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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Salted Caramel Cupcakes... FINALLY!!

Geez Louise! I know it took me forever to make these. They won the poll a loooong time ago, but I've been slacking. Wait a second, that's not true. I wasn't slacking at all. I've been cooking and baking a lot! Just not what I was supposed to be making... Well anyway, here they are, and my bestest cousin in the whole world Stephanie AKA "Boof" helped me make them! The caramel wouldn't "swirl" into the buttercream nicely as it was pictured in the book. I ended up just blending it all the way in and drizzling some on top. And I think I was the only one brave enough to try one with salt. I sprinkled mine (the one in the picture) with some kosher salt. The salt was a delicious addition. It gave it that yummy salty-sweet thing that make chocolate-covered pretzels one of my favorite things in the entire universe. The recipe made 12 and 10 got eaten last night! That's the most that's ever been eaten during Wing Night! One thing though, I think these taste just like the Creme Brulee Cupcakes I made before. Pretty much the same idea... brown sugar cake with caramel buttercream. But the texture was so awesome. Slightly dense, soft, sweet, and moist. This recipe is perfect!

Ingredients That's me putting batter in the pan,
and that's our lunch, pizza bites, in the background!
A full scoop in each... They're ready to be baked!
Melting the sugar for the caramel
Still melting...
That's us waiting for it to melt...
Finally, it melted and we added cream.
Our finished product!
Inside shot! You can see how moist and slightly dense it was!

Recipe from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski.

MY NOTES: My cupcakes were done at 18 minutes. I reduced the butter in the frosting to 1 1/2 sticks (my usual amount for SMBC with only 3 egg whites). I only used 1/2 of caramel in the frosting.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk


Caramel Drizzle
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Pinch salt

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces, at room temperature (I only used 1 1/2 sticks butter)

For the cupcakes:
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the sugars and butter together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-22 minutes (Mine were done at 18 minutes). Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the frosting:
In a heavy-bottomed, high-sided saucepan, cook the sugar over medium-high heat until it begins to melt around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stirring with a clean wooden spoon, continue to cook until the sugar is melted and has turned golden amber, about 3 minutes longer.

Carefully pour the cream down the side of the pan in a slow, steady stream (it will bubble and spatter), stirring constantly until completely smooth. Stir in the salt. Pour the caramel into a small heatproof bowl and let cool completely before using. (The caramel can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week; bring to room temperature before using.)

In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch (about 160°F on an instant-read thermometer), about 2 minutes (It always takes about 5 minutes for me). Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature, and holds stiff peaks (the mixture should not look dry), about 6 minutes.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the salt and the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. If the frosting appears to separate or is very liquid after all the butter is added, continue to beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy, 3-5 minutes more. Add the caramel drizzle (I only added about 1/2 cup) and beat until combined (or almost combined for a swirling effect), scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream. (The frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before finishing.) Top each cupcake with a caramel candy, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, and serve.

Overall rating on a scale of 1-5
Moistness: 5
Tenderness: 5
Frosting: 5


Melissa DiStefano said...

I know what I am doing this weekend!!! Watch out world, salted caramel cupcakes are coming to my world!!!

Thanks for finally baking these!!! ;)

Mara said...

yummmm....i am not the biggest fan of the sweet/salty thing BUT i wouldn't kick it out of bed. super cute with the caramel swirlies.

Christina said...

I love that type of buttercream! It makes the best for decorations.

Everyone should have tried these with salt! As with kettle corn, where it's made with sugar and sprinkled with salt, the salt enhances the taste and balances out the sweetness. These look amazing!

Cakespy said...

I especially love the slightly wary gazes you're giving the camera :-)

As for the cupcakes--oh my! I am definitely going to try this one, salted caramel is one of the candies I truly have a weakness for, so combining it with cupcakes...well, let's just say it's amore for me.

CB said...

Mmmm caramel. I love caramel. Must bake these soooooon.

Anonymous said...

i'm so making these on friday. and you're right, chocolate covered pretzels are the best!

kamailesfood said...

These cupcakes look tasty! My husband would love these.

ingegerd said...

they look fantastic!!=)

AmandaCakes said...

Hey chicky!
It's AmandaCakes here! I am defiantely going to make these soon...maybe this weekend!
I made salted Caramels when I managed a bakery last year it was way fun...and sooo good! i'll let you know how it came out!


Jen said...

For some reason, these are making me crave a caramel macchiato! They look scrumptious!

Suzy Q-zy said...

ooooh yum! I really wish I wasn't the ONLY caramel fan in the house, b/c I'd jump on making these!

