This has been my most favorite cupcake for the past year. Pretty much since I stumbled upon them, they’ve been a fixture in my stomach. I make and eat a lot of sweets and nothing hits the spot quite like these cupcakes. This recipe is adapted from Sprinkle Bakes, tweaked slightly.
Occasionally I’ll make a 8×8 or 9×9 cake (without using the caramel filling) and its still just as delicious. This is an especially good idea for a cocktail party or entertaining large amounts of people. What I do is bake the batter in a 8×8 or 9×9 pan for about 33-35 minutes. Let it cool completely and stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes. The freezer trick will lessen the crumbs while cutting. Cut the cake into bite sized pieces after its cooled, like in the photo above. Then, top off the pieces with the salted caramel buttercream for a perfect quick bite of sweetness while conversing!
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. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla. Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
Salted Caramel Filling:
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 cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 teaspoon of caramel. Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside.
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pour-able.
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting.
Be prepared to fall in love!