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Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I received a cupcake order for someone who loves caramel…and my first thought was to make a salted caramel cupcake. I like the contrast between dark chocolate and caramel, so I decided to make a dark chocolate cupcake base with a salted caramel buttercream, and caramel drizzle. I may have gone a bit overboard on the caramel, but in my opinion, you can never have too much of a good thing 😀

Chocolate Cupcake Base:

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups hot coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup canola oil

Salted Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Salted Caramel Buttercream:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1/3 cup salted caramel sauce
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Sea salt, for garnish

Servings: 24 cupcakes

Bake time: 12-15 minutes

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Pour hot coffee over chocolate, and let this sit for a minute. Stir until the chocolate is fully melted, then add in the sugar, flour, and oil. Mix until fully combined, then mix in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla, baking powder, salt, and vinegar, and mix until incorporated. I mixed by hand, but you can also mix with a hand mixer. Pour batter into lined cupcake pans, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cupcakes are just baked through, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from pans, and let them cool on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes bake, prepare the salted caramel sauce. Pour the sugar into a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and whisk until completely melted. The sugar will clump in the beginning, but don’t worry…it will melt completely with time. Allow the sugar to cook until it turns a beautiful amber color, and has a nutty aroma. I don’t have a candy thermometer, so I go completely by visual cues. At this point, remove the mixture from the heat. Whisk in the butter, then the cream. The mixture will bubble up, so be careful during this stage (I burned my finger!). The last step is to stir in the salt. Let the caramel cool to room temperature.You can store any leftover caramel in a mason jar. It will last in your fridge for about two weeks.

Once the caramel has cooled, prepare the salted caramel buttercream. Whip the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, until it is fluffy. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, adding it in multiple installments. As the frosting thickens, add caramel, salt, and vanilla. Continue to mix, and add cream until desired consistency is reached.

Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, pipe on frosting using a large, round tip. I topped each cupcake with a drizzle of caramel sauce, a caramel candy I bought at the grocery store, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

You can definitely make your own caramel squares, following this recipe. I usually like make everything from scratch, but considering it’s busy season…and I started baking these cupcakes after midnight..I made an exception this time. While I did cut myself some slack on the caramel squares, I HIGHLY recommend you do make your own caramel sauce. It doesn’t take much time, and tastes so much better than that artificial goo from the store. That is all 😀20140521-003126-1886390.jpg


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