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C4 Cupcakes – Chocolate, Chilli, Courgette, Cinnamon

Cupcakes, Vegetable Cakes | 11th September 2010 | By

It was a friend’s wedding, so of course I had to make cake – not THE cake, I hasten to add, intricate decorations are not my thing.  So I thought I’d make some cupcakes for the day before the big event when friends and family would be arriving in droves.  As the courgette season was in full swing, we had a veritable stock pile of these amazingly prolific veg – green and yellow both.  So in addition to a few of these tied up with a bow as part of the wedding present, courgette had to find its way into the cakes somehow.  I hummed and hahed and looked at a few recipes.  My aunt had recently sent me a link to the Good Food version of a chocolate and courgette cake, I had a look at the one in my Green and Black’s book, the one over at Browniville Girl and the vegan one I made a few weeks ago.  These all went into the melting pot with an extra addition of chilli and came out as these Chocolate, Chilli, Courgette and Cinnamon Cupcakes – C4.

This is what I did:

  • Beat 175ml sunflower oil with two duck eggs and 150g brown sugar until thick, glossy and lump free.
  • Sieved in 200g flour (1/2 wholemeal, 1/2 white), 40g cocoa, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp ground chilli and a pinch of salt.
  • Mixed this together lightly then folded in 200g grated courgette.
  • Spooned into 12 cupcake cases with enough left over to fill a mini loaf tin.
  • Baked at 180C for 18 mins.
  • Heated up 100ml double cream until nearly boiling then poured over 100g chopped 70% dark chocolate.
  • Stirred until smooth then left to cool.
  • Added 1 tbsp chilli liqueur (made by marinading some chillies, a cinnamon stick an some sugar in vodka for quite a long time).
  • Beat until thick enough to ice the cupcakes, then spread over the top with a palate knife.
  • Decorated with little edible gold stars.

Luckily there was enough left over to make an additional mini loaf or I wouldn’t have managed to taste these and in the interests of quality control and reporting on my blog, I do like to try things where possible 🙂  I was slightly concerned about the level of chilli heat – not everyone has chilli sauce on their toast for breakfast, but on tasting, it turned out to be just right, a perceptible warmth that would have been quite hard to identify without prior knowledge.  Presentation was sorted by a brilliant tip from CityHippyFarmGirl to check out charity shops for suitable containers to present food gifts in.  Although not quite what I had in mind, the silver tray I found showed off the cupcakes effectively although it’s hard to tell from the photograph which is by no means one of my best!  These were really rather yummy and I tried not to look too pleased with the positive feedback I received.


  1. Kath

    11th September 2010 at 8:57 am

    What a lovely wedding present and what a lucky friend.

  2. Chele

    11th September 2010 at 11:35 am

    Well done – they look great!

  3. C

    11th September 2010 at 11:19 am

    They look lovely, especially with the gold stars on the top. I don’t think you should hide your pleasure at positive feedback, but I know what you mean, I generally try not to look too much like a cheshire cat!!!

    What a good idea to look for presentation boxes and so forth in charity shops – must remember that one!

  4. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    11th September 2010 at 3:41 pm

    So lovely, what a strange but inspired gift…. and your trip to Ghent looks so good… but enough with the alliteration already!

  5. Foodycat

    11th September 2010 at 7:52 pm

    The tray is lovely, and the cupcakes sound interesting (?!) but I LOVE the courgettes as a wedding present!

  6. Choclette

    12th September 2010 at 10:31 am

    Thanks Kath – I do hasten to add this was only part of her present.

    C – thank you. You’re right it is good to appreciate nice comments and I don’t think I’m in any danger of becoming too smug – I never feel my cakes come out as well as I’d like.

    Thanks Chele

    Dom – great fan of alliteration, do go on.

    Foodycat – the courgettes did get a good laugh. they also got a tub of sourdough starter tied up in a ribbon and a proper present too.

  7. Joanna

    12th September 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Absolutely brilliant, Choclette – your friends must have felt so loved by those wonderful gifts – those cupcakes are beauties. Was that a ganache icing that worked? Yippee!

  8. Ananda Rajashekar

    12th September 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Fantastic and whole lot of heavenly combination…..loved both of your pic wat a adorable cupcakes, I always wanted to try chocolate chili cake but ur recipe is intruding me for quick bake 🙂

  9. The KitchenMaid

    12th September 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Hello! These look gorgeous and the recipe is very tempting. I made THE wedding cake for some dear friends earlier this year and it nearly killed me. Cupcakes would have been much easier!