Snooky doodle said...

yummy they look delicious

vanessa said...

wow! they came out BEAUTIFULY i see how wonderful the cake is right there.

Lisa said...

Those are simply gorgeous cupcakes! Even the name is utterly appealing. I would love to make these.

tara said...

salted caramel...mmmm....

giz said...

I love the tip you used to create that thick swirl on the cupcakes. It gives them such a special look.

Dee said...

Oh my, these are gorgeous, and one of my favourite flavours. I'm also going to bookmark your creme brulee cupcakes. A welcome change from my chocolate with everything cupcakes. Thanks!

Jen said...

So I'm making these right now and OMG they make your house smell AWESOME!!! Caramelly goodness! :)

Gigi said...

...aagghh ...drooling ...cupcake! wow these seriously look d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!

Rhia said...

oh my god. i just finished making these - not even, i didnt get a chance to mix the caramel with the rest of the frosting - and my family attacked. they were like vultures! they all just grabbed a cupcake in each hand and stood over the frosting bowl and the caramel pot, dipping and eating. we were all laughing but no one would stop eating either. i think the only reason why we actually have some left over is because we just ate dinner! needless to say, they're great! my only complaint was that i had batter for about 18 cupcakes instead of 12, but thats not really a complaint, more like a statement ;)

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Rhia, I'm so glad to hear that! :D There are a few reasons why you could've ended up with 18 cupcakes. You probably whipped more air into your batter than I did. (I tend to rush the process, Oops!). Also you might've used slightly less batter per cup. No matter what it sounds like you made some fantastic cupcakes! :D

jayne said...

I feel like I cheated, I only used the frosting on chocolate Guinness cupcakes, but,it was fantastic!! I will try your cupcakes soon.

Erin said...

I made these last night and they were a huge hit today at work. they are delicious. thanks! I had 5 people ask me for the recipe and I sent them straight to your blog. thanks!!

Himani said...

I am baking these at the moment but I'm making mini-versions of them.
It's hard not to eat up the ingredients [especially the frosting] before you put the whole recipe together!

Anonymous said...

I had to substitute in soy milk and vegan butter due to dietary issues and they came out way too dense. The flavor is still great though!

Krista said...

I'm a little late on commenting, but these are my favorite cupcakes out of this book. I don't know what you did, but yours are BEAUTIFUL. Mine always fall in the middle...Any tips??

Megan Tomlinson said...

I made a batch of these cupcakes yesterday and today. Both days, they sunk in the center...what am I doing wrong? However, they are absolutely delicious!!!
Any help would be greatly appreciated! I want them to look perfect! :)

goodbyekitty0000 said...

I made these cupcakes for a pot luck the other day and they were a hit! They looked really pretty as well. For the cupcake batter I reduced the white sugar to 1/4 cup and added 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce which I felt gave the cake a rich caramel flavor. They turned out so good that even the skinny girls couldn't resist eating them!

Lazy Cook said...

I made these cupcakes to your recipe - thankyou so much for posting it! The cupcakes are just divine...! and as for the buttercream... :o heaven...

(I don't think mine are anywhere near as pretty as yours though!)

Nellie said...

These always fall in the middle...I'm wondering if I accidentally used baking SODA instead of baking POWDER...I will try again tonight and let everyone know.

Rachel said...

I made these the other day. They fell in the middle and I ran out of time so I didn't frost them... and they were still amazing! They're one of the best I've had in months, easily.

Anonymous said...

Best cupcakes in the world. No, really, I have an entire work group who agrees with me. Even my mostly vegan, sugar free, whole grain co-worker couldn't resist and proclaimed it the best cupcake she had ever eaten. Thank you, thank you!

Anonymous said...

I just made these and we all LOVED them. It is the fourth cupcake flavor I have made for my family and hands-down their favorite. They've asked me to email it to them :)
Also - this buttercream is deadly delicious

A Classic Bee said...

My very favorite cupcake, Thanks Cassie!


Chelsaroo said...

I am not a fan of cake, but I have had 2 variations of these cupcakes and have fallen inlove with the combination of sweet and salty. I can't wait to try your recipe, although I'm afraid if I do I won't be able to get enough!

Kimberly said...

I LOVE these cupcakes and have made them multiple times! My only problem is I cant get the frosting to set up.... not sure what I am doing wrong.

Jess said...

These are the single best cupcakes I have ever made. I used this recipe to christen my new Kitchenaid stand mixer, and what an opening! My husband is tearing through these cupcakes like there is no tomorrow. YAY FOR YOU!