Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream – Sometimes there really just isn’t much to say about a recipe. Sometimes the title and picture(s) speak for themselves. I kind of feel like that’s the case here. The combination of soft, chocolate cake, cream cheese, and salted caramel just says it all.

I made these to bring to out to our cul-de-sac to share with our neighbors during Halloween trick-or-treating. We all sat out there, some in chairs and some in golf carts, while kids made the rounds with their parents and were scared senseless by our next door neighbor who cut a hole in a table, put his head through the hole, and screamed at anyone that tried to take candy off of his table. It was creepy and hilarious. 🙂

I would say that our first Halloween in our new town, new neighborhood, and new house were a success and these cupcakes helped.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream

Chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel cream cheese buttercream

Printable Version

For the cupcakes:

makes 24 cupcakes

  • ½ cup plus
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. hot water
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks plus
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ⅔ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot water and whisk until smooth; set aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to blend; set aside.

3. Combine the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and the butter is completely melted. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is cool, 5-7 minutes.

4. Add the room temperate eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture until smooth.

5. With the mixer on a low speed, add in the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix only until incorporated.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pan about 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the buttercream:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Heaping ⅓ cup salted caramel sauce, more or less to taste

1. In the bowl of an electric fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

2. Add in the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and salt and continue beating. Slowly add in the caramel sauce. Turn mixer up to medium speed and beat until combined, about 3-4 minutes, until mixture is light and fluffy.

3. Frost cupcakes as desired. If frosting is too loose to pipe onto cupcakes, refrigerate until set.

Cupcakes just barely adapted from Annie’s Eats, Cream Cheese Frosting heavily adapted from Martha Stewart.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream

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