I thought that these cupcakes would be pretty unpleasant.

A friend gave me a book of cupcake recipes for Christmas. As I was flicking through it, this recipe immediately caught my eye but not necessarily for the right reasons.

Chocolate has long been paired with spices like ginger and cinnamon. Chocolate with chilli is fairly unremarkable these days. You can now buy wasabi flavoured chocolate.  But chocolate and curry? It sounded, quite frankly, a bit weird.

We’ve all experienced those meals where a chef seems more concerned with the latest fashionable technique or the craziest combination of flavours than the actual food. Forgetting, it seems, that all we really want is to do is to eat something delicious. While I am all for innovation, sometimes ‘shock value’ wins out over taste.

And this is, I have to say, what I expected from these cupcakes. I made them more for a joke than anything else. So imagine my surprise when they actually turned out to be incredibly good. Like ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever eat a cupcake that’s quite so good’ good.

They don’t, I should stress, taste like curry particularly. Rather, the spice adds a sort of indefinable warmth and depth of flavour. It’s a little bit spicy and a little bit fragrant but not so much of anything as to overwhelm. The cupcake itself has a perfect texture and, as you can see, the whole batch rose perfectly. That almost never happens when I bake cupcakes so should be considered a victory in itself.

The buttercream is made with butter and coconut milk and is as smooth and rich as you would imagine. The original recipe calls for the coconut milk to be infused with lemongrass. Due to a traumatic childhood event, I can’t bring myself to use lemongrass but I do concede that a note of sharpness would probably work very well especially if, like my boyfriend, you tend to find buttercream quite sweet. A touch of lime would also have done the job I think.

There is probably a lesson that I can learn from these cupcakes about being slightly more open-minded. Or I could just eat them.

Chocolate curry cupcakes with a coconut buttercream

Yield: 6 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • 25g (3 tablespoons) cocoa powder
  • 80ml (1/3 cup)boiling water
  • 1 largeegg
  • 105g (3/4 cup) plain/all purpose flour
  • 110g (1/2 cup)caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoonmedium curry powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoonbaking soda/bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoonsalt
  • 75g (2/3 stick)unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the frosting:

  • 40ml (just under 3 tablespoons) coconut milk
  • 50g (3 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g (2 cups) icing/powdered sugar
  • A pinch ofsalt

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F. Line a cupcake tin with paper cases.
  2. In a mug, mix the cocoa powder with boiling water until you have a smooth paste.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 teaspoon of the cocoa mixture until fully combined.
  4. Sift all of the dry ingredients together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the butter and cocoa and beat on low until all the dry ingredients are wet. Increase the speed to medium and beat for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Add half of the beaten egg and beat for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the egg and beat again for 30 seconds or until all the egg has been incorporated.
  6. Spoon the batter into cupcake cases, filling them about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm to the touch. Place on a wire rack to cool.
  8. To make the buttercream, beat the butter and half the sugar together until smooth. Add the coconut milk and salt and beat until incorporated. Gradually add the rest of the sugar, continuing to beat, until you have reached the desired consistency.

*  It was surprisingly hard to find curry powder. I had to go to four different stores to get hold of some although I’m sure that most big supermarkets will have some. For reference, the main ingredients in mine were coriander seed, tumeric, ginger and cumin. There was also a little fenugreek, mustard seed, garlic, all spice, black pepper and cayenne. You really are using such a small amount though that I’m not convinced there is much, for example, garlic in each cupcake.

30 Responses to "chocolate curry cupcakes with coconut buttercream"
  1. This certainly DOES sound weird, but I can see how it would be a nice flavour. It’s a neat idea!

  2. Joanne says:

    I’m all for shock value when it comes to my cupcakes…and delicious shock value is even better. I’m so intrigued by these and I’ll definitely be trying them!

  3. Liz says:

    They sound all kinds of wrong! But it must be enough wrongs (obviously more than two) to make a right!

  4. Oooh, an intriguing flavor combo for sure. Although honestly what I’m most interested in is the traumatic childhood event involving lemongrass, haha!

  5. I’m intrigued! Chocolate and chilli I get, but curry? Very impressed that you were brave enough to make a whole batch of these without knowing how they’d turn out, and yey that they worked!

  6. london bakes says:

    @Katrina – It is weird isn’t it? I’m so glad they turned out tasty though!

    @Joanne – Let me know how you get on with them!

    @Liz – They really sound revolting don’t they? Lol.

    @Tara – Haha, it involved my parents trying to force feed me food while I was crying hysterically. It didn’t end well for any of us.

    @thelittleloaf – In truth, it was a recipe for 30 cupcakes that I scaled down (not least because I definitely don’t need 30 cupcakes!). I do wish I’d made more now though!


