Potluck Chili Cupcakes

Chili? Not Really. But these deceptively decorated chocolate mini-cakes make the perfect April Fool’s Day dessert prank for family and friends.
Potluck Chili Cupcakes #SundaySupper

Potluck Chili Cupcakes

by Julia Child | (not really, it is by me)

Quintessential day of practical jokes and pranksters everywhere, April 1st has been the unofficial holiday for hoaxes since the 19th century in many countries. But there have been many celebrations before that, including the Roman holiday of Hilaria (isn’t that hilarious?) and others.
Potluck Chili Cupcakes #SundaySupper

Sweet Beginnings
Candy Toppings
Plastic bags make tinting coconut easy work
Coconut Ready to Tint

If you ever took a course in English Literature and read any or all of the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, you might remember the tale called the “Nun’s Priest’s Tale” is set on what many mistakenly thought was the 32nd day of March (April 1st) and in the story, Chauntecleer the rooster is tricked by a fox. Also, in many cultures, New Year’s Day occurs on the Spring Equinox (1st day of Spring) on or about the 20-21 of March and celebrations often went on for a week or more. Perhaps during the conversion to the holiday being on January 1st, to discourage the celebration later on, those who celebrated in early Spring were mocked and called fools. But whatever reason, there is always cause to have a bit of fun out of the ordinary mundane routine of day to day life, and after the long winter we just had, I am sure everyone needs a smile!

Mix the coconut until it is a nice even color
Tinted Coconut
Combined with whipped cream they look like cheese and sour cream
Faux Cheese and Sour Cream

This recipe is one I got the idea for at a website online that offered the idea of making something like this in little chili bowls with tinted coconut. I have embellished it a bit further by adding some chopped licorice to resemble tomatoes, and a touch of whipped cream to be sour cream. All the candies in this do taste well together, considering I used Jelly Belly beans in the flavors of chocolate and black cherry (ones that most resembled chili beans). And although these are baked in small ramekins, they could be baked in cupcake liners if you don’t have those. But overall, even though I guide you through the process, this really is more of a concept than a recipe, so instead of adding a cake recipe to become lost in the later part of the year, I opted to just go for cake mix and tub frosting, using sugar-free versions of both since I am diabetic.

Dusting the ramekins with cocoa elimintes the white powder of flour and adds flavor
Cocoa Dusted Ramekins
Since ramekins will be different sizes, bake them until a toothpick comes out not wet
Baked Mini Cakes

After you make these, if you put the whipped cream on right away, those will need to be refrigerated. If they are going to have to sit out, I would recommend using something like a dab of marshmallow cream instead.
I do hope you get a kick out of these, especially the kids who should love them. I doubt anybody will mistake these for a true bowl of chili, but they are fun and I had a good time making them, even though doing prank recipes is not usually my thing. I have written a couple of joke recipes in the past, but those were more for just reading and a chuckle, such as my recipe for Emeril’s Cajun Water on Food.  Rather than being a jab at Emeril, it is more to me an homage to the fans of the show (Emeril Live) who watched it all the time and got a kick out of Emeril’s humor. I have great respect for Emeril and what he has achieved with his brand of cuisine.

If you overfilled, don’t worry–just trim the top!
Trimming Cake Tops
Decorating is an easy four step process
Four Stage Decoration

But as with this recipe, I hope they both give you a smile, although I daresay the cupcakes will taste much better than Cajun Water. But I digress. Have a fun filled day and watch your back! (or someone may tape a sign on it) 😉


Potluck Chili Cupcakes #SundaySupper

Potluck Chili Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Potluck Chili Cupcakes #SundaySupper

  • 15 ounces prepared chocolate frosting
  • 16 ounce box devil’s food cake mix (with additional ingredients such as oil and eggs)
  • Shortening and unsweetened cocoa to prep ramekins
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 4 drops red food coloring
  • 6 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1/2 cup dark red or brown jelly beans, or a mixture
  • 1/2 cup chopped Twizzler licorice
  • whipped cream


  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Prepare cake mix as package directs using additional ingredients called for, such as oil and/or eggs.
  3. Grease 12 oven-safe ramekins (or needed amount depending on size) with shortening then dust with cocoa, shaking off excess.
  4. Fill oven safe ramekins or mini-crocks with batter 1/3 to 1/2 full.
  5. Bake for 19-27 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed without wet batter. Time will vary due to variations on ramekin or cupcake liner size. The toothpick is the way to tell when they are done.
  6. Allow to cool completely.
  7. While cupcakes are cooling, place coconut in a ziplock bag with the drops of food coloring’ seal bag and work the coconut around until it is evenly tinted.
  8. Trim tops from ramekins with a bread knife or cake knife if the cake domed over the top edge.
  9. Spread icing on cake.
  10. Sprinkle icing with jelly beans and licorice to resemble chili.
  11. Garnish with a dallop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of tinted coconut.

From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com

Potluck Chili Cupcakes #SundaySupper

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Potluck Chili Cupcakes #SundaySupper

Sunday Supper Movement

April Fool’s!

Celebrating the madness that can only be described as April first.

As part of the Sunday Supper Movement, I and a host of other food bloggers are pleased to present to you some of our favorite recipes to enjoy and propagate tomfoolery, and general harmless culinary mischief for you and your families and friends while enjoying that April has finally arrived!

Special thanks to TRCrumbley of Gluten Free Crumbley for graciously hosting this event and working so hard to make sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. It’s a big group and a ton of work to keep all together! Thanks so much.

And now on to the recipes! Check out as many recipes as you would like and be sure to pin those to have for later.


Potluck Chili Cupcakes #SundaySupper

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