These cupcakes may well be the ultimate in cupcake decadence with cream cheese and butter in the cake batter, a chocolate topping, and then a caramel-cream cheese frosting with flaked salt. You’ll see that salt really does bring out the flavor of the sweet.
Garnishes: sea salt flakes and caramels, cut into quarters
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until blended. Spoon batter by rounded tablespoonfuls into lightly greased miniature muffin pans.
Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
Microwave semisweet chocolate and 1/4 cup whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in 2 Tbsp. whipping cream until smooth. Dip tops of cupcakes in chocolate mixture, and let stand until chocolate is set (about 30 minutes). Pipe or spread Salted Caramel Buttercream onto cupcakes. Garnish, if desired.
Note: We tested with Artisan Salt Company Cyprus Mediterranean Flake Salt.
Note: To prepare regular-size cupcakes, spoon batter into 2 lightly greased 12-cup muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 350º for 22 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool and decorate as desired. Makes 2 dozen.
Ugh! This was a lot of work for a bad result. To be fair, I overcooked the cupcakes (regular size) by about 5 min. They're a little hard, but have nice flavor. My main problem is the buttercream. It was a mess, even after I refrigerated it while the ganache set up. I tried to pipe it on the cupcakes and by the time I finished, the first ones had frosting running down the sides. I tried to repair it by scraping frosting off so there was just a thin layer (a major detractor for me), which worked. My husband loved them but I got sick after two bites- way too sweet for me. I love caramels, but I think caramel buttercream is too much. I refrigerated them overnight, which helped the frosting set. We'll see how they're received at the work birthday today.
These were delicious! The cake was more dense than a regular cupcake but it held up well to the heavy toppings and wasn't too sweet. The ganache was the best part about these, in my opinion, but was also the most time consuming part in waiting for it to set up. The recipe said 30 minutes but I found that insufficient and needed at least an hour. Also take into consideration the temperature and humidity in your home. I also could not find flake salt and had to use Kosher which melted into the frosting and was not noticeable. For the full effect I'd recommend flake salt.
Great idea, and great flavor! I made these as 24 cupcakes, but you could easily get 28! I received rave reviews, but told the mini version would be better since it was a LOT of cupcake. Personally, I think the cake was a little heavy, so may try again with a "Buster Brown' (brown sugar cake) recipe.
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