I have been torturing myself by looking at all the glossy, delicious pictures of the Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking book that Savo gave me for Christmas. Finally, I caved and decided to bake even though Tasha’s birthday isn’t until next week – which was when I had initially allowed myself to bake again.
After some foodie soul searching, I decided I wanted to make cupcakes because a) they are delicious, b) they are perfect portions, c) they can be so pretty, d) I just bought cupcake liners and e) I could give them away really easily. I wanted chocolate and caramel, that was for certain, but didn’t feel in the mood for caramel filled cupcakes. Instead, here are caramel soaked cupcakes. The only difference was that the caramel sauce wasn’t too thick so that once filled, the cupcake would just absorb all that sugary goodness and be very very moist and caramelly without being gooey. I left “gooey” to the vanilla buttermilk frosting.
I discovered that I have a ton of sprinkles, and have been adding more and more to my collection without realizing just how many different kinds I already have. I’m on a neverending search for kitchen cuteness – one of my many vices.
The recipe may seem very complicated and involve a lot of steps, but I think it took me only just over an hour to make everything, including the caramel sauce, the cupcakes, the butter cream and the baking & decorating time. Anyhow, let me present you my caramel soaked cupcakes!
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup light cream
- 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Combine butter, cream, brown sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool and thicken. Meanwhile, make the cupcakes.
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- Line muffin or mini muffin pans with liners. If you’re using pretty ones, make sure to use two liners per cup (a colourful one and a plain white one on the inside) so that the liners stay pretty and don’t become translucent after baking.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on high until fluffy and light in colour. Next, on medium high, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Add in the flour mix, alternating with the buttermilk, making 2 additions of flour mix and one addition of milk. Mix util just combined, and don’t over mix or else the cupcakes will turn out tough.
- Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling only 2/3 the way. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, depending on the oven. You want the cakes to be firm to the touch or have a cake tester come out clean in the middle.
- Let cool while making the vanilla butter cream frosting.
Vanilla Butter Cream
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp water
- Beat together butter and sugar until thoroughly mixed.
- Once well combined, add vanilla and water. Continue beating until smooth.
- Set aside and go back to prepping the cupcakes.
- Take each cupcake and carve out a hole in each top, making sure to keep each cupcake with its corresponding top piece.
- Squeeze the caramel sauce from a bottle, or spoon the sauce into each center of the cakes, making sure to be generous because the cakes will just soak the caramel sauce right up.
- Replace each top to its rightful owner.
- Outfit pastry bag with proper nozzle (I used a huge star tip) and fill with frosting. Decorate each cupcake with frosting, and if you want something more fun, sprinkle sprinkles on top!
- Nosh away!