November 7, 2012

Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting


I have a confession ... these Salted Caramel Cupcakes have been sitting in my 'queue' for quite a while, just waiting (oh so patiently!) for me to get around to sharing them with you.  I actually made these beauties, along with super-fun Neapolitan Cupcakes, this summer ...



... for a bridal shower a friend of mine was hosting.

When my friend asked if I'd make cupcakes for the event, of course I said yes!  I mean, an excuse to bake??  I'm all over that.  Especially when I get the fun of baking and creating without my thighs taking the hit for it.  Oh, those pesky thighs.  They seem to love to absorb sugar and butter.

And my friend gave me complete creative license to choose the cupcake flavors.  I asked her ... like a million times, I swear ... are you sure you don't care what flavors I make?  She truly didn't care.  I love being handed wide-open creative license like that!

So I immediately turned to these Salted Caramel Cupcakes by From Calculus to Cupcakes that had caught my eye.  Pretty drool-worthy, if I do say so myself.


My first go at the frosting gave me a bit of trouble ... but I persevered and conquered!  Funny how when you pour hot melted caramel into butter-based buttercream frosting, the frosting doesn't ... well, ... fare too well.  Caramel-and-sugar-and-melted-butter soup, anyone??  So I learned, the hard way, to let the caramel cool before combining it with the frosting base.  Guess I should have known that, huh?

Second batch ... with my learnings applied ... came out great.  And these little beauties became the belle of the ball.  {Well, aside from the bride-to-be of course!}

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Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting
Source:  Adapted from Southern Living, as posted by From Calculus to Cupcakes

Ingredients
Cupcakes:
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1 T. canola oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. confectioners' sugar
4 T. milk, divided
15 caramel candies, unwrapped (I used Kraft caramels)

Additional sliced caramels (for garnish)
Sea salt


Directions
For the Cupcakes:
1.  Line 24 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.

2.  Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar, and oil until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix until well combined.

3.  Beginning and ending with flour, add flour alternately with buttermilk, mixing between each addition.

4.  Distribute batter evenly between the muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Frost with Salted Caramel Buttercream, garnish with a slice of caramel candy, and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.


For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
6.  Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add confectioners' sugar and 3 tablespoons of the milk; beat until well combined and smooth, about 2 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate.

7.  Meanwhile, melt the caramel candies along with the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk in the microwave at 30 second intervals until caramels are completely melted.  Set aside to cool until the caramel is cooled but still soft and pliable.*

8.  Once the caramel is cooled, mix into the frosting until well combined.


*Setting the caramel aside to cool is important!  I discovered the hard way that mixing hot melted caramel into butter-based frosting does NOT turn out well.  Also, I had to use the electric mixer to thoroughly mix in the caramel - simply folding or stirring didn't work.  You may want to refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes or so prior to frosting the cupcakes to let it set up a bit after mixing in the caramel.

Enjoy! 



This post is linked with Thursday's Treasures, Share Your Creations Thursday, Inspiration Friday, I'm Lovin' It, Weekend Potluck, Weekend Bloggy Reading, Weekend Wrap Up Party, Sweet Treats & Swanky Stuff, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Think Pink Sunday, Sundae Scoop, Sunday Showcase Party, On the Menu Monday, Marvelous Mondays, Mangia Mondays, Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Lil' Luna Link Party, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Trick or Treat Tuesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Show & Share.

17 comments:

  1. Lovely cupcakes. I like caramel flavour, and these must be very delicious.

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  2. These look amazing! I just love a little touch of salt with my sweets. I'm not much of a pie person so these are definitely going to be on my Thanksgiving dessert table. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    ~Lynn

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  3. I just clicked over from the Weekend Potluck to check out these beauties. This is soooo up my alley, love it!

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  4. those look amazing.... i convinced my husband to order the salted caramel mocha at Starbucks this morning >> now, to make THESE!!!

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  5. Oh,YUM! I loooooove sweet and salty! Maybe I need to dream up an 'event' in which I need you to make these for....
    ;)

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  6. Yum yum yum! Look so pretty and would love to try them, really lovely job.

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  7. These look great! Please come by and post on our blog party! Thank you! Please help spread the word!

    http://artbyasm.blogspot.com/search/label/Blog%20Party

    Warmest Regards,
    Annamaria

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  8. You had me at Salted Caramel...I could just dive into a bowl of that fluffy good frosting!! These look great! Creative baking licenses are the best:-)

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  9. You never mentioned when to add the salt? Isn't the "salty caramel" frosting supposed to include salt? How much? Other recipes say to add up to 1 1/4 tsp. thanks

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    Replies
    1. I don't add salt actually INTO the frosting ... sea salt is sprinkled on top of the frosting after the cupcakes are frosted. It's in step 5 of the 'For the Cupcakes' section of the recipe. However, if you prefer to mix salt into the frosting itself, by all means go for it.

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  10. I made these for a group of friends and they were a huge hit and SO yummy! Thank you for sharing the recipe and tips.

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  11. Could caramel ice cream topping be used in place of the Kraft caramels in the frosting?

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    Replies
    1. Since caramel ice cream topping is so much more liquid-y than melted caramel, I'm not sure it would give enough 'body' to the frosting. You could certainly give it a try, though ... If you do, I suggest just adding a tiny bit at a time. Enjoy!

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  12. Just made these for my Make and Take group yesterday - heavenly! What tip did you use to pipe the frosting?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed them, Jean! I use jumbo tips to pipe my frosting ... I've never seen them in a 'regular' store, but they're available by mail order from Bake it Pretty. Here's the link: http://www.bakeitpretty.com/jumbo-pastry-tip-closed-star-style/ LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!

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  13. I found this delicious looking recipe on Pinterest, and decided it a try. Unfortunately, they were not a hit. The cake was too dense, and sorta dry; they reminded me more of a muffin. The cake was not very sweet, and the icing did not have much of a caramel taste, at all. Maybe more caramels could be used. They were ok, but not very memorable. Being that these were a test run for wedding cupcakes, I am very glad to have tried them out before hand.

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    Replies
    1. The 1st time I made them I had the same results. The second time I added another 1/2 cup of buttermilk and about a cup of almond milk. I just added until the batter consistency was similar to other batters I use. It came out much better.

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