Friday, June 21, 2013

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Okay, this is it!  My best cupcake ever.  If you haven't jumped onto the salted caramel train yet, now is the time.  These are light and delicious vanilla cupcakes (my new favorite white cake recipe) filled with salted caramel sauce, topped with salted caramel buttercream, and sprinkled with a little more sea salt to finish.  They're amazing!  I recommend that you make them right now.  If you prefer, you can use chocolate cupcakes as the base--I tried that, too, and it's also amazing.

To make these, you'll need to some salted caramel sauce.  You might want to make a double recipe so you can stash some in the fridge or drizzle it over ice cream.  If you make a single recipe, it should be just enough to fill the cupcakes and make the frosting.

You'll also need cake flour.  I know, I also wish all-purpose flour could really be used for all purposes, but this time you're going to need the cake flour.  It makes the cupcakes really light and gives them a nice fine crumb.  If you don't have any cake flour but you do have cornstarch, use this post from Joy the Baker and turn some of your regular flour into cake flour.

I made these for an event we had at my Quaker meeting last night.  Every Wednesday in the summer, my meeting hosts a Wellesley Wednesday cookout, where everyone brings something to share and then someone presents on an interesting topic.  Well, yesterday, the interesting topic was THIS BLOG!  I had so much fun telling everyone all about A Calculated Whisk and how it all works--some of them did not even know what a blog was!

After the discussion, we made frosting together!  I showed everyone how to stuff a cupcake with salted caramel, and how to use sugar, butter, a little milk and salt, and flavorings to make a delicious small batch of buttercream.  I brought all kinds of fun things for people to flavor their frosting: grenadine, vanilla, vanilla beans, cinnamon, cocoa, almond extract, peppermint extract, salted caramel, and lime and lemon zest.  We had a blast!

Salted Caramel Cupcakes Recipe
Yield: 20 cupcakes
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients for the cupcakes (adapted from this recipe at Cookies & Cups):

1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature, cut into chunks
4 eggs
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup salted caramel sauce, for filling

Ingredients for the frosting:

1 cup salted caramel sauce
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 and line your muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Use a mixer to beat the mixture on low speed for about a minute to make everything light and fluffy.

With the mixer still on low, add the butter a couple of pieces at a time.  Mix until it looks like coarse sand.  Slowly pour in the milk and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing all the while and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.  Raise the mixer speed to medium and beat for about two minutes until the batter is really smooth.

Fill your cupcake liners about 2/3 full.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are puffed and set, but not browned, and a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove to a rack to cool.  Make sure the cupcakes are completely cool before you fill or frost them.

To fill the cupcakes, use a small paring knife to cut a small cone-shaped piece out of the top of the cupcake, making sure you don't cut too close to the bottom of the cupcake.  Spoon salted caramel in to fill the cone.

To make the frosting, mix all ingredients by hand or with a mixer until smooth.  Spread or pipe onto cooled, filled cupcakes.

If desired, drizzle some salted caramel and sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on top of the frosted cupcakes.

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You might also like:

Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes

Carrot Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Neufchatel Frosting

Margarita Cupcakes

Tasty Food Photography eBook


  1. Found you on Spatulas on Parade. Super yummy looking cupcakes. Wish I could have one :D

    1. Thank you! :) I would share one with you but they're all gone...

  2. I also found you on spatulas on Parade, and had to come and tell you that these cupcakes look FANTASTIC !!
    Oh How I wish I could reach out my hand and grab one :)

    1. Thanks, Winnie! If I still had some left I would share with you!

  3. This looks delicious! I'm going to try your Salted Caramel Sauce with my cupcake and frosting recipe!

    1. Great, I hope you like it! Let me know how it turns out!

  4. These look amazing!!! Am looking to try ASAP! Is the cake flour self rising or not self rising?? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Kelly! It's not self-rising, just regular cake flour. Let me know how they turn out when you try them!

  5. Does the filling harden and if so how can I soften it? Making cupcakes with caramel filling tonight for a birthday part tomorrow.

    1. Hi Erin! No, it shouldn't harden. If you're planning to refrigerate the sauce overnight it will thicken a little, but you should still be able to spoon it into the cupcakes tomorrow. If you want it a little thinner you can microwave it (a minute or less should do it) or heat it gently, but I don't think you'll have any problems. Hope the party goes well!

  6. Okay thank you! I hope they turn out okay. I tend to try to be a perfectionist when it comes to this kind of thing.

    1. Let me know how it went if you get a chance! :)

  7. Made the cupcakes and caramel sauce tonight and will be adding it to the cupcakes and making the frosting tomorrow for mothers day! Hoping the cupcakes hold up over night in my cake container.

    1. Hi Laycie! I hope they turned out well--they should definitely hold up well for a day or longer as long as they're not filled yet. If you get a chance, let me know how it went!


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