Caramel Cupcakes with Brown Butter Caramel Frosting


Today I had to listen to 22 violinists play three excerpts from orchestral pieces by Brahms, Beethoven, and Grieg.  Now, I love me some Academic Festival Overture….but hearing the 22nd violinist, I was pretty braindead by that point.  After the auditions, we had an all-orchestra cookout/party, so I decided to make some cupcakes!  Any excuse I have to make cupcakes is good enough for me!  🙂

I had this recipe of caramel cupcakes that I have been DYING to try!  If you’ve never made homemade caramel before, like me….leave plenty of time.  Making caramel is really freaking tough—you can’t take your eyes off that caramel.  I thought it would take a while to caramelize so I did some dishes, smelling something burning….and whoops, I overcooked my caramel!  Here are the visual steps: 1) Boil water and sugar 2) Sugar/water mixture will turn into a sugar-like substance 3) Watch it turn an amber color and IMMEDIATELY take off heat.  Note: steps 2 and 3 literally take 1 minute or less.  Seriously.

Other than the crazy caramel making, the cupcakes are pretty easy-going.  I’ve never made frosting like this before, with melted/browned butter and adding the other ingredients after….but the frosting turned out INCREDIBLY.  OMG.  Best frosting evar, seriously.

These might be some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever made…hope you decide to try these!

YIELD: 24 cupcakes

TIME: 3 hours

10 Tbsp butter
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water
2 eggs
splash of vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
12 Tbsp butter
1 lb powdered sugar
4-6 Tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-4 Tbsp caramel syrup (recipe included)

Preheat oven to 350 F and line cupcake tins.  For the caramel sauce, mix water and sugar on high heat in a saucepan until color turns amber, stirring frequently.  Carefully pour in 1 cup water and whisk over medium heat until sticky; let cool to room temperature.

To make the cupcakes, cream butter and sugar, and add salt.  Pour in 1/3 cup caramel syrup, and add eggs and vanilla gradually.  Alternate mixing flour and baking powder and milk, starting and ending with dry ingredients.  Pour into cupcake tins and bake 18-20 minutes.

For the frosting, brown the butter and let cool.  Gradually mix in powdered sugar, heavy cream, and caramel syrup, ending with the powdered sugar.  Pipe frosting on cooled cupcakes and serve immediately.

Hope y’all enjoy!

xoxo, Sara


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