Salted Caramel Cupcakes

17 Sep

I’m having trouble accepting that summer is over and we’re merely days away from the first day of fall.  My days of tanning frantically so that people stop asking me if I’m sick are over, and I won’t have to worry about being seen in a swimsuit anymore.

…I think I’ll be able to cope with it.  I’ve been really behind on baking due to the never ending list of weekend social, athletic, and work obligations this summer.  Every weekend seemed to present itself with weddings or basketball tournaments (sometimes both), or work events.  Luckily, there was ONE weekend in August where I had time to make something – luckily it also happened to be Kelli‘s birthday potluck with Sho-Yu.  Since she loves all things salted caramel, I whipped up a batch of Salted Caramel Cupcakes.  I found the recipe on Cookies and Cups, who adapted it from The Butch Bakery Cookbook.  I actually did some adapting of my own to the recipe, after making Cookies and Cups’ version of the caramel sauce.  I thought the original recipe left the caramel sauce a bit too watery and not rich enough, so I ended up making a second version of the caramel sauce.  Below is what I’m recommending!

Ingredients:

Caramel Sauce:
    • 10 TBSP butter
    • 2 1/4 C packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 C whole milk
Cupcakes:
    • 1 3/4 C all purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 12 TBSP butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 3/4 C whole milk
Caramel Buttercream:
  • 3/4 C reserved caramel sauce
  • 3 C powdered sugar
  • 4 TBSP butter, room temperature
  • 1 TBSP milk
  • Sea Salt for topping

Directions:

Caramel Sauce:
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the brown sugar for a bit (it won’t melt the way white sugar does), and then add the butter and milk. Bring to a boil.

    Boiling Caramel

    Boiling Caramel

  2. Let mixture until all of the sugar is melted (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool.  If you’re finding that the caramel is too liquidy, add more sugar.  Conversely, if you’re finding that the caramel hardens when you dip a spoon and pull it out for a bit, add a little more butter.
Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together.
  4. In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar over medium speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  5. Add the flour and the milk, beating on low speed until ingredients are just combined.
  6. Fill each liner a little more than 1/2 full.  I used a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop but don’t use a full 1/4 cup in each cupcake liner.

    Oven Time!

    Oven Time!

  7. Bake approx 20 minutes until centers are set.
  8. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
Caramel Buttercream:
  1. While cupcakes are cooling make the frosting. Combine butter, powdered sugar 3/4 cup prepared (and COOLED) caramel sauce and milk in a mixing bowl. Beat ingredients together about 2 minutes until creamy.

    Frosting

    Frosting

Constructing Cupcakes:
  1. After cupcakes have cooled for about 10 minutes, pierce the tops of cupcakes with a sharp knife or skewer about 10 times. Pour about 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce on top of each cupcake, allowing it to absorb into the holes.

    Caramel Sauce

    Caramel Sauce

  2. Let the cupcakes finish cooling completely and then frost with about 2 tablespoons of frosting on each.  Or you can just pipe the frosting on as I did.

  3. Lightly sprinkle your cupcakes with (coarse or flaked) sea salt.

My two favorite cupcakes are still the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes and Samoas Cupcakes, but these were definitely a hit at the party.

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