Red Hot 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
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla extract, red food coloring and cocoa powder until it makes a paste. Add this to the batter 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, but not completely mixed. 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 thoughts on “Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes

  1. 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.

    1. 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!

  2. 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

    1. 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!

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