First off I would like to say- Sorry for being so MIA! I’ve had an extremely hectic Christmas and New Year’s weekend, and I would rather NOT go into detail about it. However, right before the holiday weeks I did prepare an awesome dessert that I’m sure you guys will love. I LOVEEEE Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate AND Salted Caramel Mocha… I think I have an unhealthy obsession with salted caramel combined with chocolate. It’s just SO freaking good. I dare someone to dispute this..DARE.
In any case, I combine a moist chocolatey cupcake with homemade caramel frosting- which I make with my Homemade Dulce de Leche and top everything with coarse sea salt. YUM.
My apartment building hosts an annual Holiday Party every December, and they encourage all of the cooks that live in the building to contribute a dish or 2. I obviously jumped all over that opportunity! I’m new in this building and no one knows me, so what better way to become acquainted with my neighbors than with some yummy mini cupcakes! I know I say this a lot about my food, but everyone loved the cupcakes! And some residents even wanted me to do some small catering for them (um, hello new career choice?!?).
Try not to drool on the computer… really..
Moist Chocolate Cupcakes:
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter- room temperature
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 2/3 cups dark brown sugar- firmly packed
- 2 extra-large eggs- room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk (shaken!)- room temperature
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream- room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Brand)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners- I baked standard sized cupcakes and mini cupcakes.
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (I used my new apple green Kitchen Aid Mixer :-D) (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add each egg 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well.
2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and sour cream. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately into the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended- DO NOT OVERBEAT. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely blended.
2. Pour the batter about 3/4 the way up into each cupcake cup. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Makes about 24 mini cupcakes and 12 regular cupcakes
Dulce de Leche (or Caramel) Frosting:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter- softened
- 1 cup Homemade Dulce de Leche
- 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- about 1/4 cup milk- I used 2% milk
1. Cream 2 sticks of butter until fluffy and creamy about 2 minutes (either with a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment). Slowly add in 2 cups of the sifted powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and about 1/8 cup of the milk. Beat until blended. Add in about 1/2 cup of the homemade dulce de leche. Beat until blended well. Add remaining powdered sugar and beat. Frosting will be very thick. Add remaining dulce de leche and milk- depending on desired consistency, reduce or increase the amount of milk. I kept the frosting relatively thick. Beat until blended well. Taste for sweetness and dulce de leche- I added a total of about 1 cup, because I liked the frosting to have a strong caramel-y flavor.
2. Using a regular piping bag/zip bag fill with frosting and frost cupcakes as desired.
- Coarse Sea Salt- a sprinkle on each cupcake
- Grated Dark Chocolate- I used Ghiradelli
- Dulce de leche
Still Drooling Over these Cupcakes? Then you just might drool over these too: