Cinnamon Chocolate Churro Cupcakes

Taco night is quickly become a tradition around these parts. Hosted by our lovely neighbor, these nights are basically an excuse to get together. Neighbors, friends, new friends… and tacos. The ultimate community food.

But what goes with tacos? For dessert, I mean. I considered flan (involves making caramel, I scrapped that real quick), tres leches cake (or tres leches cupcakes), margarita lime something or other, homemade churros…

Churros.

Except I didn’t want to deal with deep frying anything.

So I did the next most logical thing.

I reinterpreted the churro.

As a cupcake.

Cinnamon Churro Cupcakes with Mexican Chocolate Pudding Filling

The best churros are the ones served with warm dipping chocolate. And I wasn’t about to serve cupcakes with dipping chocolate, so I filled them with a spiced chocolate pudding instead.

That’s right, pudding. Delicious pudding. Pudding that would have been a treat on its own. But enveloped in a light and perfectly crumbly cinnamon cake? Help me now.

Cinnamon Churro Cupcakes with Mexican Chocolate Pudding Filling

Not wanting to overpower the delicate cinnamon scented cake and rich creamy filling, I went a slightly different direction with the frosting. No thick and heavy buttercream here. Rather, an ethereal chocolate cinnamon whipped cream. Light, airy, and utterly divine.

Churro Cupcakes with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

The result was nothing short of sinful. No, I wouldn’t use this frosting on a hot summer day, and no, I wouldn’t trust it to hold up more than a day (not that I expect anything adorned with it to last that long, but still). Fresh out of the piping bag, this frosting is incredible. Heck, if there had been any left over I would have piped it right on to a steaming cup of hot chocolate and swooned in utter delight.

Cinnamon Chocolate Churro Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

Cinnamon Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mexican Chocolate Pudding Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 ounces good quality semisweet or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon meringue powder
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 cup chilled whipping cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Combine almond milk and vinegar and stir to combine. Whisk in sugar, oil, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until relatively smooth. Fill cupcake liners with a scant 3 Tablespoons of batter (cups should be just under 2/3 of the way full). Bake for 20-22 minutes or until set, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  4. To prepare filling, combine the cornstarch, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a larger pot filled with 1 inch of water. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a small bowl and cover, gently pressing a layer of plastic wrap against the surface before refrigerating (this will prevent a skin from forming). Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days (ahem, good luck with that).
  5. For frosting, whisk powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, meringue powder, cream of tartar, and cinnamon in large bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled and ready to use, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Using electric mixer or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, gradually beat chilled cream into chocolate mixture. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  6. With a small pairing knife cut out cones from the tops of cupcakes approximately 1 inch in diameter. Set aside but do not discard. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of filling into each cupcake (you’ll have extra pudding, so grab a spoon). Replace top and press into place (it helps to remove a bit off the base of the cone piece to help it sit more level on the filling – tasties for you). Pipe on whipped cream frosting, taking care to cover up all seams. If desired, sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon sugar prior to serving.

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74 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. oh my FLIPPIN goodness. I want to taste it now!!! I’m definitely making these friday. No questions. don’t care how much money I have to spend. I’m makin em. Why did you do this to me!!???!!

  2. oh my gosh.. these are everything I love in a cupcake and more. Mmmmm thanks for posting, can’t wait to try the recipe out! and p.s. I looooove your blog =)

  3. Ooooh, these look awesome! Fantastic – I love churros and it’s a great idea to turn them into cupcakes! :)

  4. Just fyi, I took one home, put it in the fridge overnight, took it out this afternoon for the icing to thaw a bit from the fridge, and it’s YUM just like yesterday. So it holds up for at least one day! Couldn’t save any others to try for any longer though… they were too good. :)

  5. Ooh churros! My one and only favorite fried dessert. Of course they need chocolate and I love the pudding. Wish I had one now because these sound perfect!

  6. Wow, what a cupcake! I thought they looked good but then I read and saw you had chocolate pudding inside the cupcakes – then I knew I had to give them a try! This is definitely one of the most innovative and delicious desserts I’ve come across in a while and I can’t wait to recreate it! Thanks for sharing!

  7. These sound sinful! So creative and the perfect dessert to serve with Mexican!

  8. This is a great reinterpretation of the churro. So imaginative! I haven’t made cupcakes in a while and these have certainly inspired me to give them a try.
    Magda

  9. they look great! and those cupcake pans are just too cute!

  10. Wow, those sound delicious! I am just shrinking back from the whole lot of work for those cupcakes. I think I would have baked the churros ;). But I would love to have someone who is baking me cupcakes like yours.

  11. These sound fantastic!!! Oh man.

  12. Churros! These sound great!

  13. These are so beautiful!! I really like churros and had them in Spain 2 years ago with hot chocolate. You are totally speaking my language. The cupcakes are vegan I see. I have a vegan chocolate pudding I just made so I am going to have to make something similar. Thanks for the lovely recipe!

