I knew once I saw this recipe over on The Dainty Vegetarian these salted carmel chocolate cupcakes were a must, and I think the best part of these salty sweet cakes was the frosting. Oh..my..word...if you don't like the idea of the cakes themselves, you at least have to make this topping. It tastes almost identical to grandma's famous homemade caramels...unless your grandma makes terrible caramels...then it doesn't taste like that at all.
See below for the recipe and a few modifications!
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
What you’ll need:
2 cups flour3/4 cup cocoa powder (hersheys is good and easy to find in your baking aisle)1 1/2 tsp. baking powder2 tsp. baking soda1 tsp. kosher salt1 cup milk (try not to make it non-fat, it won’t be as rich as if you use whole or part skim)2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (imitation vanilla is just not as good)2 cups sugar1/2 cup vegetable oil2 eggs, room temp1 cup hot black coffee (yes, you can use flavored coffees if you like)6 oz. or a half a bag of chocolate chips
What you’ll do:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line your cupcake tin with liners. In a large bowl sift the flour and cocoa. Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl mix the milk, vanilla, sugar, oil, and eggs with a hand mixer or in a kitchen aid. When it’s all combined, add the coffee and mix well. Right after add the dry ingredients bowl and mix thoroughly. The batter will be on the thinner side. Stir in the chocolate chips and fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 9 minutes or until you can press on them and your finger bounces back. DO NOT OVER BAKE!!!! They will lose their moistness very quickly if you over bake them!
Since the batter turns out pretty thin the chocolate chips end up sinking to the bottom. It might be better to either drop them in after the batter is distributed, or melt the chips and stir in. The hot coffee you'll be adding already does this a bit for you, so you're half way there anyhow!
Here's where it got a little tricky. Her directions say to cook the cakes for 9 minutes only. I think by the time it was said and done these babies sat in the oven for 23 minutes! These darn cakes just wouldn't cook, but they turned out really moist and smelled phenomenal.
1 stick butter1 cup dark brown sugar1/3 cup heavy cream (if all you can find is whipping cream, that’s fine too)1 tbsp. vanilla1 (16 oz.) box of powdered sugar
What you'll do:
In a small pot on medium heat melt the butter and add the brown sugar.Stir frequently until it is smooth and not grainy. Remove from the heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and stir. Beat with an electric mixer; gradually add in the powdered sugar. Frosting should be thick, but if it’s too thick you can add a little more heavy cream.