Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

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One of my very favorite flavor combinations this time of year is salted caramel. I actually fell for the sweet/salty combo when I found myself always buying the salted caramel hot chocolate at Starbucks a few winters back. It was soul-warming and lovely and very easy to become addicted!

Since fall is officially here now I decided what better way to end the weekend than by baking some seasonal cupcakes. I was caaaa-raaaa-ving cupcakes. And caramel. And salt? Yes. So, naturally, salted caramel cupcakes had to be made. It was a glorious 2-hour baking session spent by my lonesome, in my kitchen, listening to solid tunes, on a sunny Sunday afternoon before the Patriots game. It was exactly what the final day of the weekend should be.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes (makes 15)
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes  
Print this Recipe!

The Cupcakes:

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• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 stick (1/2 C) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
• 2 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and sea salt together and set aside.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium-high until the batter begins to appear fluffy.

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Add eggs, one at a time, until each is well incorporated into the mixture. Then add the vanilla.

Now, in three batches, add the flour and alternate adding the buttermilk, making sure that each previous batch is incorporated before adding the next.

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Fill each muffin tin about half way with batter and bake for 23-25 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before the next step. It’s difficult to wait but you must 😉

Salted Caramel Filling:

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• 1/2 cup sugar
• 3 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
• 1/4 cup heavy cream

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In a large pot, melt sugar over medium/high heat. Begin to gently whisk the sugar until it begins to melt.

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Add the butter and mix until it begins to melt.

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Incorporate the heavy cream. The mixture will immediately begin to foam and you’ll probably feel like you’re in science class, which is neat 😉 Continue whisking until the sauce is smooth. Try your hardest not to dive into the hot pot to take a bath in the caramel. Because it’s that good and I nearly burned my finger “sampling” it while it was hot. I don’t have patience when it comes to food.

Remove from heat and allow the sauce cool just slightly.

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When the cupcakes are cooled, cut a small circle out of the top of each. Fill with a teaspoon of the delicious caramel sauce.

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And re-top the missing piece.

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Oh, and it’s totally okay if your cupcakes look like a hot mess at this point, so don’t you even worry about that. They still taste the same and you’re going to slather them in frosting anyway, sooooo it’s all good. Definitely a “We are not Martha” moment. I think the real Martha would have politely scolded me if she saw the above photo, teeheehee 😉

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

Did I mention these cupcakes are in no way healthy? Eep. Let’s continue, shall we?

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• 1/4 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 stick (1/2 C) salted butter
• 1 stick (1/2 C) unsalted butter
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

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In a saucepan, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring at all, until it starts turning a deep brown/amber.

Exhibit A:

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Remove from heat and very slowly add the cream and vanilla. Lightly mix until the mixture is smooth in texture. Allow the caramel to cool, for about 20-25 minutes, but make sure while it’s cooling you keep an eye on it to make sure you’re still able to pour it. If it gets too thick, you can add a touch of water, reheat on the stovetop, and continue whisking until the caramel is pourable again.

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In the mixer, beat the butters and salt until fluffy. Slow the mixer speed down a bit and add the powdered sugar, until combined.

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Using a spatula, scrape the sides of the mixer (just to make sure you get all of the good stuff!) and add in the caramel. Mix until all of the caramel is incorporated.

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I refuse to be a lier. I licked the spatula like there was NO TOMORROW. While doing a little (big) jig. This frosting is everything to me. Okay, the last sentence is being dramatic but I did think about eating a bowl of it for dinner.

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Now you’re ready to top the cupcakes with the frosting and never look back.

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Life from this point on will be a sweet (and salty), caramel-filled, wonderland.

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What’s your favorite non-tradiational seasonal flavor combination?

[Chels]

31 Responses to "Salted Caramel Cupcakes"

  1. yes, please! i had a salted caramel latte on sunday and it was the best thing i’d had in a while. so, so good!

