Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting – I lost September

Chocolate Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream by Booze, Sugar & SpiceCan someone please explain to me where the hell September went?!?  One minute it was Labor Day and the next thing I know it’s October.  Clearly, things have been a little hectic.

I recently reconnected with one of my bridesmaids on Facebook and found out that her mother, whom I always loved, was recovering from surgery.  What better reason to give someone cupcakes?  Take two and call me in the morning!  It should be permanently printed on all doctor’s prescription pads.  I wanted to make her cupcakes, but with everything being so hectic,  I just  didn’t have time for a 12 flavor combination experiment.   I wanted something classic and delicious.  Enter Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting.  Yum and Yum.

BTW – Do you say ca-ra-mel or car-mel?  I go back and forth and neither sounds right to me.  When I say ca-ra-mel, I feel like I’m trying too hard.  Like when non-Spanish speaking people trill their ‘r’ s while ordering Mexican food.  It’s Taco Bell, dude – calm down.  Besides, grammatically speaking, there isn’t a reason to trill your “r” when ordering a Doritos Locos taco.   When I say car-mel, I feel like I’m just being lazy ignoring the second ‘a’.   My mom’s second language is English (we’re Portuguese).  It’s times like this when I am astounded how she taught herself to read, write and speak it.  Occasionally, she still has trouble with the pronunciation of a word and asks me how to say it.  If she ever asks me about caramel, I’m doomed.

Okay, back to cupcakes.  I’m not a big caramel fan.  It’s too darn sweet and pulls the fillings out of your teeth.  Salted caramel, however, is a completely different beast.  If you like sweet and salty combinations, this is right up your alley.  I paired it with my now standard chocolate cupcake recipe, but used semi-sweet chocolate instead of the super dark stuff I usually prefer.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting  (adapted from Cupcake Project)

(makes 18 cupcakes)

Cupcakes: 

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  •  ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon (4.5 liquid ounces) canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup natural, high fat cocoa powder
  • ½ cup room temperature water

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line muffin tins with liners.  Cream the butter and the sugar until the mixture resembles wet sand.  Add in your cooled, melted chocolate, mix.  Add in eggs and egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each to combine.  Next add in canola oil, vanilla extract and sour cream.  Scrape down sides of bowl, as needed.  Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder.  Add in one-third of the flour mixture, mix.  Next, add in half of the water, mix.  Repeat this process so you end with the last third of the flour mixture.

Fill liners 2/3 full and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Cool cupcakes in pans for less than 5 minutes, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.

So, I tried this experiment where I took these.  Cut them in half....

So, I tried this experiment where I took these. Cut them in half….

And did this.

And did this.

They came our of the oven looking like this.  Which seemed perfect.  Until I realized the caramels just sank to the bottom.  Not a disaster, but not what I was going for, either.

They came out of the oven looking like this. Which seemed perfect. Until I realized the caramels had sunk to the bottom. Not a disaster, but not what I was going for, either.

Caramel: 

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Add sugar and cream, stirring constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Add salt and boil, stirring continuously, for three minutes.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble,  Fire burn and cauldron bubble

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble

Frosting: 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup of prepared, cooled caramel
  • 3-4 cups of powdered sugar
  • Splash of cream, if needed

Beat butter and caramel until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.  If frosting becomes too stiff, add a splash of cream.  Frost cooled cupcakes.

I decorated them with Stroopwafels.  They're two thin layers of waffle with caramel in the middle.  These were mini ones.

I decorated them with Stroopwafels. They’re two thin layers of waffle with caramel in the middle. These were minis I found at Trader Joes. They have a little cinnamon in them. More YUM factor.

Until next time stick a cupcake in your cakehole!

xoxo PJ

6 thoughts on “Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting – I lost September

  1. In my part of aussieland, people say cara mull. But really quickly. Lol! pronunciation is a fascinating topic. Your Mother is awesome!!!
    September is renowned for its acceleration and I LOVE anything with the word “caramel” in it. :)

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