Oh, this was messy. But OH, these were good.
I just realized that I haven’t posted any sweets or desserts since the Holidays! How’s that for commitment? I’m quite proud of myself.
However, it was my Mom’s birthday last week, and I couldn’t let it go by without making something sweet! Over the holidays, we were hell-bent on making salted caramel pieces; it was going to be our new “thing.” We bought lots of cream (something we usually don’t have in our house) for the caramel but literally used them in everything else but the salted caramels. We never made them! It’s been an on-going joke ever since. Love you, Mom!
So, in an ode to the salted-caramels-that-never-were, I found this recipe for absolutely sublime salted caramel cupcakes and whipped them up. These were delicious. Using sea salt is a must; it makes the flavor really pop and is an amazing contrast to the caramel.
This recipe isn’t a quick one, but it’s worth the effort. Just don’t get caught up in an episode of Top Chef and burn the caramel to a crisp, setting your smoke alarm off and scaring the bejeezus out of you (and your neighbors). Who me?
These were delicious, people. Take my word for it! Here’s the recipe 🙂
Salted Caramel Cupcakes recipe from SprinkleBakes
For the cupcakes:
Yield is about 15 cupcakes.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers. (I found these cutie gold liners from Michaels.) Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. I use an ice cream scoop; perfectly even every time! Bake for about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the salted caramel filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
Melt the sugar over medium high heat in a large pot. Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy creamand whisk until you get a smooth sauce. The mixture will foam, so don’t panic! Stir until everything is melted. Set aside to cool.
Using a paring knife, carve a funnel-like hole into each cupcake, making sure not to cut all the way through. Fill the hole with a teaspoon of the filling and replace the top. (This will make a shape that resembles a heart. How cute?)
For the salted caramel buttercream frosting:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook without stirring until it turns a deep amber color. Add the cream and vanilla. Stir until smooth and set aside until cool. Beat the butter in a mixer until smooth, then add the powdered sugar. Add the cooled caramel and beat until light and airy. Refrigerate if the icing is too runny. Top the cupcake with the icing. Enjoy!