Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes

| candy cupcakes, cinnamon, cupcake recipes, hot and spicy, recipes, red velvet, spiced, valentine's day, velvet cupcakes

Red velvet cinnamon and chili cupcakes infused with Red Hots syrup topped with Red Hots buttercream make these Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes a spicy, sweet treat perfect for Valentine’s Day… or any day!

Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes |

I haven’t made a cupcake in a while… so I wanted to make something that I had never done before! And since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought why not make it a themed cupcake… Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes!

Red Hots or Cinnamon Imperials candies are the prefect little spicy red candy to decorate cupcakes or cookies with but often times are used only at Christmas.  I know I’ve used them for years to decorate our holiday cookies with.  But since they’re red in color, I knew they’d be a great addition to any Valentine dessert!

Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes |

I didn’t just want to toss the candies into the batter and call it good… I wanted really get the spicy flavor of the candies into the cake.  So, I made a simple syrup out of the cinnamon candies and drizzled it over the cupcakes.  This way the spicy flavor would soak into the cupcake and would be a prominent flavor! I also used that same syrup in the buttercream frosting and added a bit of chili powder for more of a spicy kick!

Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes |

These are some seriously unique cupcakes.  And they definitely aren’t for the faint of heart… they’ve got a kick with all the chili powder and cinnamon red hots in them!

If you’re looking for something unique and different, then these are the cupcakes for you.  Flavor wise, they truly are one of the most different cupcakes I’ve ever made.  They aren’t really chocolate… they aren’t really red velvet… they pack a punch of spice and there’s this syrup glaze on top that leaves your mouth going WOOOAAAAAH!

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes |

Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes
Prep time

Cook time


Serves: 18 cupcakes

Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 oz liquid red food coloring
  • 1 cup milk + 2 tsp vinegar (let sit for 5 minutes before using)
Red Hot Syrup
  • 1 cup cinnamon imperials or Red Hots candies
  • ½ cup water
Red Hot Buttercream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2lbs powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup Red Hots syrup
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup – ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • pinch of salt

Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, chili powder and cinnamon.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and vegetable oil.
  4. One at a time, add the eggs and whisk together until smooth.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and red food coloring and whisk until completely combined.
  6. Mix in the milk and whisk until incorporated.
  7. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, fold/stir gently until no more flour is visible and the candies have been incorporated. Do not overmix!
  8. Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full with batter.
  9. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Red Hot Syrup
  1. In a small sauce pan, bring the water and candies to a boil, stirring constantly until all the candies have dissolved.
  2. Reduce to low-medium heat and simmer until the syrup has reduced and is thick.
Red Hot Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter until smooth.
  2. Add half the powdered sugar and mix on high until smooth.
  3. Add the chili powder, salt, and Red Hots syrup and beat until incorporated.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix on high until smooth.
  5. Start with ¼ cup of heavy cream and mix until combined. Add up to ¼ cup (or more) until you reach your desired consistency.
  6. Beat buttercream on high for 2 minutes.
  1. After cupcakes have cooled, pokes several holes in the top of each cupcake with a toothpick.
  2. Spoon over a few teaspoons of Red Hots syrup on the top of each cupcake allowing the syrup to soak into the cake and holes.
  3. Pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake.
  4. Top with a Red Hots candy.


17 Comments on Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes

  1. Lemons For Lulu
    February 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm (1 year ago)

    Wait you put chili powder in the cupcake??? I LOVE it!! Double the spice! My kind of cupcake!

    • Betsy Eves
      February 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm (1 year ago)

      I know, right!?!? Chili IN the cupcake… it’s CRAZY. Crazy delicoius!

  2. Cate O'Malley
    February 13, 2014 at 3:22 pm (1 year ago)

    Such a fun and unique spin!

  3. Amy | Club Narwhal
    February 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm (1 year ago)

    Besty, these are just too cute! I love cupcakes in pretty much any form and am totally intrigued by this flavor combo. Plus, that frosting looks to die for!

  4. theflairexchange
    February 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm (1 year ago)

    Yum! I love spicy things and this is a must try. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Cecile
    February 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm (1 year ago)

    These look so delicious! I love red hots and I think this recipe would be right up my alley!

  6. Susan P. (@littleredkitchn)
    February 13, 2014 at 11:03 pm (1 year ago)

    I haven’t had red hots in a long time. I bet these cupcakes taste really good though. Such an original idea and the color is outstanding.

  7. Aysh
    February 14, 2014 at 7:06 pm (1 year ago)

    Wow! Chilli in a cupcake… ummm hmmm… i love it!

  8. Audrey@That Recipe
    February 14, 2014 at 10:12 pm (1 year ago)

    My mother-in-law has a recipe for cayenne pepper chocolate cookies and I really like the spicy chocolate combo. I don’t necessarily love the cinnamon chocolate combo, but you make these look so good I might have to try them.

    • Betsy Eves
      February 15, 2014 at 8:55 am (1 year ago)

      I’m not a huge fan of spicy either… but there’s something about a subtle kick of heat with chocolate that I love. So those cayenne pepper chocolate cookies sound really good!

  9. Ann
    February 14, 2014 at 11:19 pm (1 year ago)

    My husband is going to love these. Thanks for having the pin it app so I can actually get back to this and make them.

    • Betsy Eves
      February 15, 2014 at 8:54 am (1 year ago)

      You’re welcome!

  10. becky hardin
    February 15, 2014 at 1:54 am (1 year ago)

    these look delicious, and your site is amazing!! i love the colors and how it is set up!! inspiring :) what apps do you use for the pop up on the right “you may also like” and the bar at the top that talks about giveaways? love it!!! #sitsgirls

    • Betsy Eves
      February 15, 2014 at 9:05 am (1 year ago)

      Thank you for saying so, Becky! I love any feedback… especially the flattering kind! So, THANK YOU! The bottom pop-up is called the “nrellate flyout” and the bar at the top is the “Hello Bar”. “nrelate” is a plug-in for wordpress and “hello bar” is a website that you build the bar on, then insert the code into your blog. Hope this helps! :) Happy Blogging!

  11. Carrie of Bella Cupcake Couture
    February 22, 2014 at 8:47 am (1 year ago)

    Those look super delicious Betsy! Now that you have a Starbucks near you too….I’m looking forward to some “Coffee” Infused Cupcake Recipes.

    Thanks, Carrie
    Bella Cupcake Couture


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