Cakes rich with cocoa and flavoured with salted caramel are topped with a divine salted caramel buttercream. These salted caramel chocolate cupcakes are a real crowd pleaser.
Here we go, cupcakes yet again! Am I developing a cupcake theme for We Should Cocoa, I wonder? It’s practicality that does it this time. I’m due to take in some cakes to work for Children in Need. And cupcakes are the easiest to transport on the trek there as I have to go by train and foot. They’re also easier for people to eat at their desks.
It’s the third We Should Cocoa challenge and Chele has chosen caramel. When I found out, I was excited but also rather nervous, a definite challenge for me this time.
First, what exactly is meant by caramel? Well it seems virtually anything goes: boiled sugar on its own or a combination of boiled sugar with water and maybe added butter or cream. Hum! Last time I attempted making caramel for this chocolate and caramel salted tart, I burnt it and it tasted horribly bitter. I didn’t want to make that mistake again.
In the end I adapted a recipe for salted caramel buttercream from Fiona Cairns’s Bake & Decorate. Once the caramel is boiling, Fiona Cairns advises us to “watch it like a hawk”. I did that for a while, but soon got bored as it took a lot longer to caramelise than “a few minutes”. Luckily, I caught it this time before it burnt.
It’s best to warm cream before adding it to hot caramel or the mixture is likely to seize. If it does, just stir vigorously for a while until it goes smooth. You can find out more about making caramel in my blood orange caramel sauce recipe.
The salted caramel was a success. Hoorah, what a relief. And the buttercream is very good indeed.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
I know I’m meant to be baking these cakes for work, but I had to try one for quality control purposes. And then CT had a hard day at work and felt he couldn’t survive without one either. So it was only ten cupcakes that made their way to my work place.
The photos don’t really do these salted caramel chocolate cupcakes justice. Grey days and dark nights just don’t do a lot for my photography skills.
The buttercream is delicious, sweet and caramely and is really lifted by the salt. I’m not normally a great fan of buttercream, but this is exceptionally good. I licked the bowl clean and reckoned it was the best buttercream I’ve yet made. The cake is rich with cocoa and not too sweet which makes a good foil for the topping. Both cake and buttercream are delicious in their own right, but together they’re more than the sum of their parts.
Other Salted Caramel Recipes You Might Like
- Birthday salted caramel chocolate cake
- Christmas bliss balls
- Cornish sea salted caramel brownies
- Cornish sea salted caramel birthday cake
- Dark chocolate salted caramel popcorn
- Salted caramel chocolate milkshake
- Salted caramelised almond chocolates
- Vegan salted caramel sauce
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these salted caramel chocolate cupcakes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
And for more cupcake ideas you might like, I’ve plenty of recipes to choose from.
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Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes – The Recipe
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
- 200 ml (7oz) golden granulated sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
- 184 ml double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp sea or rock salt (I used pink Himalayan rock salt)
- 140 g (5oz) unsalted butter - softened
- 125 g (4oz) light muscovado sugar
- salted caramel
- 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 125 g (4oz) flour (half wholemeal, half plain)
- 30 g (1oz) cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of bicarbonate of soda
- 3 oz salted butter - softened
- 4 oz icing sugar
- salted caramel
- In a large pan, dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat.
- Bring to the boil and "watch like a hawk" until the mixture caramelises. It will take several minutes, but be careful not to let it burn.
- In a separate pan, bring the cream to a near boil then add to the caramel and stir until smooth. If you don't warm the cream first the caramel is likely to seize. If this happens, just keep stirring hard and eventually it should become smooth.
- Add the vanilla and salt then stir well. Leave to cool whilst you get on with the cakes.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in half the caramel.
- Break in the eggs one by one and beat well.
- Sift in the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.
- Spoon into 12 cupcake cases and bake at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 20 minutes or until well risen and the tops are firm to the touch.
- Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Cream the butter and icing sugar together until it's very light and fluffy.
- Beat in the remaining caramel.
- Spread on top of the cooled cakes and decorate with chocolate if you like.