These made from scratch, easy Spicy Chocolate Brownies are fudgy, rich, super chocolatey and spiced with a hint of cinnamon and cayenne.
Did you know the Mayans and Aztecs commonly added chile peppers to their chocolate drinks? In fact, throughout history, many cultures used chile peppers as an aphrodisiac. So it seems perfectly fitting that for Valentine's Day you would share a spiced chocolate concoction with your sweetheart!
If you haven't had the opportunity to taste a Mexican hot chocolate or a spicy chocolate bar you really should try it. The combination of spice and chocolate is rather addictive and makes a comforting hot drink on a cold winter day.
If you prefer to make a un-spiced version of this brownie, you can simply leave the cinnamon and cayenne out. Whichever way you decide to make them, you can't go wrong with this easy brownie recipe.
I've made it several times now and the brownies always bake up so chewy and with an intense chocolate flavour. No one can resist them! The original recipe comes from the Food Network.
How to Make Spicy Brownies
I wanted to use the combination of dark chocolate and spice in a baked form, so I made these Spicy Chocolate Brownies by adding cinnamon and cayenne to my favourite brownie recipe.
The cayenne pepper adds a spicy and savoury element and has a warming effect that we don't normally experience with traditional brownies. The hint of heat is mostly detected at the end of your bite.
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Pure vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Cocoa powder
- Baking powder
- Ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
To make the brownies, start by melting the butter. Once melted, let it cool to room temperature. While you wait, you could prepare your baking pan by buttering or lining it with parchment paper.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set it aside. Once the butter has cooled, blend the wet ingredients either by hand or in your mixer.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Add-in the chocolate chips and stir just enough to mix them in.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan and bake in the oven.
If you like your brownies really gooey, you'll want to check on your brownies before the end of the indicated baking time since ovens vary.
Tip: To check on the brownies, insert a toothpick in the middle of the pan. For gooey brownies there should be melted chocolate and crumbs on the toothpick.
These brownies can be served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or other flavor of your choice. You can also serve these at room temperature with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Kids love these brownies with a cold glass of milk.
Brownies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Store in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for longer.
Brownies can also be made ahead and frozen for up to three months. Pack them in an airtight container with sheets of wax paper in between layers. Thaw brownies overnight in the refrigerator. You can warm them slightly in the microwave before serving.
If you feel like indulging in something a bit different, go ahead and make these gourmet Mexican inspired brownies, you'll be glad you did!
For more Valentine's Day sweet recipes check out these Double Chocolate Coconut Almond Truffles or these Mini Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Cups. And if you're looking for a treat to share with the kids, these heart shaped Healthier Sugar Cookies are delicious.
More Delicious Brownies
- Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies
- Salted Caramel Chip Brownies
- Nutella and Hazelnut Brownies
- Triple Chocolate Brownies
Spicy Chocolate Brownies Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper use 1/2 tsp. if you like things spicy
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- sprinkles as many as you like
For the brownies:
- Place a rack in the centre of your oven and preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 13x9-inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, melt one cup of unsalted butter and let it cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
- In another bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and baking powder.
- Add dry ingredients into the wet and stir until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spread batter into the baking pan and bake for approximately 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few crumbs.
- Let the brownies cool then use the overhang of the parchment paper to lift the brownies out of the pan. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut into shapes or simply cut into squares.
For chocolate drizzle:
- Melt semi-sweet chocolate in microwave safe bowl in 15 second increments at 50% power, stirring chocolate in between.
- Pour the chocolate into a pastry bag (with Wilton tip #233) or small plastic bag (cut off a very tiny corner). Drizzle the chocolate onto the brownies. If desired add coarse sugar or sprinkles while chocolate is still wet.
- Nutrition information doesn't include sprinkles.
- You can get up to 24 portions if you cut the brownies into squares instead of using cookie cutters. If divided into 24 portions, there are 170 calories per brownie.
This post was originally published in February 2017. It has been updated with new content. The recipe remains the same.