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Ancho Chili Brownies topped with melted chocolate and cinnamon Imperials are sweet, smokey and perfect for an easy Valentine’s Day dessert!

ancho chili brownies with cinnamon imperial candy topping on a red and white plate

This easy brownie recipe makes the most amazing fudgy chocolate brownies! They’re slightly spicy with a hint of smokiness and a depth of flavor that will have you going back for more!

First of all, don’t let the thought of chili powder in a brownie recipe scare you. Ancho chili powder has a subtle smoky flavor that pairs beautifully with chocolate.

Add cinnamon to the mix, and the flavor is even better. Top the brownies off with red hot cinnamon Imperials, and they are completely out-of-this-world delicious!

As much as I love my favorite Double Chocolate Brownies and ooey gooey S’mores Brownies, I’m crazy about these spicy red hot brownies!

How to Make Ancho Chili Brownies

Okay, so now let’s get back to baking! This brownie recipe is super easy, and you can make it in only one pot. You can also make the brownie batter in the microwave if you want.

Just melt your chocolate chips over low heat. Then, stir in your cinnamon and ancho chili powder.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients, and pour the batter into a pan lined with parchment paper. This makes the brownies super easy to remove!

spread brownie batter in baking pan

Bake the brownies for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. You don’t want to overbake these brownies!

Now, pour some chocolate chips over the brownies, and pop them back into the oven, just until they start to melt. Spread the chocolate over the brownies to form a light chocolate glaze.

spread chocolate chips over baked brownies

Now, you can decorate the brownies for Valentine’s Day! We sprinkled some cinnamon Imperial candies over the top.

This definitely ups the heat level. I love the extra spice, but you can leave them off if you want.

red hot cinnamon imperial candies on chocolate brownies

We also added some pretty pink and white candy heart sprinkles. The result is just gorgeous, don’t you think?!

You’ll have to let the glaze firm up a little before you dig in. Just pop the brownies into the fridge for a bit if your kitchen is warm.

ancho chile brownies topped with chocolate glaze and valentines candy

Easy Ancho Chili Brownies Recipe

5 from 6 votes

Ancho Chili Brownies

By: Dee
Ancho Chili Brownies topped with melted chocolate and cinnamon Imperials are sweet, smokey and perfect for an easy Valentine's Day dessert!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16


  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda


  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Red Hot Cinnamon Imperials
  • Valentine sprinkles
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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a heavy-duty sauce pan or microwaveable bowl, melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips and the butter over low heat, stirring frequently until chips are completely melted. If you’re using the microwave method, heat chips in short increments, (according to package directions) and stir in between.
  • Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, and stir in the vanilla extract, ancho chili powder and cinnamon. Then add the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add the sugar, flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir until completely blended.
  • Stir in the remaining chocolate chips
  • Spread brownie batter into a greased or parchment paper-lined 13 X 9-inch baking pan, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are firm, center is set, and a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Do not over bake — center will firm up as brownies cool
  • Pour 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips over the baked brownies and briefly return to the oven just until the morsels start to melt
  • Remove from oven, and gently spread morsels evenly over the brownies using a spatula
  • Sprinkle Red Hots and Valentine sprinkles over the chocolate glaze. Allow to cool completely before slicing


Do not substitute regular chili powder for the ancho chili powder as the flavor will not be the same.


Calories: 344kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 86mg, Potassium: 217mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 294IU, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Can You Use Regular Chili Powder

Ancho chili powder is made from dried poblano peppers and has a different flavor from regular chili powder, which is usually a blend of different chiles. You should be able to find ancho chili in most stores — even Target carries this in their Market Pantry brand.

close up of chocolate glazed brownies with valentine candy

Baking for a Cause

For the third year in a row, I’m participating in the Good Cookies Food Blogger Valentine’s Day Event. We want to continue to make a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer.

Cancer is the number 1 cause of death of children by disease in the U.S. Right now, there are 40,000 U.S. children actively battling cancer, but the National Cancer Institute’s budget for childhood cancer is less than 4%.

We have a goal to raise at least $3000. Thankfully, these three companies: OXO, Mediavine and Dixie Crystals have each pledged to match our donations raised through this campaign up to $3000! That means when we raise $1, it turns into $4!

How to Make a Difference

You can help us make a difference by donating to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer!

More Valentine’s Day Recipes

Check out these recipes from other participating bloggers!

Brownie Cups from Julie of The Little Kitchen
Valentine’s Day Delight Recipe from Jennifer of The Rebel Chick
Strawberry Cake Rolls from Coleen of The Redhead Baker

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Recipe Rating


  1. James says:

    Wow, these are great kids wanted these so we tried them. Was worried about the heat but it wasn’t anything but warm. Have to make these again.5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      So happy everyone liked the brownies, James!

  2. Dorothy Reinhold says:

    Oh boy! I can’t wait to get my hands on these. The sweet mixed with the smoky heat is perfection.

  3. Katerina @ diethood .com says:

    Oh wow! I am loving that smoky flavor is these brownies!! INCREDIBLE! Thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you so much, Katerina! So glad you like them!

  4. Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert says:

    These Ancho Chili Brownies are just so adorable!!5 stars

  5. Deseree says:

    Sweet and smoky is a great combination for these brownies! I can’t wait to make a batch for my family.5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Hope you enjoy them! Thanks, Deseree!

  6. Jacque Hastert says:

    I love the smoky flavor that comes with this dessert. It is perfect for Valentine’s Day and a great way to get the kiddos in the kitchen.5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Jacque! We absolutely love these!