The Vixxxen!

Recently, I’ve enjoyed watching the show Cupcake Wars hosted by The Food Network. This show has been streaming from my Netflix for the past couple of weeks. Needless to say, I’ve been craving cupcakes like crazy.

In each episode, chefs compete to create the perfect cupcake and a 1,000-cupcake display to serve at a large venue. What I love about this show is the unique ingredients the bakers put into their cupcakes. I’ve seen episodes where they’ve used sugar beets, mustard, salmon and even crickets! It takes lots of experience and creativity to pull off award-winning cupcakes from those ingredients!

In season two, cupcake master, Anthony Valerio, created his famous cupcake, “The Vixxxen”. “The Vixxxen” depicts a mysterious female villain who appears sweet, but has a surprising bite. The cupcake was greatly received by those who attended the Los Angeles Comic Con.

“The Vixxxen” is a twist on the classic red velvet cupcake with red-hot elements such as cinnamon and cayenne powder. This cupcake is sure to give your taste buds a kick. Even Florian Bellanger, the most critical of the cupcake judges, delighted in this unique creation.

Below is the recipe. Try it yourself and let me know if you feel the villain’s sting.

Also, don’t be afraid to use spices to liven up your own cupcakes recipes! You’d be surprised at what they add to the flavor.

Visit to see more recipes, or to learn more about the show.

Happy baking and creating!


2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons cayenne powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 eggs
1 ounce red liquid food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Fiery Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
6 to 7 cups powdered sugar
1/2 to 1 shot cinnamon schnapps

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 24 regular-size cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, all-purpose flour, cake flour, cocoa, cayenne powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Set the bowl aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the oil and eggs on low speed until combined. Add the red food coloring and vanilla extract. Continue beating until the mixture is well combined. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating between the two, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Fill the cupcake liners approximately half full with batter and bake until the cupcakes are set and a toothpick is removed cleanly, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.

For the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt. With the mixer on low, begin adding the powdered sugar, alternating with the schnapps, until the desired consistency is reached and the mixture is smooth.

Frost each cupcake with the fiery cinnamon cream cheese frosting and serve.

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    Bethany Bird
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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