Sunday, 29 April 2012

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Yesterday began my life's quest (well, my life right now...). The quest to find the perfect cupcake. I was making cupcakes for my dear friend Laara's baby shower, and wanted to make something sweet and salty and over the top delicious.

I went digging through the the dessert section of my soon-to-be-organized recipe binder and found a recipe for a dark chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream. Yup, that was it.

I don't know where I found the recipe, it was just printed off on regular paper, not from a website, so I don't know who to thank for this bit of gloriousness. If it's yours, THANK YOU! My recipe had quite a complicated sounding frosting recipe, including NINE egg whites on the ingredients list. Since I only had a dozen eggs in the fridge, and needed four for the cake itself, I google another salted caramel frosting and found this one. And this combination rocked.

The next time I make this recipe (and there will definitely be a next time!!) I will let my caramel cool even longer than the suggested 25 minutes, maybe even overnight. I think the caramel not being cool enough made the frosting separate a little bit. It was still amazing and delicious, but it could have held up a little better, and definitely was not going to work for piping the cupcakes. Also the cupcake recipe made 41 regular and 24 mini cupcakes. The frosting worked for only about 24 cupcakes. You would definitely need to double or maybe even triple it if you wanted to fancy pipe the cupcakes.

Now, onto the recipe! Seriously, these cupcakes were awesome!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting


1 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups hot strong coffee


Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about five minutes.

Add in eggs and egg whites and beat again until light, about three minutes.

Alternate the dry ingredients and the coffee/vanilla, starting and finishing with dry ingredients. It will look like a big hot mess at this stage, but don't worry. Mix for another 15 seconds or so until it starts to look smooth.

Scoop into your prepared cupcake pans and bake until a skewer inserted in the cupcake comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool.

Salted Caramel Frosting


1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar


Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. It is going to bubble up A LOT at this stage. It's all good, just keep stirring. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.

Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.

I let mine rest overnight, brought it to room temp in the morning and re-mixed before frosting.  

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