I hope that you all enjoyed my Salted Caramel Sauce from yesterday's post... I hope that some of you even made it already and got to taste your own wonderfully amazing caramel sauce.
As I mentioned yesterday, I made my caramel sauce to be the star ingredient in the Salted Carmel Cupcakes I baked and served at my son's birthday party over the weekend. These cupcakes are the perfect little package. The cake itself is very simple, but paired with the hidden dollop of smooth caramel and topped with vanilla buttercream- they become little gifts of their own. Definitely some of the best and easiest cupcakes I've ever made- and certainly cupcakes that I will make again.
Salted Caramel Cupcakes
The Baker Chick: Makes 12 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
1/2 cup Salted Caramel Sauce
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Mix in dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix to combine- be careful not to over mix.
Pour batter into liners, filling each about 3/4 full.
Bake cupcakes about 20 minutes, until they spring back when touched- and a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from pan and allow cupcakes to cool completely on wire racks.
Now for the fun part... Making filled cupcakes!
Using a cupcake corer or small knife, cut small core out of the middle top of each cupcake. Set cores aside.
Fill cupcakes with small spoonful of caramel sauce- I used a baby food spoon to get just the right amount.
Replace cupcake cores to top of cupcakes to conceal the delicious caramel underneath, and create a smooth top to your cupcake.
Frost with vanilla buttercream icing, (see below).
As it was my son's birthday, I decorated some cupcakes with Jake and the Neverland Pirates toppers for the kids, and drizzled caramel sauce atop the others. (Yes, the cupcakes drizzled with the beautiful caramel sauce were the first to be eaten.)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp milk
In a medium bowl, using electric mixer on low speed, mix confectioner's sugar and butter, until they begin to combine.
Add vanilla and 1 tbsp milk, continue to mix.
Slowly add remaining tbsp milk until frosting is smooth and reaches desired consistency.
(If frosting is too thick, very slowly add additional milk while mixing- if too thin, gradually add more sugar until it's just right.)
Again, as with the caramel sauce, I used the recipe found here for the cupcakes. I, however, chose to use simple vanilla buttercream icing. In my opinion, using frosting with the caramel sauce mixed in as she recommends would be too sweet- and kind of a waste of caramel sauce.
Since the cupcakes are made with buttermilk, they are more dense than box mix cupcakes, or other recipes, and are able to hold up to the caramel sauce. If using a box cake, or lighter cake, I would make sure to refrigerate the caramel sauce and the finished product to prevent the cupcakes from becoming too wet as the caramel seeps into the cake.
Even if you're not interested in making your own caramel sauce, I hope that you will try these cupcakes. I would recommend using a high quality store bought caramel sauce (you want something that is a little thick so that it won't saturate the whole cake).