Guatemalan Chocolate Cupcakes
9 In Cakes & Pies/ Guatemalan Recipes/ Recipes

Guatemalan Chocolate Cupcakes

My grandma Flory is from San Antonio Suchitepequez, a south-western town in Guatemala. One of the things that she loves about San Antonio (and so do I!) is its chocolate tablets.

Guatemala has one of the best chocolates in the world, and depending on which city you find chocolate, the cacao beans go through a different process to become the tablets that we’ve shown you before, the same ones that we’ve used to make Hot Chocolate. One of the most famous chocolates from Guatemala is the one made in Mixco: they toast the cacao beans, peel them, grind it (twice) and the paste gets mixed with cinnamon or almonds.  In San Antonio Suchitepequez the process is very similar, but instead of adding just cinnamon, they add sugar to it. When making any recipe with chocolate from San Antonio, you have to take note of this, if not, you’re going to have a very sweet result.

For the cupcakes, we’ve been looking for ideas to bring Guatemalan elements (as the chocolate or the Roselle flowers), and finally got a recipe that would work perfectly with the chocolate. We modified it and added a bit of cobán chile powder (you can substitute with cayenne pepper) to contrast with the sweetness of the tablet chocolate. I can’t wait to get back to Guate and make these for her… I want to know if the recipe will be up to her standards – both as a great (kitchen) teacher and as a San Antonio girl who loves her chocolate. We hope you like it!


Guatemalan Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Adapted from Food Network
Yield: 12 cupcakes

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cobán chile powder or cayenne pepper powder
1 egg, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup hot water
1 tablet Guatemalan Chocolate, in small bite size pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 1 (12-cup) muffin tin.
  2. Sift together all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and powdered chile.
  3. Soften the butter and add the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the egg, then the buttermilk, beating until combined after each.
  4. Add the hot water last. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  5. Stir in the guatemalan chocolate bits.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tin wells.
  7. Bake until the cupcakes are puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  8. Cool to room temperature in the tins. Run a thin, sharp knife around the sides of the muffin cups to loosen the cupcakes, and carefully lift out. Place the cupcakes on a work surface.

Simple Buttercream Frosting

Yield: Enough for heavily frosted 12 cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter until smooth.
  2. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix until well incorporated.
  3. If too thick to spread, beat in one by one the milk tablespoons, checking the consistency after adding each one.
  4. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cooled.
  5. Grate chocolate on top of the frosted cupcakes for decoration.


  • You can find Guatemalan Hot Chocolate online at Amazon.

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  • Reply
    Lisa Petersen
    Tuesday November 2nd, 2010 at 05:06 PM

    I am trying to make these cupcakes for my sons school project on Guatemala (tomorrow). Number 3 of directions discusses alternating w/ egg but there aren’t any eggs listed in the ingredients. How many eggs does this recipe call for? Please help ASAP

  • Reply
    Tuesday November 2nd, 2010 at 05:23 PM

    Hi Lisa!

    So sorry, there was a mistake on the recipe. It calls for one egg at room temperature. I double checked with my original notes! We updated the recipe online.

    First add some of the dry ingredients to the softened butter, then add the whole egg and mix. Add the buttermilk, and finish off with the remaining dry ingredients.

    Let us know if you have any other questions, we’ll be keeping an eye on the post!

  • Reply
    Friday November 19th, 2010 at 09:18 PM

    im ashlynn and i am doing a cooking project on a state or contry not in north america i was wondering if this on or the vanilla yogert recipe would be best for guatemala

    • Reply
      Saturday November 20th, 2010 at 12:08 PM

      Hi Ashlynn,
      This recipe will work if you can get some Guatemalan chocolate, otherwise they’ll just be chocolate cupcakes. The Vanilla Yogurt with Roselle buttercream cupcakes would be the second best choice. You can also try some of our other recipes we did for Guatemalan Cuisine Week: Another easy and authentic dish you can make are the Caramelized Plantains: Good luck!

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    Tuesday September 5th, 2017 at 08:52 PM

    My question is where could someone find guatemala chocolate on the internet?

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