  14. These look absolutely AMAZING! I found your blog through The Switchboards and I am SUPER GLAD that I did! Thanks so much for the post and recipe!!

  15. Yum yum yum!! I loooove churros!

  16. Una vera delizia questa ricetta, ciao

  17. Oh my… I have no words. Seriously. I think I drooled on my keyboard. Your creativity inspires me – and makes me jealous! I will be trying these very soon!

  18. You know… I think I have all of the ingredients for these! Maybe a snow day treat.

  19. great interpretation :) That filling looks like heaven!

  20. What an amazing idea. Churros = Love. Churro cupcakes = newfound love.

  21. Oh this sounds like a fantastic and very creative combination for a cupcake. I love churros and I love chocolate so your cupcakes sound good to me.

  22. The combination of cinnamon and chocolate is one of my very favorite. Churros also top my list of sinful treats. This is amazing and so on my list to make.

  23. Can’t wait to try these! They look yummy!

  24. A beautiful idea. I love the chocolate pudding idea. This cupcake looks extremely flavorful.

  25. This frosting sounds like something I’d pipe into my mouth once all the cupcakes were properly adorned!!

  26. those look really good I like the chocolate on the inside and the name is perfect!

  27. I am a Cuban-American in Nashville and found you via a great conversation on Nashville food blogs with @BethEats. So, I came over today and found this. Muchas Gracias! I am linking back to you from my Latin blog this week.

    Best!

  28. I wouldn’t be able to resist sinking my teeth into one of that.It looks so good!

  29. Holy moly, I think you’re a genius!! How awesome do these look?! So beautiful!

  30. this is love at first sight. i just got back from Barcelona 2 weeks ago and have mercy, i miss me some fresh churros and hot chocolate.

  31. There are no words to describe how excited these make me. They look incredible – great job!!!

  32. These look great, but what this post really leaves me aching for is a bowl of that pudding. I’ve totally saved this recipe!

  33. Looove the pictures! I also have a serious obsession with churros, Mexican chocolate, and cupcakes…obviously I need to make some of these stat! Thanks for the great post.

  34. Me and my friend just made these and they are DIVINE. It’s 5am and they’re finally done and we are pretty much in ecstasy right now.

    The only issue we had was with the pudding thickness and how long we were supposed to leave it on the heat.

    Regardless, they are delicious.

    Thanks for sharing the love!

    -Rosheen and Mireya

  35. Oh my goodness! These made my little Tex-Mex heart swoon!

  36. So my pudding never thickened….any ideas of why not? Any ideas of how to thicken it up now?

  37. So I figured the thickening problem out…..I live at 7,200 ft elevation. Now, I knew I had to make adjustments for baking, but didn’t even think it would effect pudding. Low and behold I looked it up and instead of using a double boiler, I need to use direct heat! Second time around, it came out perfect!

  38. Those look absolutely delectable! I like how you are going with a lighter topping…I’ve been meaning to step away from the buttercream myself.

  39. I just so happen to have all of these ingredients on hand. WOOHOO!

    (I have been addicted to churros & hot chocolate since a trip to Spain late last year. Thanks so much for sharing!)

  40. Oh! I can’t wait to make this!

  41. Ok, you’ve seriously go to stop it with these amazing desserts! These cupcakes look out of this world!!

  42. In the pudding directions it calls for cornstarch but doesn’t tell you how much to use. Can you add this please? Thanks!

  43. nevermind my program just didn’t copy that part over!

  44. oh wow! Best. Cupcakes. EVER

  45. Great idea. I’ll have to make these for my taco night!

  46. These look absolultely amazing, and I can’t wait to make them! I’ve been looking for meringue powder, though, and I can’t find it anywhere. Do you know if I can leave it out of the frosting or substitute it with something else? Thanks!

    • Hi Jill –
      The meringue powder is simply to help stabilize the whipped cream frosting a bit so it doesn’t ‘droop’. You can definitely leave it out, just be sure to frost the cupcakes as close to serving time as possible. You could also use a bit of powdered egg white (essentially the same thing) or even pasteurized carton egg white, which will serve the same purpose.

  47. ummm, yeah, these will be made VERY soon. amazing looking, and amazing tasting, i’m sure :)

  48. This comment is in response to Jill. Jill, I am just about to make these and I know you said you couldn’t find meringue powder… I just bought some last night from Walmart actually. Wilton makes it and I found it with all of the cake baking equipment. These look wonderful and I am making these for this Friday. I will let you know how they turn out. And good luck finding your meringue powder :)

  49. Thanks, Amanda! We actually don’t have a Walmart where I live, but I will try looking at Kmart. I may end up just ordering it online. I can’t wait to make them!

