Yesterday morning, I went into work to renew my CPR/AED and Lifeguarding/First Aid certifications. It was my first time getting in a pool since last year, and now I absolutely reek of chlorine, even though I’ve showered twice. I guess I better get used to it because this is what I’ll be smelling like all summer!
Anyways, I needed someone to practice my lifeguarding skills on, so I dragged my sister to the pool with me to be my “victim.” She wasn’t too thrilled about waking up so early in the morning, and demanded that I make cupcakes for her for subjecting her to such torture. Of course I was happy to oblige!
I decided on these salted caramel cupcakes because I have been the LOVING sweet and salty combo lately. If I find a recipe for a dessert that calls for a sprinkle of sea salt or see a menu item with the word “salted,” I’m immediately ALL over it. These and these have made their way to the top of my favorite desserts list.
But I think these salted caramel cupcakes top them all. They are probably the BEST cupcakes I’ve ever made. I had the hardest time keeping my fingers out of the salted caramel buttercream as I was frosting the cupcakes, and I don’t even like frosting!
Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Source: adapted from Savory Bites
For the cupcakes:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk (I used soy milk)
For the salted caramel buttercream:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- generous pinch sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard 12-cup cupcake pan with liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until combined. Turn mixer speed to low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions. Beat until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl.
4. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes (it only took 18 minutes in my toaster oven), or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes, then transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely.
5. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook sugar over medium-high heat until it begins to melt. Stir with a wooden spoon until amber brown in color. Carefully pour heavy cream into saucepan in a steady stream, stirring constantly until mixure is completely smooth. Set caramel aside to cool.
6. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup at at time to desired consistency, and beat until smooth. Add cooled caramel (reserving just a few spoonfuls to drizzle cupcakes with) and sea salt, and beat until light and fluffy.
7. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired and drizzle with reserved caramel.