These delicious chocolate and salted caramel cupcakes have a homemade salted caramel buttercream and salted caramel sauce.
The sticky sweetness and sharp saltiness of the salted caramel pair perfectly with the chocolate sponge. It takes just two ingredients; double cream and caramel, to make the salted caramel frosting. Pipe the icing on top of each cupcake when serving, so the icing keeps its form. This recipe is by cupcake decorator and expert Victoria Threader. Victoria tops each cupcake with sugar flowers, which can easily be made from granulated sugar and salt.
- For the sponge:
- 50g self-raising flour
- 50g plain flour
- 175g caster sugar
- 90g good quality cocoa powder
- ¼tsp salt
- 125ml buttermilk
- 125ml warm water
- ½tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1tsp baking powder
- For the salted caramel sauce:
- 200g light brown sugar
- 50ml water
- 40g butter
- ½tsp sea salt
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 100ml double cream
- For the salted caramel cream:
- 300ml double cream
- 8tbsps of the caramel sauce
- For the sugar flowers (optional decoration):
- 60g granulated sugar
- A pinch of salt
- Metal flower cutter
For the cupcakes: Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then add all other ingredients and beat until smooth.
Divide the mixture between 12 cupcakes cases and bake in the oven at 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3 for 25 mins.
Remove and cool. Leave the cakes in the tins for 10 mins before popping them on a wire rack.
For the salted caramel: Add the sugar and water to a large pan heat until you have a nice amber colour with the sugar bubbling and at 180°C. Add the butter and stir until melted.
Remove from the heat and add the cream and salt, it will bubble and spit but keep stirring and then leave to cool. You will end up with a thick but still pourable caramel.
When the cakes are cool, remove the centre with a melon ball tool or a small knife and add a teaspoon of the cooled caramel to each cupcake and replace the centres.
For the salted caramel cream: Add the cream and the caramel into a large bowl and whip until the cream is stiff enough to pipe.
When the cakes are cool, add the cream to a piping bag and pipe a swirl or spread a generous helping onto the cakes. Drizzle the tops with a little caramel sauce. More sea salt can be added to your taste if you wish.
For the sugar flowers: Add the sugar to a pan and heat until melting. Don’t stir or the sugar will seize, just swirl the pan until all the sugar is dissolved.
Working quickly and with extreme caution, pour the sugar onto a baking sheet and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the top. Wait for it to cool slightly, this won’t take long, after a couple of minutes and you’ll be able to see it setting. While it’s still flexible, cut 12 flowers with a metal flower cutter and add to the top of the cupcakes.
You can make pretty patterns with the sugar, it doesn’t have to be a flower. You can just drizzle onto the baking mat and break into shapes when it’s set.
Top tips for making salted caramel cupcakes
If you don’t have time to make the salted caramel from scratch you could opt for a shop-bought caramel sauce instead as it would work just as well.
As the frosting on these cupcakes is made from double cream, it’s best to keep the cupcakes in the fridge. Remember not to leave them for too long however otherwise the sponge will start to dry out in the fridge. We’d recommend two days maximum.