Emma’s teacher and TA’s are absolutely amazing and I have always truly appreciated all that they do. Emma has always loved learning and her teachers have always helped continue her passion for learning outside of the home and in the classroom. I wanted to do something to say thank you for her last day of school today. I always appreciate a homemade treat over anything store bought, maybe this comes with being a mother and my walls being lined with finger paintings.
I quickly decided upon these cupcakes that have always been a huge hit every time that I have made them. All three aspects are made from scratch. My husband enjoys the whole process as well in which he consumes atleast 4 spoonfuls of the salted caramel. Not to mention my mother who followed in his footsteps shortly after getting into town. After all what adult doesn’t love salted caramel and chocolate?! If you are one of the few who does not don’t tell me now, because if you do, we can’t be friends! Not really, but yes really…
Let’s start with the batter…
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I prefer the Ghirardelli cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water 1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a small bowl combine cocoa powder and boiling water until fully dissolved. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between. With a spoon stir in the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat to combine (be careful to not overmix here). Add your water and cocoa mixture and mix well.
Fill your cupcake tin with liners and fill cups to 3/4 full (I have found a 1/4 cup to be the perfect measurement for this step). Bake 16-18 minutes. You will know they are done when you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. Set cupcakes aside to cool.
Now on to the homemade caramel sauce (this is truly the best caramel you will ever taste and is so, so simple)…
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened) 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Over medium heat combine butter, brown sugar, salt and heavy cream with a whisk. Bring to a boil, once at a boil reduce heat and allow to simmer for 7-8 minutes whisking occasionally. Add vanilla (this will cause a bubbling effect, this is normal) and allow to simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Place caramel in container of choice and refrigerate to cool slightly while starting the frosting.
Next we have the salted caramel infused buttercream…
1 cup unsalted butter (softened not melted) 2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup caramel sauce
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Mix butter with hand mixer until smooth and fluffy.
Now add the salt, caramel and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.
1/2 to 1 cup at a time add the powdered sugar mixing each time in between. I find the one cup to work best for me.
And finally the assembly…
Pipe the frosting onto cupcakes and drizzle with caramel. These cupcakes are very rich so I like to top them off with a sprinkle of sea salt.
And of course… the best part… enjoy!