Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

9 Oct

In our quest for the 3rd cupcake for Mariya’s wedding I wanted to have something different since she has decided on red velvet and the strawberry/kiwi cupcakes she blogged on in an earlier post.  I am crazy about anything with salted caramel and chocolate so why not in a cupcake?!  Martha Stewart has a yummy chocolate salted caramel cupcake but this recipe is for mini cupcakes which seemed too tedious to cut holes in the little cupcakes and fill it with caramel.  The recipe also called for a rich dark chocolate frosting so I substituted it with a vanilla bean buttercream.  Biting into this cupcake was like eating a Hostess cupcake except for the surprise center.  I made these for a work meeting and my co-workers did not realize the caramel was in the center and when they bit in and I saw that the look on their faces it was priceless.  Anyways the cupcakes are a big hit and Mariya wants them as her third cupcake however I still have more ideas and recipes to try before we decide on adding this to the repertoire.  I didn’t do any pictures of the batter but concentrated more on pictures of the caramel.  I also did not care for the taste of the cake by itself but when you add the caramel and frosting it really brought it all together.  I also had acquired a square muffin panso I just had to try it out on these cupcakes.  With this pan you can use the regular round paper liners as it will conform to the square shape.

Cupcake and caramel recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Cupcakes makes about 24

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • Salted Caramel Filling (see below)
  • Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting (see below)
  • sea salt, preferably fleur de sel if desired

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin pan with paper liners.  In a mixing bowl whisk together the 1st 6 ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix on low-speed until smooth and combined.

Fill lined cups about 2/3 full.  Bake, rotating pan half way through, until tester inserted in middle comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.  Place the muffin pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, take out the cupcakes and let cool completely.

To finish the cupcakes, use a paring knife to cut a cone shape piece out of the center of the cupcake.  Discard the pieces. 

Spoon enough of the warm caramel filling into the cupcake.  Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the filling if desired.

Fill a pastry bag with a large open star tip with frosting.  Pipe onto each cupcake, swirling tip and releasing as you pull up to form a peak.  Drizzle tops with warmed caramel sauce if desired. Cupcakes are best eaten at room temperature.

Salted Caramel Filling makes 1 cup

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, preferably fleur de sel

Heat sugar with the water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over high heat, stir occasionally until syrup is clear.

Stop stirring and cook until syrup comes to a boil.  Gently swirl pan occasionally until mixture is caramelized.

Remove from heat.  Slowly pour in cream, mixture will spatter.  Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add in sea salt.   Let cool a few minutes.  If caramel hardens, reheat gently until pourable.

Buttercream Frosting

  • 6 ounces butter softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Cream butter until fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and mix until blended.

Add vanilla bean paste and add milk a little at a time until a smooth creamy consistency.  Frost cupcakes as above or smooth frosting on top.

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