I'm so excited to share what is perhaps the very best cupcake recipe I've ever tried.
Recipes involving salted caramel seem to be the trend in the food world lately, and with good reason, it's seriously one of the best combos ever. These cupcakes actually started out as Salted Caramel Cake Pops, which I made to pass out as Mother's Day gifts at my church. They turned out so delish! After handing them out to all the mom's and giving the extra to the kids, we were fresh out. And while, yes, that's what I made them for... I think my family and I would've been lying to say we hadn't hoped there would be at least couple extra lol. ;)
Luckily, I had extra ingredients left and set out to make more later that day. But instead, I decided to make them into cupcakes! I couldn't help it, they were practically begging to be cupcakes! I knew they would be good but I didn't expect them to be become my new favorites. If you love caramel (& who doesn't?) and are looking for an amazing homemade cupcake recipe, these are a must try! :)
Salted Caramel Cupcakes -
(Recipe found @ http://www.52kitchenadventures.com)
These lovelies start out with a moist and fluffy brown sugar cake. I had never tried brown sugar cake before but with its subtle flavor of caramel, it was the perfect compliment to the frosting. And oh, the frosting! Let me just say that pouring lovely amber colored caramel into fluffy buttercream frosting is a really beautiful thing. It's a happy experience that I think you should have too, just sayin'.
And I hate making caramel...maybe it's just me, but I find it so temperamental. It burns super easy and ruins my happy baking vibe. But this caramel recipe was actually pretty easy and turned out great! The taste that it gives the frosting is just out of this world. You haven't tasted frosting till you've tasted this one!
After you pipe on the salted caramel buttercream frosting, drizzle on the caramel sauce and melted chocolate (not in the recipe but I just had some chocolate lying around), and finish with a sprinkle of sea salt. Now, the most important part... close your eyes, take a big bite, exhale and savor the caramel goodness! Happy cupcaking (I know it's not a word… but it should be)! :)
Brown Sugar Cupcakes -
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each until fully incorporated. Mix in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with 1/2 of the buttermilk, stirring after each until everything is combined.
Pour batter into prepared muffin tin until each liner is 3/4 full. Bake for around 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 15 cupcakes.
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting -
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water and cook over medium-high heat. Boil without stirring until it turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly pour in cream and vanilla, whisking until it is very smooth. Let cool for around 20 minutes, until it’s just barely warm and still pourable.
Meanwhile, beat butter and salt together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat until thoroughly combined. Pour in the cooled caramel and beat on medium-high speed until light and airy (around 2 minutes). If frosting is too runny, the caramel was too warm when added – refrigerate for around 15-20 minutes until frosting is stiffer.
Salted Caramel Sauce -
1 cup sugar
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) salted butter (I recommend using 1/2 salted and 1/2 unsalted, then add additional salt to taste if needed)
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
In a large saucepan, heat the sugar over medium-high heat. Once it begins melting, stir occasionally with a spatula to ensure it heats evenly.
Cook the liquefied sugar until it reaches a deep copper color, then add the butter. Stir until it has completely melted and combined, then remove from heat. Add heavy cream (be careful – it will foam) and whisk until you have a smooth sauce.
Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Microwave for a minute to bring it back to pouring consistency. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.
After cupcakes cool, spread or pipe on caramel buttercream frosting. Drizzle with caramel sauce and melted chocolate. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt.