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Fiesta Cupcakes: Beware of Cupcake Breath

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This past weekend, some good friends of mine got married (not the ones I’m making the wedding cupcakes for) in Dallas, Texas. I made these cupcakes in their honor. Some people do book dedications or radio shout-outs, I do cupcake dedications. In fact, if you would like a cupcake created in someone’s honor, just let me know, and we might be able to work something out. The more incentive you give me ($$$), the higher it would go on my to-bake list. I’d design it, give you the recipe and write about the honoree on my blog. Any takers?

I asked the Texas Groom what were his bride’s favorite flavors. He responded with:

“pizza, MEXICAN FOOD!, hamburgers with pickles and onions only.
She also likes red cream soda (big red specifically). and candy corn…”

Since Mexican was in caps and the wedding was in Texas, I decided that was the cupcake route I needed to go.

Question for my readers: Is anyone else a red cream soda fan? Is there actually something different about red cream soda? Does she just like the taste of food coloring?

The Fiesta Cupcake Recipe

I called my cupcakes “Fiesta Cupcakes” because the average person got a little bit nervous when I called them by their technical name of, “Chocolate Salsa Cupcakes with Hot Sauce Cream Cheese Frosting.” Don’t stop reading now! They were good. Really.
I got the idea for the recipe here. It was originally a recipe from a Marlboro cookbook, Morning Fires, Evening Lights. I think it’s the first Marlboro product I have supported.
Here is my modified version:


If you've tried this recipe, please RATE THE RECIPE and leave a comment below!

5 from 1 vote

Fiesta Cupcakes: Beware of Cupcake Breath

Try this fun twist - appetizer or dessert, you decide!

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, game day recipes, party recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Calories 360 kcal


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 cup salsa I used a medium spice Habanero salsa
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 bag of Tostitos Scoops

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese
  • 3 C powdered sugar
  • Hot Sauce to taste add it in slowly and keep tasting until you get the level of spice you are comfortable with


Cupcake Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and cocoa. Mix in the butter.
  3. Add the salsa, beating 3 minutes with an electric mixer. Next beat in the eggs and water, beating another 3 minutes.
  4. Line up Tostitos Scoops on a baking sheet.
  5. Fill each scoop with 3/4 t of batter.
  6. Bake for 10-15 (until toothpick comes out clean).


Cakes on a Plane (Part II)

Read here for Part I
When I approached the TSA security counter with my Fiesta Cupcakes, the agent seemed very interested. “Did he want to confiscate them?” My last cupcakes made it through, but I know there is inconsistency when you fly.
One of my travel companions, Margarita Injury Man, (I’m sure he loves that that’s his blog nickname) is particularly outgoing and offered the agent a sample. The agent happily accepted. He enjoyed it and told us that they passed the TSA inspection and we should let him know if anyone else gave us a hard time. Sweet!
As the cupcakes got x-rayed, the x-ray inspector man screamed out “cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes!” He didn’t try one, but they sure did seem to make him happy.

Note to Terrorists: Do not try to fly with cupcakes bombs, the TSA takes cupcake testing very seriously.

When we boarded our flight, the flight attendants immediately noticed my container of cupcakes. Once seated, one attendant sought me out for a taste. Even after I told her the flavor, she still gladly tried one, enjoyed it, and let me take this picture.
Flight Attendant Number Two, however, was less receptive to the flavor. Apparently salsa cupcakes were an offering that would only be made by the Devil. She made cross signs when she passed me and refused to try one or be photographed.
I also gave a cupcake to the man at the Alamo rental car booth. He also would not let me photograph him. He is not allowed to eat at his station and he didn’t want to get fired. I think Alamo should make an exception for Fiesta Cupcakes! Let me know if anyone has any connections to make this happen.
When I arrived at the wedding hospitality suite, more cupcake sampling ensued.

I wouldn’t call these cupcakes crowd favorites, but they got eaten and it was fun to watch everyone’s bemused, “Ummm.. this is interesting” reaction.

I liked the fact that they were bite sized, although, that makes them dangerous. You can eat way too many of these things. I also enjoyed their surprising kick.

Important Tips

1. These cupcakes will give you cupcake breath. In this case, it’s not a good thing.
2. If possible, serve them the day you make them. That way the chips will still be really crispy.
3. If you don’t like the idea of salsa cupcakes, you could bake any cupcake in a chip to make for an interesting presentation at a Mexican-themed party.

Another Contest

I’m entering these cupcakes into the Royal Foodie Joust. This is a contest sponsored by the Leftover Queen where you must use 3 ingredients and make something tasty. This month’s ingredients were chosen by last month’s winner at Cilantro and Lime:
Chocolate (any kind but white)
Chilis/Chili Powder (any type)
Grains (like wheat, rice, oats, etc., in any form)

Wish me luck! Better yet, head to the Joust Forum at the end of the month and vote for me!

Love it? Share it!

10 comments on “Fiesta Cupcakes: Beware of Cupcake Breath”

  1. When I saw the photo, I swore it was just refried beans with fancy sour cream on top.

    I’ll have to try these.

  2. gigisays:

    Wow! My boyfriend usually does not like sweets but I think this may peak his interest. Great post!

  3. Stefsays:

    Marriage – Hah! Some of my friends thought that too. When my husband came home from work he even asked if they had been baked. It definitely takes people off guard.

    Gigi – No sweets?? Does he at least taste all that yummy stuff you bake?

  4. Nancysays:

    Taking cupcakes to the airport is highly recommended. The security check and flight to Dallas were greatly enhanced by the responses to these treats. People smiled, laughed, talked. Trip home, not so much. No sweet treats.

  5. Marysays:

    What kind of container did you carry your cupcakes on the plane in?

  6. Stefsays:

    Just a big Tupperware. Nothing fancy. A few of them flipped over because the scoops aren’t flat, but for the most part it worked just fine.

  7. Karensays:

    Hi Stef – now that’s the way to win friends and influence your flight attendant! Or alienate them, as the case may be…

  8. Juliesays:

    That’s so fun! I love that you made them in Scoops and that you shared them with everyone during your trip!

  9. :D

    Fiesta cupcakes! What a fun idea!

  10. Kittysays:

    As a kid, I always had taco sauce on the vanilla ice cream cups at school. Spicy & sweet = awesome.

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