My schedule this month has been ideal for blogging, but in September I only have 4 days off, thus I have blogged into October. I hate leaving summer behind but I love the favors and food of fall. These cupcakes would be delicious any time of year, but salted caramel would really be great with the cooler weather. It is important to use good cocoa powder for chocolate cakes, it will make a huge difference in the intensity of the chocolate flavor and color. Valrhona Cocoa Powder will never disappoint you.
I was extremely mad with this recipe when trying to make these for a baby shower. I tried multiple times to make my own salted caramel sauce and was never satisfied with my results. So then I bought caramel sauce from Fresh Market, added some Fleur de Sel, and voila the recipe was saved. I am not ashamed of this and plan on making these again just the same way. Because they are fabulous!
Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp hot water
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup sour cream
Salted Caramel Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
4 cups powdered sugar
Fleur de Sel to sprinkle on top
Make the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin pan with liners.
Whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water in a cup. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the butter and sugar together until smooth and well combined. Transfer this to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, until cool.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating each until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add in the vanilla bean paste and the cocoa mixture, mix until smooth.
With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with two additions of sour cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated.
Divide the batter among your prepared muffin liners. Fill each about 2/3 full or use a 3 tbsp scoop. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, rotate halfway through. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Make the frosting
In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium high with a hand mixer (or with the whisk attachment of your stand mixer.) add the salted caramel and beat until we’ll combined. Decrease the speed and beat in the powdered sugar. After the sugar is incorporated, increase to medium-high and beat until smooth.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.