Spicy Brownies with Buttercream and Ganache

I suspect these brownies are to die for….I haven’t tried them yet because you can’t show up to a party holding a tray of brownies with one missing.  You just can’t.  If you could, I might have eaten one of these for breakfast.

I did try all the components along the way though, each one tasted pretty freakin’ amazing.

* Note, often I try to cook in a health conscious way.  There’s nothing healthy about these.  Except for the fact that the second they touch your tongue, they’ll make you smile with delight.


To come up with this tray of chocolate goodness that will warm the insides, I read several recipes and as per usual I changed them.  First I looked at this one from Baked in Brooklyn.  Then, I looked at Smitten Kitchen’s version. And, then….I made my own.


  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 11.5 oz. dark chocolate chips
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter

First, I mixed the dry ingredients and set them aside.  Then, I melted the butter and chocolate together over a double boiler.  When that was melted, gooey, and warm, I removed it from the heat, mixed in the sugars, and let it cool for a few minutes, as I didn’t want my eggs to scramble. Then I mixed in one egg at a time.  Next, I added the dry ingredients, poured the batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan, and cooked at 350 for 30 minutes. That was all last night.

Naturally, I got up this morning and made buttercream and ganache to add to the top of it.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (milk would work just fine here too)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • sprinkle cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

I put all ingredients into a bowl and mixed until it looked like frosting.  Then, I spread a thin layer onto the brownies.  I had a bit more than I needed. I stuck the brownies in the fridge at this point because I wanted to make sure that when I poured the ganache on, the buttercream frosting didn’t melt.


  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 11.5 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (I probably would have used dark, but I had these in the house)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon cayanne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla beans

I put the cream and chocolate chips over a double boiler until melted, stirring frequently.  Then I added the spices and removed from heat.  I let this cool for a bit.  It was warmer than room temperature when I poured it over the brownies and spread (mostly just because I was lacking patience), but it definitely wasn’t hot.

I stuck the brownies back in the fridge so it would be easier to cut them, but they’ll be served at room temp. FYI The spice isn’t overpowering.  There is a little heat at the end of each bite.  Pretty much it’s a mouthful of warm happiness.

It’s definitely starting to look like Fall up here in Vermont!  It’s rainy and chilly and what better way to cut the chill than with spicy chocolate?



Filed under Recipes

2 responses to “Spicy Brownies with Buttercream and Ganache

  1. AJG

    Chilis + Chocolate = Amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  2. buttercream and ganache?! yum! i show up at my parents place with pieces of cake missing all the time. 😉

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