Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

This month's What's Baking theme is Back to School. At first I was unsure what to think until the theme was further explained. We were asked to make our favorite childhood treats with a modern twist. I racked my brain and remembered that one of my favorite childhood treats was chocolate cupcakes. There is just something about a chocolate cupcake that brings me back to when I was a child. My twist on chocolate cupcakes was to top them with a very adult salted caramel buttercream. Salted caramel is all the rage right now, and it has swept me off my feet! I can't get enough of it. 

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Source: Hershey's 
(I halved this recipe to make minis.)

2 cups sugar 
1 and 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt 
2  eggs 
1 cup milk 
1/2 cup vegetable oil 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 cup boiling water 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a mini cupcake tin with 24 cupcake liners. 
Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. 
Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. 
Carefully stir in boiling water and fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Salted Caramel Buttercream
2 sticks butter, room temperature
4 - 6 cups powdered sugar
1/4 caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 - 4 tablespoons water

Cream the butter on high speed for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix on low. Add caramel, vanilla, salt, and water one tablespoon at a time 
until desired consistency is reached. Beat well.