  10. Celia

    13th September 2010 at 1:46 am

    Beautiful, Choc! I loooove the little gold stars…

  11. Hazel

    13th September 2010 at 4:28 am

    What an absolutely fabulous choice of ingredients! I love that you are using seasonal ingredients (well, the courgette!)

    I am very intrigued in the sensation of the chilli and cinnamon together, very interesting.

  12. 5am Foodie

    13th September 2010 at 6:29 am

    Chocolate and zucchini just work together, don’t they? I found a great recipe that I feel the need to try again, but I’m going to take your suggestion and throw some cinnamon and a bit of chili into it this time. In fact, I must perhaps just find the time today…

  13. Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany)

    13th September 2010 at 6:49 am

    Wow, great combination. I’ve never ventured into this creative realm before, but I think I must experiment with the combination of chilli/chocolate.

  14. MaryMoh

    13th September 2010 at 7:17 am

    You are so sweet to make these lovely cupcakes for your friend’s wedding. I’ve never thought of courgette in a cupcake! Love it.

  15. The Caked Crusader

    13th September 2010 at 7:54 am

    You presented the cupcakes beautifully – I love the tray

  16. Jan

    13th September 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Hi thank you for stopping by at my blog which has led me to yours.
    A great blog you have here and those cupcakes look good!
    LOVE the idea of chilli liqueur!!!

  17. Sam

    13th September 2010 at 6:07 pm

    They sound fabulous! I love the chili and cinamon combination.

  18. Liz

    13th September 2010 at 5:55 pm

    great recipe! I’m a great trawler through charity shops for stuff to present food on for feastsandfestivals. and there’s always a surplus of courgettes down here… I love just the prickle of heat a smidgeon of chilli brings..

  19. Pam

    14th September 2010 at 3:26 pm

    They look pretty and sound tasty!

  20. George@CulinaryTravels

    14th September 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Oooh they look delightful. Love the flavour combinations.

  21. Choclette

    14th September 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Joanna – thanks. Yes I managed it this time, but not exactly sure how!

    Ananda – I really like the chilli and chocolate combination and haven’t come unstuck with it as yet!

    Kitchen Maid – well done, you’re a braver person than me. I bet you did a great job though.

    Celia – yes I was rather taken with the stars too

    Hazel – the chilli is seasonal too, I just didn’t use fresh ones, but we’ve got several ripe ones I’m using at the moment. Chilli and cinnamon are a winning combo in my book – make a great hot chocolate.

    Michelle – and did you find the time?

    Brittany – it’s really just a matter of getting the right strength of chilli. I love it.

    MaryMoh – it’s having too many courgettes and trying to find ways of using them up. They do make cakes nice and moist.

    CC – thank you

    Jan – thank you. Chilli liqueur is great for adding a teaspoon or two into other drinks. Even I find it a bit much on it’s own.

    Liz – those courgettes certainly seem to have appreciated all the rain we’ve had down here. Any good idea on “charity finds” welcome.

    Sam – thank you

    Pam – thank you. The photo didn’t really do these justice, I didn’t use the right camera.

    George – thank you

  22. Lucie

    14th September 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Fabulous cupcakes Choclette!

  23. Margaret

    15th September 2010 at 2:35 pm

    The cupcakes look really lovely!

  24. smspizza

    15th September 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Mmmm, these looks so good! I definitely want to try these 🙂

  25. freerangegirl

    15th September 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Cutie cupcakes! I’m rather taken with the courgette recipe myself- it’s a keeper!

  26. nic @ nipitinthebud

    15th September 2010 at 7:37 pm

    what an inspired gift. You’re a very handy gal to know aren’t you :o) I love the BBC Good Food website. I made the gluten free lemon drizzle cake a few weeks ago which was made of ground almonds and mashed potato. I thought of you as I pondered what a chocolate version would turn out like.

  27. Choclette

    16th September 2010 at 7:21 am

    Thanks Lucie, Margaret

    Nic – ooh, mashed potato in a cake – what was it like? I vaguely remember experimenting with this as a youth, but have no recollection of what it was like. Will have to try it, with chocolate of course.

    FreeRangeGirl – Thank you and hopefully those courgettes will be plentiful again next year. Just about to use up some more in chutney and piccalilli.

  28. cityhippyfarmgirl

    8th October 2010 at 8:56 am

    How funny. You mention me in the one post I must have missed! Thanks Choclette 🙂
    There is a church fete round the corner from me once a year and I am waiting a little impatiently until the next one to find some ‘goodies’. Last year was very good for gorgeous retro finds.

  29. Maya Russell

    22nd March 2013 at 5:12 am

    Different. But I’ll have a go. I’ve tried courgette before in brownies and you really don’t taste it.


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