Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream
February 24, 2011
All of my favorite candies have two things in common….chocolate….and caramel…Twix, Milky Way, Snickers, Milka Crunchy Caramel, that one thing from Milwaukie Candyland, etc… So I decided to put these two into a cupcake! :) I have made caramel buttercream before but it was only semi-homemade. I will include options for either, but I assure you, caramel is not hard to make :) It just takes a careful eye.
I am always in the mood to bake. The thought of putting on my cupcake apron, blasting some music, and covering myself in flour is just too tempting! But the urge to bake gets even more prevalent when there is something else I should be doing, like homework, or cleaning, or exercising. Oops. Oh well! I guess baking is my form of procrastination. :) I should have been doing my German project but instead I decided to make some cupcakes!
I used a different chocolate cupcake recipe than I have posted previously and they were
good delicious! My bf said they were the best yet, and believe me, he has tried his share of chocolate cupcakes! They call for cocoa powder, rather than melted chocolate, which you might find easier (and usually cheaper.)
Chocolate Cupcakes makes 24ish regular sized
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened <–one and a half sticks
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
11/2 teaspoon baking SODA (you cannot sub baking powder for soda, the two do different things!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (if you have it)
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s this time, you can find it at any grocery store)
4 eggs, room temp if you can
1 1/2 cups milk or water (I used 1% milk)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin tin with some cute liners :)
2. Sift or whisk the flour and cocoa powder in a medium bowl to remove any lumps.
3. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
4. Beat in the salt, baking soda, vanilla, and coconut. About 2 minutes.
5. Beat in the eggs, ONE at a time.
6. Beat in about 1/3 of the flour mixture and then 1/3 of the milk/water. Continue until all is mixed in and batter is smooth and pretty. :) Your batter is ready to be baked, I used an ice cream scoop to fill my liners because this batter isn’t very runny.
7. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Set on wire rack to cool before frosting. If you frost a warm cupcake the frosting will melt and slide off. :-/
Caramel Buttercream (you may want to double this if you like lots of frosting or plan on decorating with a 1M or something. If you plan on spreading it this amount will definitely be enough. I also usually leave 2 unfrosted for my boss David because he doesn’t like frosting! <–crazy I know!)
—-> If you do not want the exciting task of making homemade caramel, you can buy some caramel topper at the grocery store that they make for topping ice cream. Use 1/3 of a cup since it’s pretty sweet and just add that to the butter and powdered sugar for a semi-homemade caramel buttercream. :)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1. Stir sugar and water together in a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
2. Continue to cook without stirring until mixture turns a medium/dark amber color. This only will take a few minutes. Seriously stand there and watch the entire time because it goes from amber to burnt in the matter of 5 seconds.
3. Remove from heat immediately and add the heavy cream and vanilla. The mixture might splatter a little bit but it’s nothing to be afraid of. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
4. Set aside to cool. I created an ice bath on a plate in the sink and stuck my caramel bowl on it to cool it faster. (I am very impatient)
5. Once the caramel has cooled, beat the butter with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. It’s important that you really beat it up and not just stir it, otherwise your frosting will be too heavy and not very pliable.
6. Reduce speed to low and add your powdered sugar, a little at a time. Make sure to scrape the sides.
7. Add the caramel BUT reserve a little if you want to use it to drizzle over the cupcakes. Beat until fluffy.
To decorate I used the big round tip from Bake It Pretty. Chose your tip and spoon your frosting into a disposable piping bag. With this tip you can spiral or just apply enough pressure for a big dollop. You can go even further by drizzling some of your caramel sauce or sprinkling some crumbs over the tops like I did.
They were very moist, and the caramel frosting is just too good! Seriously one of my favorite frostings. Perfect with a glass of milk! :) And caramel buttercream sounds way more complicated and fancy than a plain buttercream, so people will definitley be impressed. Good luck with the caramel, let me know if you have any questions. This weekend is my niece Olivia’s 6th birthday so I will be posting her birthday cupcakes! Also check back for German Chocolate Cupcakes this upcoming weekend for Ryan, my club manager at work, because he has been promoted, and any promotion deserves a treat! :)