Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Honestly, this recipe brings together two of the flavors I love the very most:  salted caramel and chocolate.  They are great apart, but together they make magic.  These are a little work but they are sooo worth it.

But don’t take my word for it – give these a try.  You will absolutely, NOT be disappointed.

  • Difficulty: medium-ish
  • Print


    For the cupcakes:

    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 t baking powder
    • 1/2 t baking soda
    • 1/2 t salt
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
    • 1 stick (8T) butter, softened to room temperature
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
    • 2 eggs plus one egg yolk, brought to room temperature
    • 1/4 cup boiling water
    • ½ cup salted caramel chips *
  • Optional, but if you have them why not?IMG_4799
  • For the caramel filling:

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 6 T butter, cold
    • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1 t vanilla
    • ½ teaspoon salt

    For the frosting:

    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1 cup dark brown sugar
    • 3/4 t salt
    • 3 ¼ cups powdered sugar


We’ll start with the cupcakes.  Fill a cupcake tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set that aside as well.

In a separate bowl (it can be smaller), put the milk and sour cream and whisk together.  Set that aside.  (Sorry, this one uses a lot of bowls…)

In yet another, larger bowl, put the butter, sugar and brown sugar and beat until well combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.  This will probably take 3-4 minutes, just so you know.

Add the eggs and the egg yolk to the butter mixture and once again beat well.

Now we’re going to add the other bowls.  Add in about half the flour mixture and beat that until it’s well combined.  Then, add the sour cream mixture, beat that, and then add in the rest of the flour mixture and beat until well combined.

Next, add in the boiling water, and beat that in briefly, until its well combined.  And finally, stir in the salted caramel chips until they’re well distributed.IMG_4803

Fill the cupcake tins about three-quarters full and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick that’s inserted comes out clean.IMG_4805

Take the tin out of the oven and move it to a wire rack.  Let the cupcakes cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes and then take them out and let them finish cooling on the rackIMG_4806

Next, on to the caramel filling.  Pour the sugar into a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts and turns medium brown in color.

Add in the butter and stir until it melts completely.  Be careful here because the differences in temperature will make the butter spit and splatter.  Make sure the handle on your wooden is particularly long, or you’re wearing an oven mitt.IMG_4812

Add in the heavy cream while you continue to stir, and let it boil for about a minute.IMG_4813

Finally, take it off the heat and add in the vanilla and the salt.  Stir well until everything is well-combined and set it aside until it hardens enough so that it will stay in a piping bag.  If you’re not going to fill the cupcakes that day, put the caramel into an airtight container.

Finally, on to the frosting.  One note here – you’ll want to do this AFTER your cupcakes are completely cooled.  You never want to frost warm cupcakes because then the frosting just slides right off and it’s not a good look.

Put the butter, cream, brown sugar and salt into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring regularly.  You’ll want to do this until all the sugar is melted and the mixture starts to simmer.  Once you get to there, take it off the heat and pour it into a heat-safe bowl.

Add the powdered sugar to the mixture and beat it until everything is well-combined, and then some.  Just beat the heck out of it for at least five minutes, until it gets fluffy and super smooth.  Place the frosting in the fridge and cover until you’re ready to use it.  If you don’t use it within an hour or so, make sure to bring it back to close to room temperature before you try to frost.

Ok, now we need to put everything together.  Grab your cupcakes and set them up.  You’re going to fill them with the caramel, so for this step it’s ok if they’re not completely cooled yet.

Take your pastry bag and fill it with the caramel filling.  Jam the nozzle into the center of each cupcake and squeeze filling into it.  There’s no real science to it here – you’ll be able to see the cupcake start to bulge out a bit and that’s how you’ll know it’s full.  Do this with all the cupcakes.  If you have any caramel left over, that’s ok – save it.  If not, that’s ok too.IMG_4815

Now we frost.  However, for this step it’s important for the cupcakes to be completely cooled, otherwise the frosting will slide right off, it will be a total mess and no one wants that. IMG_4819IMG_4821

 If you have extra caramel filling left over, heat it in the microwave so it’s liquidy and pour it over the frosting.IMG_4825

I promise, your friends/guests/co-workers will LOVE these.  This recipe makes about 20-22 cupcakes.IMG_4832



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