  8. JulieD says:

    Wow, I agree, I would be weirded out too but I trust you!! The buttercream sounds amazing…I just love coconut!!

  9. worldnosh says:

    As a rule I’m not that into curry but as I love a cup cake it does solve my ‘what shall i do with the curry’ conumdrum….

  10. Wow – they look beautiful and I do trust your opinion but Im just not sure I can get over the name. Sweet potato cupcakes took a lot of convincing..

  11. These look amazing, Kathryn. I love the warm flavor of curry spice and combined with coconut, I bet it makes for a mouthwatering cupcake. Thanks for sharing! Have a happy weekend!

  12. This definitely sounds a bit out of the ordinary but I’m so glad you tried it! I actually have all the ingredients on hand so I will most definitely have to try these out for myself.

  13. That’s a surprising Combination, I take that A’s a challenge! Lovely photos and blog you have. Have a nice day!

  14. so intrigued by this recipe! I cannot wait to try it!

  15. london bakes says:

    @Lauren – So glad you liked, let me know how you get on!

    @Julie – I was weirded out as I was eating them until I realised that there was nothing to be weirded out about at all!

    @worldnosh – Even if you don’t like curry, I deft you not to like these cupcakes!

    @Em – Does it help if you think of them as spicy chocolate cupcakes? The name is definitely a bit off putting!

    @Georgia – So glad you like them Georgia!

    @Chung-Ah – Do let me know how you get on if you make them!

    @monsterscircus – Thanks ver much!

    @Elizabeth – So glad you like it!

  16. Jen says:

    interesting combo, but I can see how the curry spices can add “warmth” like you said.

    As for the frosting, I could just eat that with a spoon, thankyouverymuch.

  17. Amee says:

    I’m going to make these because they sound so horrid. Will get back to you with the results

  18. this is so crazy. when i read chocolate curry, i thought i read it wrong. this is definitely something i’ll have to try just cause it’s crazy to me that it’d taste good haha, but i trust you! your pics look gorgeous!

  19. Chocolate and curry together? Well helloooo, I don’t know why I’ve not seen it before since chocolate and chilli is virtually a cliche yet chocolate and curry sounds intriguing, unfamiliar and exciting!

    Not sure I’ll manage to get around to making them myself but I’d DEFINITELY want to try one!

  20. I really hope I get round to making these as I am totally intrigued! I love things that are a bit kooky, and your write up too has definitely convinced me to try them some time. Lovely!

  21. Hmm. I am very interested in these little beauties. I’m impressed you tried them out – I think I would have avoided to, but I’m glad to hear that they are delicious. {and your photos! lovely!}

  22. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    gorgeous photos! I’m not sure I would be brave enough to try it though!-

  23. london bakes says:

    @Jen – The frosting was amazingly decadent, so good.

    @Amee – Haha, that was my reaction too! Let me know what you think!

    @Julie – You should make these and then feed them to Jason! I made my boyfriend guess what was in them and he made such a face when I told him…lol

    @Sarah – That’s exactly what I thought when I read the recipe. It sort of makes sense if you look at what’s actually in the ingredients but it just sounds like a combination that could never work.

    @The Procrastobaker – Let me know how you get on if you do manage to make them! I’m so intrigued as to what other people will make of them.

    @Vanilla Bean Blog – I did only make a small batch in case they were disgusting but I’m so glad that I was brave enough!

    @Jenny – You should! They definitely don’t taste as weird as they sound!

  24. Dang girl, you could sell ice to an eskimo!! ;) I am so intrigued by these little guys, that I might just have to give this flavour combination a try! :) x

  25. Dang girl, you could sell ice to an eskimo!! ;) I am so intrigued by these little guys, that I might just have to give this flavour combination a try! :) x

  26. I could take a bath in that coconut buttercream. Sounds SO GOOD!

  27. Every Friday, I share my favorite food finds in a series called Food Fetish Friday. These cupcakes were recommended to me by Anneli from the Delicious blog – and I’m so glad she introduced me to your blog. I’m featuring this post as part of the Friday roundup (with a link-back and attribution) and I hope you have no objections. It’s a pleasure following your creations…

  28. I so want to try these now. Always let someone else approve the flavour then you can make them yourself ;)

  29. Carmen Puentes Bakery says:

    Unexpected recipe!! But I’m sure it taste of glory! Beautiful blog and recipes!! Greetings from Spain!

  30. Hannah says:

    I made a mini cupcake vegan version of these – using egg replacer and soy butter – and they were DELICIOUS. I tried the batter before cooking and was a bit worried coz the curry taste was so strong, but once baked and frosted they were yummy. Added some toasted coconut to decorate and, coz they were so tiny, everyone ate loads of them! Definitely making these again – thanks for the recipe!

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