Tasty Goodness Part 2: Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

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As I mentioned in Tasty Goodness – Part 1, I Geek Out over cooking, baking, and good food in general.  I know lots of people are starting their new year off with a renewed passion for eating healthy, and I am as well.  However, I also firmly believe in balancing all the healthy with a little bit of “who-cares-about-the-calories/salt/sugar/fat-it-tastes-amazing!”.  So, with that philosophy in mind, I present a recipe today for lovely baked goods that have become go-to items for bake sales and fundraisers…and birthdays…and driving exams…and…I found this from Chef-In-Training on Pinterest.  Seriously, I don’t know whether I love Pinterest for all the wonderful things on there or curse it because I spend so much time looking at the wonderful things…You can find more deliciousness on my board The Sweetest Thing.  If you’re new to Pinterest…I’m sorry.  I’m so, so sorry.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

The cupcake craze seems to have taken over.  No matter which city I go to, I find bakeries specializing in cupcakes only, television shows with cupcake cook offs…the list goes on and on.  Why not?  They’re perfect hand-held pieces of yummy!  Cupcakes allow you to indulge in a sweet treat while controlling the portion…well, most of the time.  (Some days you just need a second one…)  This recipe was made both for a United Way bake sale at work, and as either a “Congratulations! You got your learners permit” or “Let me console you, you failed your learners permit test.” (My niece and I studied hard for her test for her driving permit.  She passed with flying colors (the second time) but I was prepared for contingencies with signs for both eventualities.  She was not overly amused.)  This recipe comes from Chef-In-Training.  She has a lot of great recipes on her blog.  It is definitely worth checking out!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa (sifted)
  • 1 Cup hot water
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream

Salted Caramel Buttercream Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 package Dream Whip (dry)
  • 3 Cups powdered sugar (more if needed to reach desired consistency)


Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Add the sifted cocoa powder to a medium-sized bowl and pour in the cup of hot water.  Whisk until completely dissolved.
  2. Add the buttermilk to cool down the mixture, then add the sugar and whisk until all is combined.
  3. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla and mix again.
  4. In a small bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk this into the wet mixture until you no longer see any lumps.
  5. Stir in heavy cream until evenly mixed.
  6. Pour into cupcake tins and bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until done.  Let cool and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  1. In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until the mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes. (Watch this closely!  The caramel will burn if you take your eye off of it.  This happened to me…twice!)  Remove from head and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring constantly until very smooth. (Make sure you continue stirring as you add in the cream and vanilla, otherwise you end up with a big glob of brown stuff.)  Let the caramel continue to cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.  Alternatively, you could use just under 1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce.
  2. Beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add dry Dream Whip until combined. Whip until combined. (Why low speed?  Do you want to look like a ghost?  Then leave it on high.  You will have a fine dusting of Dream Whip all over you and your kitchen!  Learn from my mistakes, folks.)
  3. Beat in powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined. (Watch the consistency here.  The first batch of frosting was pretty tight and hard to manipulate, but the second I added just a hair less, and it was perfect.  Sifting the sugar into the mixing bowl helped greatly.)
  4. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.
  5. Beat on medium high until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).

The frosting should be ready to use without refrigeration.  If your caramel was too hot when it was added, your icing will be runny.  No worries though, just refrigerate for 15-20 minutes and mix well.  Now you can frost your cupcakes.  Try not to “test” too much of the frosting as you decorate….I dare you.  Enjoy!

What’s your favorite recipe?

‘Til next time,


P.S. I’m taking an html writing class.  I can create headers now!  Pretty huh?  What do you think?

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