These chocolate caramel cupcakes are filled with homemade salted caramel and topped with salted caramel buttercream! These are the perfect cupcakes for chocolate caramel lovers.
I’ve already got an amazing vanilla caramel filled cupcake recipe which I love making. But once I saw this chocolate caramel squares I knew I had to make a chocolate version of my cupcakes!
These chocolate cupcakes are based off of my mocha cupcakes , they’re a very rich and chocolatey cupcake that has a small hit of espresso to really deepen the chocolate flavor!
Why you’ll love this recipe!
- Each cupcake is filled with homemade salted caramel, it doesn’t get more indulgent than that!
- You get that yummy sweet and salty flavor thanks to the combination of chocolate and salted caramel.
- You can make the cupcakes and caramel in advance, so they’re perfect to prep for parties or birthdays!
- I’ve drizzled each cupcake with melted chocolate and added a chocolate caramel square, but you could also drizzle it in extra salted caramel and some flaky salt.
Cocoa Powder: make sure to use dutch processed cocoa powder for this recipe and not natural cocoa powder.
Sugar: you’ll be using white sugar for both the caramel and the cupcakes.
Sour Cream: this will make the cupcakes extra moist! You could use natural full fat yogurt instead or buttermilk.
Heavy Cream: we’re going to add this to the homemade caramel, this is known as double cream in the UK.
Oil: use a neutral oil like vegetable oil or canola oil!
Instant Espresso: this won’t make the cupcakes taste like coffee but it will deepen the chocolate flavor!
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°Fahrenheit/175°Celsius and line a cupcake pan with liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
Step 2: In a measuring jug or cup, whisk together the espresso powder and boiling water. Mix together.
Step 3: In a bowl or large jug, whisk together the eggs, oil, light brown sugar, white sugar, espresso, vinegar, sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth.
Step 4: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold everything together with a rubber spatula until there are no more flour pockets.
Step 5: Fill each cupcake liner three-quarters of the way full. Bake in the middle rack for 18-20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the cupcake tin for 5 minutes before removing and letting them cool completely on a wire rack.
Step 6: Make the caramel sauce. Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add ¼ cup of sugar. Let the sugar dissolve, then add another ¼ cup. Repeat this until all of the sugar has dissolved and turns a dark amber. Take off the heat and add the butter, a cube at a time, stirring together. Finally, add in the heavy cream, salt and vanilla extract. Pour into a large jar and let cool.
Step 7: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine the room temperature butter with confectioners’ sugar on low speed. Once combined, beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add the cooled caramel, vanilla extract and salt. Beat on medium for 2 more minutes. If it isn’t spreadable enough, add the heavy cream.
Step 8: Use a large piping tip to cut a round hole in each of the cooled cupcakes. Fill a piping bag with the remaining salted caramel (or you could just use a spoon!) and pipe caramel into each cupcake. Then frost each cupcake with the caramel buttercream.
Baking Tips & Tricks
- Measuring Scale – I really recommend getting a weighing scale and weighing all of your ingredients. It’s more accurate to bake this way and you can get a weighing scale for just $10!
- Let the caramel cool – make sure the caramel has cooled completely before using in the frosting, if you add hot caramel to the buttercream then the frosting will melt.
- Make the caramel in advance – because there’s quite a few steps to make these cupcakes, I recommend making the caramel in advance! You can store it in a closed jar in the fridge for up to 1 month. You will probably need to warm it back up as it will be quite firm, so heat it in 10 second intervals until it is the right consistency.
- Drizzling chocolate – want to drizzle chocolate on top of each cupcake like I did? Chop chocolate up and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 10 second increments, stirring each time so the chocolate doesn’t burn. Once melted, pour the melted chocolate into a squeezy bottle or piping bag and drizzle! You could also use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes you can. You can make the caramel sauce up to 1 month in advance, just store it in the fridge and heat it up when ready to use. You can make the cupcakes ahead of time, either you store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days or you could freeze them!
I recommend storing the caramel in a large glass jar with a lid. I like to use old jam jars to do this!
I recommend keeping them in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. When ready to enjoy, let them sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before eating!
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Have you made this recipe? Please rate the recipe below! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @alpineella and Pinterest!
Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes
- 12 cup muffin tray
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder dutch processed
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 2 tablespoon hot water
- 2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- ¼ cup salted caramel cooled
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C and place 12 cupcake liners in your cupcake pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a mug or small cup, mix together the espresso powder and 2 tablespoon hot water until the espresso powdered has dissolved.
- In a large jug, whisk the eggs, espresso, oil, sour cream, vanilla, vinegar, light brown sugar and white sugar until smooth
- Pour the wet mixture into the flour, stirring until it is just about smooth – we don't want to over mix the batter!
- Fill the cupcake liners ¾ of the way and bake for 18-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool for 15 minutes in the tray, then take them out and place on a cooling rack.
Make Salted Caramel
- Take a small saucepan and place it on your stove over medium-low heat. Add the sugar ¼ cup at a time, letting the sugar dissolve completely until you add the next ¼ cup.
- Stir over the heat until all of the sugar has dissolved and it has turned a dark amber color. Turn the stove off.
- Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition. Careful as it may sputter!
- Pour in the heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt. Stir until combined. Pour the caramel (carefully!) into a large jar and let cool. It will become very thick.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together on low speed until well combined.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for a 2 minutes until it becomes very thick.
- Stop the mixer and add the salt, vanilla, and salted caramel into the bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for another 2 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to your lowest speed and pour in the heavy cream. Beat until it becomes very creamy and spreadable.
- Use a large piping tip to core out each cupcake. You may need to use a knife or small spatula to dig out some of the cake in case the tip didn't go down far enough. You want to make sure you have some space in each cupcake so they get filled!
- Put the remaining caramel in a piping bag, or you can just use a spoon if you prefer. Pipe caramel into each cupcake.
- Fill another piping bag with the caramel frosting and frost each cupcake. I like using the Wilton 1M or 4B tip!
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