Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Andrew’s birthday was right around the corner and I knew I had to come up with a new cupcake flavor he would truly enjoy. You see he is very simplistic in his cupcake flavor taste buds and he doesn’t like anything that is too fancy or filled in the middle.He also isn’t a big frosting person. So needless to say, half of my cupcakes he doesn’t like and the other half he wipes the frosting off of!

When we were on a trip, he had some salted caramel chocolates. He LOVED these. They were gone before you knew it. Then all he could talk about was salted caramel. So I went on a hunt to find a good chocolate salted caramel cupcake, with no filling, no fancy flavors and as simple as I could get it. After looking at several and making a few personal changes, I developed what has become even one of MY  personal favorite flavors. I don’t even like chocolate cupcakes, but this one is fantastic. There may not be any salted caramel in the cupcake, but one of the process in the cupcake give it that extra caramel like flavor to amp the flavor to a new level.

Oh and yes it passed the Andrew test! He loved them too!IMG_3376

Before you can really start the cupcakes, you need to have the salted caramel sauce made. This way it has a chance to really cool down before you need it for the frosting. This sauce can be used for all sorts of deliciousness. Think: ice cream, brownies, cake, popcorn, etc, etc, etc. Click HERE to get the recipe for this sauce.

Do you have the sauce made? Fantastic! Now lets start the cupcakes while the sauce is cooling down. This recipe makes about 24 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:

  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 & 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs and 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream

For the Salted Caramel Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup salted caramel sauce
  • 3.5-4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard-size muffin pans with paper liners.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

3. Combine the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth, and the butter is completely melted. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is cool, about 4 to 5 minutes. Make sure it has cooled down or the eggs could cook when you put them in next.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture, beating until smooth.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix each addition until just incorporated.IMG_3366

6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. IMG_3369

7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.IMG_3372

8. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 mintes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it’s not necessary). Pour in the COOLED salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

9. To finish, pipe frosting onto the top of each cupcake. You can also  drizzle with some additional salted caramel sauce.IMG_3373

 

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