  50. Yum! I made these last week and just did a basic buttercream with cinnamon frosting. My pudding didn’t thicken quite enough, but it was still so delish – glad there was extra! My only issue was with the cake, which was too dense for my taste. I don’t know what I did wrong. I’ve tried many of your cupcake recipes and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! Oh, and the cookie dough truffles…oh my gosh…they were so good!

  51. So I did make these last weekend and they turned out great! I loved the Mexican Chocolate pudding and we ended up with plenty extra so my kids and I ate it all up! The chocolate whipped cream icing turned out nice and fluffy as well (I was a little skeptical, since it was my first time making whipped cream, but it was delicious!) And the cupcakes were moist and delicious as well. But there was one thing that I changed about the recipe, which I wouldn’t do again… I didn’t have almond milk on hand, just regular milk, so I decided to try and make my own almond milk by adding about 1/8 tsp. to my milk. Not a good idea. It just gave the cupcakes an almondy taste, which was a little overpowering for me. I have never drank almond milk before, so I wasn’t sure what the taste would be like, so I guessed. Next time, I think I will just use regular skim milk. Over all, these were a big hit and everyone enjoyed them. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe!

    • I can see how almond extract would make these a bit too almondy. Almond milk is surprisingly mild, only slightly nutty and nothing at all like the extract. Just plain milk would be a perfectly suitable solution. :) Glad you enjoyed them anyway!

  52. DELICIOSO! Churros are my all time favorite dessert, so I knew I had to make these. I did however use fat free milk instead of almond and Mexican vanilla extract. They were amazing!!!! The cupcakes were also delish without frosting… Thank you so much for you terrific recipes :)

  53. These sound so good. I’ve made your chocolate wasabi cupcakes before and I crave them! I want to try these. Can you tell me what tip you used for the frosting? Thanks. Love your site.

  54. I made these for our Girl’s Night Dinner and everyone loved them. I’m not a big chocolate cake fan but these were perfect. The right amount of chocolate and cinnamon. Will def make these again…

  55. I’ve made these twice so far, and i absolutely love them. My frosting is much more brown and chocolatey, but it’s by far my favorite part of this recipe. Thank you for bringing this delightful treat into my life!!!

  56. I love your recipes!

    Would it matter if I used a 2% milk instead of whole or would coconut milk be better?

  57. Gorgeous!!! By the way, the cute lil’ pup in my profile pic is named Churro (still looking very posh in her P&P collar!).

  58. I LOVE these cupcakes– what a brilliant idea! I would really like to make these for my wedding rehearsal dinner, but will probably be making them 2 days in advance. Do you think the cupcakes and the custard will stay? I will of course have to make the whipped cream topping on site…

  59. so delicious…cupcake by itself is amazing, so fluffy!!! i’ve made these a couple of times…they hold up well for a couple of days too…try adding a tiny bit of cayenne pepper to the pudding for a bit of heat!! thanks for posting!

  60. Bless you for making these and sharing with us! I have been scouring the internet the last few hours looking for a churro cupcake recipe that did not involve cream cheese frosting or dulce de leche. I prefer my churros with Mexican hot chocolate, and this is the perfect interpretation of that in my mind! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  61. Was the almond milk you used sweetened or unsweetened? or does it matter? TH

  62. OK, I made these yesterday and my pudding never set up either! I stood there for more than 30 minutes …. and then 2 hours in the fridge. Still too soupy. And of course, OCD me filled ALL the cakettes before coming to this conclusion. Soooo, I unfilled them. And then I dumped what was left directly back into a saucepan on low heat … no bowl over the simmering water. I think this was the trick, although I have no science to back it up. It seemed to come together in about 3 or 4 minutes with a direct connection to the heated surface. I just had to be super-careful to keep whisking so the bottom didn’t scorch.

    The finished product was delightful … not a crumb left.

    Can anyone tell me why cupcake wrappers sometimes buckle into themselves when you pour in the batter? Do I have bad quality cupcake wrappers or is it my poor technique?

  63. Hi. I just found this recipe and really want to make these cupcakes. I live in Mexico and can’t find almond milk. Is there any reason why I should use almond milk instead of regular milk? Does it affect the flavor, or did you use it because it is vegan? Thanks.

  64. Could you substitute Coconut (canned) milk for the almond milk and milk due to a child with nut and milk allergies in this recipe? This looks absolutely delicious!

    • Most definitely. I usually find that most “milks” are interchangeable when it comes to cupcakes. So be it cow, almond, soy, or coconut… they all should work equally well. Granted I haven’t *tried* it myself, but I can’t see why not. :)

  65. I made these a while ago, and they are definitely the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. I have never really liked cake very much, but these were irresistible!

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