  2. Christina says:

    I died the first time I had the salted caramel hot chocolate at Starbucks! I think these will be making it into my cupcake rotation.

  3. CookiePie says:

    Salted. Caramel. Cupcakes??!! Oh yum yum yum. I’ll be right over!! (As for non-seasonal food love, I’m obsessed with pumpkin and eat it all year round. Don’t be surprised if you come to my house on a Sunday in June and find pumpkin pancakes on the griddle. 🙂

  4. Erica says:

    Ive had that drink at starbucks-soooo good!! The cupcakes look amazing! I love the goodness poured into the middle. I loke pumpkin with chocolate

  5. These look amazing! I love, love, love salted caramel.

  6. Kathryn says:

    Oh my goodness, I could die happy if Starbucks had salted caramel hot chocolate over here! In the meantime, I’m just going to have to bake up a bunch of these cupcakes, I can’t resist anything with salted caramel in!

  7. I’m also in love with salted caramel- these cupcakes look amazing!

  8. Michelle says:

    LOVE salted caramel hot chocolate!

  9. I.die.

    NEED TO MAKE THESE!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Katie says:

    YUM!! i reeeally need to try one of these!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I saw you tweet about these over the weekend and was drooling. I could eat an entire bowl of salted caramel buttercream.

  12. LOVE these. I, too, think of salted caramel as being very fall like. I was going to make SC icecream but screwed up the caramel… so I ended up make SC popcorn instead (2nd batch of caramel).

  13. Malorie says:

    Yum!!! These look so fantastic, I love salted caramel

  14. These look amazing! They make me wish I was a better baker!

  15. Ashley says:

    Oh Lordy! This is now what I will be bringing to my book club tomorrow night 🙂

  16. Oh GOODNESS these look AMAZING! I love love love salted caramel AND cupcakes, BOOKMARKING.

  17. Kelly says:

    Yum!! These look delicious!!

  18. These sound like something I will need to try shortly! Love the salted caramel flavors!

  19. Kelly says:

    I love that you referred to your cupcake as a hot mess…gotta love both the literal and figurative description. I think they look intensely yummy though. I hear you on salted caramel. I think a salted caramel and bacon incarnation should be next, but then again, I think everything needs bacon!!!

  20. Julie Q says:

    I don’t care if it takes me 3 weeks, but I am making these cupcakes!!! They look amazing. Saltedness should be included in all cupcakes

  21. I love the combo of salt and caramel! I’ve also been lovin’ garam masala with pumpkin – it’s incredible!

  22. Yum! These look so delish. Love salted caramel.

  23. OMG amazing. I must make these soooon!! xo

  24. I need these in my life. Now. Yes, at 8:10am! 😉

  25. Lexi says:

    I went to Cupcake Camp here in DC last weekend and someone made salted caramel cupcakes, which I was so excited about. Sadly though, all you could taste was the salted and none of the caramel!

  26. There is something about salt and caramel (and salt and dark chocolate) that is just so perfect. I love that these cupcakes are filled with salted caramel and topped with buttercream topping!

  27. Kerstin says:

    Sold at salted caramel – looks amazing!

  28. Vidya says:

    There used to be this amazing Argentinean bakery near where I grew up and I’d get a birthday cake from them every year. They did all the usual things, including a pretty spectacular mud cake with loads of dark chocolate and brandy. But their most fabulous item was a moist caramel sponge cake with the most luscious, light caramel frosting. I’ve since tried to replicate the cake and have failed miserably, and have only been able to find caramel mud cakes elsewhere. This looks so similar though, I might try it out in layer cake form and report back .

  29. Jennifer says:

    Yes, please!! Salted caramel cupcakes = LOVE!

  30. Kelsey says:

    I’m going to keep this one as food porn, but I’ll probably never make it, simply because I’d eat ALL 15 and I know it.

  31. Jess says:

    These look so yummy! I think I’m going to have to try them, maybe with chocolate cupcakes.

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