Old-Fashioned Caramel Cupcakes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

Old-Fashioned Caramel is a cupcake that can't be rushed. It's a true labor of love. The caramel has to cool for a while before you can make the frosting, and then you need to use the frosting right away. If the frosting gets too thick to spread, add just a little cream or milk to make it spreadable. It is definitely worth the effort.

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Recipe from Southern Living Big Book of Cupcakes

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Ingredients

  • Butter Cake:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Paper baking cups
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Old-Fashioned Caramel Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 (16-oz.) package dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.
  3. To prepare frosting, melt butter in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in evaporated milk, baking soda, and corn syrup; bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, and let cool completely (about 1 hour). Transfer to a bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar to caramel mixture, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Use immediately. Make 3 cups.
  4. Frost each cupcake with Old-Fashioned Caramel Frosting.
Note:

The reason for adding the baking soda, according to the experts at Dreamcakes, is to prevent the caramel from becoming grainy. The recipe calls for all-purpose soft-wheat flour and was tested with White Lily flour, an all-purpose flour that is very similar to cake flour.

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