Triple Caramel Cupcakes

Thursday, June 2


You know you've made something spectacular when the room, which had just been filled with a heated discussion over the predictability of all romantic comedies, suddenly becomes silent as people's mouths become filled with clouds of caramely goodness, and gradually, in between bites, you hear various reenactments of the infamous Meg Ryan scene from When Harry Met Sally.



Yes, these cupcakes are delicious and act as good will ambassadors. They are not just meh caramel cupcakes, they're the holy trinity of all things caramel. Caramel cupcake batter, molten caramel filling, and the best part (imo!), salted caramel buttercream frosting. Yes. yes...yes! 

They take a while to put together but I promise, it's worth the effort. And because they induce such a bliss-full state of euphoria, they're perfect for any summer gathering. If you present them before your aunt can insist that the freckle on your mom's arm is changing colour, or your uncle wants to go for a swim (believing he can still pull off wearing a speedo at 57), I think you'll be spared having to sit through decades-old arguments and a lifetime of therapy.


Triple Caramel Cupcakes (adapted from Sprinkle Bakes)

Cupcake ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 Tablespoons (that's 1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar (I used dark)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon of pure almond extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Method
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line at least 15 muffin tins with papers. [Depending on how good you are at dividing batter evenly, this will make about 15 cupcakes. Be sure to fill the empty muffin wells with water before baking.]

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, and using the paddle attachment (hand held is fine too), cream the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy (about 3-5 minutes.) Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the almond extract. 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 20- 25 minutes (the tops should spring back from a gentle touch.) When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.


Caramel Filling ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons salted butter cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature

Method
Melt the sugar and salt 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. Carefully, pour in the heavy cream (it will sputter and foam, so step back a bit), 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.


Caramel Buttercream Frosting ingredients
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 Tablespoons (that's 1 stick) of salted butter, at room temperature
8 Tablespoons (that's 1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Method
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 (if you notice that one area of the sugar is cooking faster than the rest, gently swirl the pan by using the handle.) 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 pourable.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butters 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.


Candied Caramel Decoration ingredients (optional)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup water
2-4 tablespoons of large-crystal sugar

Method
Lay out a large piece of parchment on your work surface and spray with cooking oil (such as canola). Fill a large tub (or your sink) partially full of ice water.

Put sugar, salt and cold water in a heavy pan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring syrup to a boil. Lower heat slightly and swirl the pan once or twice so the syrup colors evenly; do not stir. When caramel is a deep amber color, plunge the base of pan into iced water for about 2 seconds to stop further cooking.

Dip a spoon in the caramel and let it fall onto the parchment paper in a drizzle. Move the spoon in a circular motion as the syrup falls from the spoon. Repeat 15 times. When caramel has hardened (it will still be sticky) sprinkle over large-crystal sugar. Remove from paper and adorn cupcakes. [Note: most of my 'circles' broke, but the caramel will look gorgeous no matter what shape you use.]

Makes about 13-15 cupcakes

19 comments:

  1. Oh, so pretty and extremely tempting! Caramelly treats are just out of this world.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. OMG...You know how I feel about cupcakes!! How delicious do these look? Amazing!!
    J

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  3. Valerie, once again you have left me speechless. These look sensational, and I can only guess how they taste. Yes, yes, yes!

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  4. They look like the mother of all caramel cakes. They are so elegant, decadent and addictive looking...

    You are a baking goddess

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  5. These cupcakes are gorgeous and they sound absolutely delicious!

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  6. I made these cupcakes before and I agree with you exactly! They are some of the best I've ever had, just a bit of a project. So worth it though- and yours look amazing!
    -Audra @The-Baker-Chick.com

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  7. Wow wow wow! These are absolutely stunning, Valerie and I want one too! In fact, I might need a few for some upcoming family parties.
    :)
    I have had no time to bake/blog recently, but you have definitely put caramel to the top of the list with this post.

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  8. I definitely made an audible "MMMMM" noise that sounded vaguely like the Cookie Monster immediately upon seeing these. Salted caramel is my fave!

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  9. Caramel cupcakes filled with caramel and topped with salted caramel buttercream..??? AMEN!! This looks so scrumptious, and the sugar decoration is gorgeous!

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  10. Oh my, those look wonderful! I love anything caramel and you've got it IN the cupcakes, ON TOP of the cupcakes and OVER the cupcakes! Copying the recipe now....

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  11. Nice pics! Love caramel so these should be good. We would love to see you over at http://www.dishfolio.com

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  12. Your frosting looks divine. It's like a pillow of heavenly goodness. I wish I had a big bowl of it and a spoon right now!

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  13. I recently conquered my fear of making caramel, when I posted my salted caramel ice cream with caramel pralines. Whoa! These cupcakes are equally impressive. Can you imagine one of your cupcakes with a scoop of my caramel ice cream? Scary!! These do look like a bit of work, but I can see that they are well worth it.

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  14. Hi Connie,
    Yes, although most of the time, I didn't get it to spin so much as plop. :-)

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  15. Ooh if these are really that good, I need to make them, now! They look amazing. Congratulations on the sugar work - it's something that I've yet to conquer.

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  16. YES!! YES!!! YES!!!!!

    O! My! But those look AMAZING!!! And that caramel swirl on top.

    YOU ROCK!!!!

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  17. i need to make these pronto. or maybe i should save them and use them as bribing chips for stuff i want.

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  18. These would make excellent bargaining chips. :D

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Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie

 

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