Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Salted triple caramel cupcakes


I recently threw a virtual baby shower for my blogging friend Krystal of Mrs. Regueiro's Plate. As I mentioned in that post, Krystal and her husband (and big sister Elena) are welcoming a baby boy to their family in the next few days. Krystal and Eric nicknamed their baby boy "Cupcake," so we chose a cupcake theme for their online shower.

I happen to know that Krystal is a fan of salted caramel, so it wasn't too difficult deciding what cupcake to make for the guest of honor. I found these cupcakes (and lots of other yummy sounding ones) on Sally's Baking Addiction, who is another blogging friend of mine that creates and develops some amazing cupcakes and other sweet treats.

Although I had a difficult time with the frosting (mine got too stiff - I had wanted to swirl the cupcake using a frosting tip but settled on a smooth look that you see above), I enjoyed the flavors a lot. These cupcakes were gone within a day. If you are a fan of salted caramel, bake these triple salted caramel cupcakes. If you want them super caramel-y, feel free to drizzle some caramel topping and sprinkle with sea salt flakes on top.

Congratulations, Krystal and Eric! Can't wait to see photos of the new little man!

PS. Thanks to all of you who entered my Gearhart's Chocolate giveaway. The winner of the gift certificate is Luanne M.! I will contact you so you can claim your awesome prize!

Caramel cupcakes
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (or heavy cream or half-and-half, do not use skim milk or 1% milk)
Salted caramel frosting
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • additional pinch of salt, as needed
  • salted caramel candies for decoration, optional (I used Rolos)
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl (if using a hand mixer), cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

Gradually add in the dry ingredients until it is fully incorporated. Gently stir in the milk (can do this part by hand, or put your mixer on low speed to mix). Mix until the milk is fully incorporated and be sure to not overmix the cupcake batter.

Evenly divide the batter among the 12 cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 full.

Bake the cupcakes for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely (about 1 hour) before attempting to frost them.

To make the frosting, melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Then add the brown sugar and heavy cream. Constantly stir the sugar is completely dissolved. Add salt and allow the mixture to cook and bubble for 3 full minutes. Quickly remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes (do NOT place this in the fridge or else the caramel will harden).

Transfer the caramel to your (clean) stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Or, if you are using a hand mixer, transfer the caramel to a large clean bowl. On medium speed, slowly beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time or until you reach your desired frosting consistency.

If the frosting tastes too sweet, add more salt, a small pinch at a time. Add frosting to your cooled cupcakes and top with salted caramel sauce, candies or a sprinkle of additional salt. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Source: Sally's Baking Addiction

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