Marigold Cupcakes

Cempasúchil, or marigold, is called the flower of the dead because of its prolific use as a decoration on crosses and as an offering for altars and grave sites. Here, lemon frosting forms the cempasúchil flowers on Mexican triple-chocolate cupcakes.
Country of Origin
Preparation time

1 tablet Ibarra Mexican chocolate
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
2 drops orange food coloring


1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.

2. Grind the Mexican chocolate into a fine powder using a molcajete (a mortar and pestle) or by placing the tablet in a plastic bag and crushing it on a thick wooden cutting board with a mallet. Combine chocolate powder in a bowl with cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips.

3. In another bowl, beat milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Add milk mixture to chocolate mixture and stir until blended. Spoon batter into muffin cups so that cups are half full. Bake for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before frosting.

4. Make the frosting: Combine confectioners' sugar, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and food coloring in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well mixed, fluffy, and smooth. Place frosting in a pastry bag with a petal tip or in a plastic bag with a small notch cut out of one corner. Since marigolds are round and have many petals, pipe several petal shapes together in a circle on top of each cupcake.