. My colleagues enjoyed these cupcakes very much – from the spicy kick at the end to the not-so-sweet frosting. I still may add tequila next time anyway…

chocolate chipotle cupcakes with raspberry mascarpone filling and cilantro lime frostingChipotle Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Mascarpone Filling and Cilantro Lime Buttercream

What you need:


  • 1 box devil’s food chocolate cake mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup Devo Olive Oil Chipotle EVOO
  • 3 eggs


Mascarpone Filling:

  • 1 c mascarpone
  • 1 c frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1/4 c powdered sugar
  • 1 lime, zested (save the juice for the frosting)
  • 2 tsp Chambord

Cilantro Lime Frosting:

  • 1 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 c cilantro
  • 1 1/2 c cane sugar
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 1 1/2 c greek yogurt butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

What you do:


  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Combine dry ingredients.
  • Add water, EVOO and eggs.
  • Mix until well combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners.
  • Bake 18-21 min (reg size; 10-13 min for mini); top should spring back when touched.
  • Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.
  • Place cupcakes on baking sheet.
  • Cool for 10 minutes.

Mascarpone Filling:

  • Mix all ingredients.

Lime Cilantro Frosting:

  • In saucepan add milk, cream and cilantro.
  • Heat until mixture simmers.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cool and refrigerate overnight.
  • Strain mixture to remove and discard cilantro.
  • In saucepan, whisk flour and sugar together.
  • Add the cilantro milk mixture cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 min.
  • Transfer to mixer bowl.
  • Beat on high until cool, 7-9 minutes.
  • Reduce speed to low and add butter, one piece at a time.
  • Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 1-2 min.
  • Add vanilla and lime juice and mix another 1-2 min.
  • If the mixture seems too soft or runny, add some powdered sugar, cornstarch, a mix of the two, a little at a time until the right consistency is reached.

Cupcake assembly:

  • Hollow out center of cupcake.
  • Fill with mascarpone mixture.
  • Replace hollowed-out pieces.
  • Top with frosting and raspberry.