Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Okay, I know I am little late with my Mother’s Day post; however, like most of you out there sometimes life just gets in the way of things we enjoy doing…. for me that would be blogging! May is always one of busiest months at work and sometimes I have a hard just keeping up with everything.  Luckily, things have begun to settle down and now I can get back to the things I enjoy! 

There are a few reasons that I know I am my Mother’s Daughter — and one of the biggest reasons is our shared love of caramel. There are a few great ways to eat caramel — directly eating spoonfuls out of the jar (yes, we do that!), drizzling it over the top of ice cream, inside candy bars, along with inside and on top of  cakes and cupcakes.  

I was excited for this Mother’s Day because we were having dinner with a large group of friends that evening — all celebrating our Mother’s.  Everyone knowing how much I love to bake asked me to bring dessert and since it was Mother’s Day I asked my Mom if there was anything specific she would like me to make.  Her response, “CARAMEL CUPCAKES”!!!  

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I have had a few different caramel cupcake recipes on my list to bake for a while now; however, making caramel cupcakes when I have no where to take them, and they just lay around the house for Mark and I to enjoy is never any good for our waistlines — so I was excited to have this opportunity.  

These cupcakes are the perfect cupcakes for caramel lovers!  The base is a fluffy homemade yellow cupcake and the frosting is a delicious-rich caramel buttercream.  When frosting these cupcakes, do not go to heavy with the frosting as it is heavy and rich — a little frosting goes a long ways with these cupcakes.  

Everyone at dinner just loved these cupcakes and I hope you enjoy them as much as we all did!  

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Salted Caramel Cupcakes
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Ingredients:
For the Cupcakes:
1/2 cups (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, softened
4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups Sugar
3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
4 Eggs
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Buttermilk

For the Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, softened
4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 pound Confectioners’ Sugar
4 tablespoons Milk (divided)
6 tablespoons Caramel Syrup

Caramel Candies for topping, if desired
Sea Salt, if desired

Directions:
For the Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar and canola oil together until light and fluffy, which will take between 3-4 minutes. Add each egg individually, mixing well after each one has been added. After two eggs, stop the mixer and scrap down the sides of the bowl before adding the remaining two eggs.

Next, add the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; and mix until well combined.

Beginning and ending with the flour, add the flour alternately with the buttermilk; mixing between each addition. (Do not over mix the batter! Just mix the ingredients until incorporated.)

Using a cupcake (or cookie) scoop, distribute the batter evenly among the 24 muffin cups. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow the cupcakes to cook in the muffin tin for 2 minutes before removing them to cool completely on a wire rack.

Frost with the Salted Caramel Buttercream frosting and garnish with a slice of caramel candy and a sprinkle of sea salt, if you so desire!

For the Buttercream Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until the mixture is light and fluffy, which will take between 3-5 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar along with 3 tablespoons of the milk.

Beginning on slow speed and gradually increasing to medium speed beat the mixture until well combine and smooth, which will take about 2-3 minutes. Add the caramel and mix until combined. At this point, add more confectioners’ sugar or milk to make the frosting the consistency you desire.

Source: slightly adapted from The Kitchen is my Playground.

White Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes

What can I say about these cupcakes? THEY ARE AMAZING! Growing up I was never fan of white chocolate. It has a different taste over the traditional milk chocolate that kids are used to; however, the older I have gotten the more and more I enjoy white chocolate.

I made these cupcakes as a dessert for Jessica & Brian’s wedding shower and they were perfect. The truffle in the middle is smooth, and the frosting is the most delicious part! (I was literally licking the bowl when I was done frosting the cupcakes!) The cake portion of this cupcake is a heavy cake so if you are looking for a light and airy cupcake, this isn’t the one!

White Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes
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Ingredients:
For the Cupcakes:
1 3/4 cups Cake Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
2/3 cup Whole Milk
1/2 teaspoon Real Vanilla Extract
4 Egg Whites, at room temperature
6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Sour Cream
12 Round White Chocolate Truffles, unwrapped

For the Frosting:
6 ounces White Chocolate, used for baking, finely chopped
8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
2 cups Powdered Sugar

Directions:
For the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and prepare the cupcake tins by placing paper liners into the cupcake wells.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder. In another small mixing combine the milk and the vanilla. In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and sugar. Cream them together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, which will take about 5 minutes. Add in the sour cream and mix until smooth. With the mixer on medium speed, add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, alternating between the two and mix until smooth. Slowly mix in 1/3 of the egg whites. Using a large spatula, carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.

Using a scoop, divide the batter evenly among the liners. Bake 17-20 minutes or until a wooen pick inserted in the center comes out cleanly. Remove the pan from the oven and using a small paring knife, immediately cut a 1/2″ deep “X” into the top of each cupcake and press one truffle into each cupcake. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and finish cooling them for at least 30 minutes on a wire cooling rack.

For the Frosting:
Once the cupcakes are cooled you can begin to make the frosting. Place the white chocolate into a small microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until the chocolate is melted, stirring every 30 seconds so the chocolate does not burn. Allow the chocolate to sit for 3-4 minutes to cool slightly.

In a bowl to a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and the melted white chocolate. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until well mixed. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix well.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, place the frosting into a piping bag and pipe frosting evenly around the tops of the cupcakes. Garnish as you desire!

Yields: Exactly 12 cupcakes!

Source: adapted slightly from The Pampered Chef.

Sugar-Free Cheesecake Cupcakes

It has been forever since I’ve posted a new blog recipe; however, sometimes life just gets in the way! Over the past two months I have moved and have been lucky enough to find the love of my life!! Work has begun to get busy again and I just haven’t had the time to spend baking or cooking.

This week as I was sitting at my desk I begun to have an intense craving for cheesecake and I remembered these cheesecake cupcakes that I tried but never made myself and I instantly knew that this weekend I was going to make time to make them.

These cupcakes are insanely easy to make and taste amazing. They are the perfect size for cheesecake lovers like me who fear making an entire cheesecake because they know they would eat the whole thing themselves!

Sugar-Free Cheesecake Cupcakes
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Ingredients:
For the Cupcakes:
3 (8 ounce) Packages of Cream Cheese, softened
1 Cup of Splenda
5 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Topping:
8 ounces Sour Cream
2 Tbsp Splenda
1/2 tsp Vanilla Estract

Directions:
Prepare a cupcake pan by lining it with paper cupcake liners and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees.

Place the softened cream cheese into a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed. After all the eggs have been mixed, slowly add the splenda and vanilla extract. (Note: The batter will be thin and runny.)

Pour or spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each cupcake as full as you can.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until large cracks appear on the top of the cakes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. As they cool, the middle of the cakes will sink in.

In a small mixing bowl, using a spoon, mix all of the ingredients for the topping. Add approximately a tsp on the top of each cupcake and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to completely cool. Keep the cupcakes refrigerated once completely cooled.

Nutritional Info Per Cupcake:
Calories 295, Carbs 5, Fat 23, Protein 7, Fiber 0, Sugar 1

Source: Lori Senften from a Facebook Note