Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Sooooo…..I don’t really like cupcakes.  Yep, I said it.  Totally against the general consensus, but there you go.

I don’t know, I’d just rather have a cookie.  Or a scone.  Or any kind of dessert without a ton of frosting on top.  It’s just too sweet I think.  Never really been a fan.  All the amazing looking cupcakes have a pile of icing on top, and I just want to scrape it off.

Cupcakes just aren’t my thing.

But.  I know that most of the world does love them.  So, I made you cupcakes.  (Actually I made my son’s class cupcakes for his birthday, but whatever, cupcakes!)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting - Bake.Eat.Repeat.

Chocolate cupcakes.  With salted caramel frosting.

And I even enjoyed half of one.  And that was enough.  But the rest of my family loved them and couldn’t get enough so I can say with complete confidence that these are perfect cupcakes.

A tender, moist, chocolate cupcake topped with light and fluffy salted caramel buttercream frosting, and then drizzled with more salted caramel sauce.  These are decadent.  And, I’m told, delicious.  You know, if you like that kind of thing!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting - Bake.Eat.Repeat.

I actually really love making cakes and cupcakes.  It’s the decorating.  So much fun.  I love how you can make a dessert so fun and pretty.  Although I just about gave up on these ones ever getting finished.

I was making them for my son to bring to school for his birthday.  And it all started off great.  I started early enough in the day that I would have time to take pictures when I was done.  But then I discovered I was out of icing sugar after I started making the icing.  No real substitute for that.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting - Bake.Eat.Repeat.

So off to the store I went with my littlest one, rushing so we’d be home in time for the bus, and also so I’d still have time to finish the cupcakes and (hopefully) take pictures of them.  So I make the buttercream as fast as possible, start frosting the cupcakes, and run out.  Before I’m finished.  At that point I considered NOT taking pictures and just spreading the icing with a knife so I’d have enough to cover all the cupcakes.

But, I like pretty food.  So, even though the grade one’s wouldn’t care what the cupcakes looked like, I made more icing and finished them.  Of course, by the time all this was finished I’d been interrupted 945 times by children, my kitchen was a complete disaster, it was dark out so no photography was happening, and I still needed to scrounge something for supper.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting - Bake.Eat.Repeat.

So we taste tested, decided they needed to be photographed, and I took my photos the next morning before bringing them in to the school.  Just as well, morning light is so much better!

If you love cupcakes you will love these chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting.  And, if you’re better prepared than me, they’re pretty quick to whip up too!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting - Bake.Eat.Repeat.

Yield: 36 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

*Note:* If you don’t have cake flour, feel free to use all all-purpose flour instead. You can also use regular milk if you don’t have buttermilk, just place 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and then add milk up to 1 1/2 cups, stir, and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before using.


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons salted caramel sauce

For the topping:


For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 36 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined. Add the eggs, buttermilk, water, oil and vanilla and mix with an electric mixer, or stand mixer, until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

For the frosting:

  1. With an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until it is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream and salted caramel sauce and beat for a full 3 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Add a little more sugar if it’s too runny and a little more cream if it’s too thick.
  2. Frost the cooled cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip to pipe the swirls onto the cupcakes. If you want the same rose style frosting, pipe starting in the middle and then around in a swirl to the edges. Drizzle more salted caramel sauce over top of the frosted cupcakes.


Source: Cupcakes slightly adapted from Cookies and Cups, frosting adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

  1. June Burns says:

    Those look awesome! Totally understand your cupcake ambivalence, they can be a bit much for some people…but not me, haha. I would munch down one of these in a minute 🙂

  2. I can’t believe you don’t like cupcakes!? Actually I can. I like them, but I’m with ya, give me a big old brownie or fresh chocolate chip cookie instead please. But these cupcakes? They’re not only gorgeous – but salted caramel? I love anything and everything with salted caramel.

    1. stacey says:

      Salted caramel IS pretty amazing isn’t it?! I never even liked caramel before trying that stuff, and now I can’t stop putting it on things! Thanks Aimee!

  3. Mir says:

    Stavey, these are gorgeous! And while cupcakes aren’t my favorite either, these sure make the list of must-try recipes! I love that caramel drizzle. Major drools!

    1. stacey says:

      That’s exactly it – they’re just too sweet most of the time! But I have a hard time saying no to a good cookie! Thanks Kelley!

    1. stacey says:

      Haha, the caramel is actually the reason I even tried them! I’ll have to make a cookie with that caramel drizzle and then we’d have the perfect treat! Thanks so much Dorothy!

  4. I love cupcakes Stacey, they are so cute! How can you resist them…but different people different opinions I guess! 🙂 These cupcakes look so good… and I am crazy for salted caramel so that frosting is calling my name! Pinned.

    1. stacey says:

      Thanks Manali! I DO like how cupcakes look, so cute and pretty, and I love making them, just not eating them! 🙂 Thanks for the pin!

    1. stacey says:

      Oddly enough, I kind of figured you’d have that response! We obviously don’t agree on the best desserts 🙂 Thanks Sarah!

  5. I kind of agree (gasp, I said it!). Cookies and brownies > cupcakes. There’s something nice about being able to stuff your face with cookies dunked in milk without feeling like you’re going into a sugar coma (which is how I feel after one cupcake). That being said, these cupcakes look a m a z i n g. I’m a big fan of salter caramel 🙂

  6. Jim D says:

    Stacey – these look incredible! I agree with you that most cupcakes have too much frosting. But don’t really like them? Sorry, you lost me there. 🙂

  7. cailee says:

    Oh my gosh!! This looks amazing!! SO yummy! I love love LOVE salted desserts! Seriously salt, chocolate and caramel are such an amazing combo! 🙂 Great recipe!

  8. ooof! These look incredible! And my hunch is…those little first graders are going to expect every cupcake to look this beautiful from here on out! I feel sorry for the other moms in the classroom! 🙂 I have to say – I would eat an entire cupcake and force myself to not eat a second. This flavor combination is divine! And by the way, I got a kick out of all the chaos…I remember those days with SUCH fondness!! Have a great weekend, Stacey!

    1. stacey says:

      LOL, I doubt it, they’re 6, they’re just thinking YAAAAAYYYYYY we get a treat!! 🙂 Thanks so much Annie! Have a great weekend!

  9. If I had to choose between a cookie and cupcake, it would be a cookie all the way, too! A cupcake has to be really good in order for me to eat it! But these are definitely the exception. Love the chocolate and salted caramel flavors together, Stacey! Looks delish!

  10. I don’t know if I’ve ever turned down a cupcake in my life… or eaten just half of one. Or eaten just one. Lol. Which is why I need to make these and then give them away, so my post-baby butt isn’t too mad at me! I LOVE chocolate and caramel!

  11. This is so funny! I love all the drama that being a food blogger brings! Not enough light, too much light, missing an ingredient, late for school, kids are everywhere, don’t have time to prepare a decent family meal..ha ha ha. Your next morning photos came out great!

    1. stacey says:

      Haha, right?! This winter light is killing me! I think there’s a window of about 2 hours where the light is actually good right now! 🙂 Thanks Kimberly!

    1. stacey says:

      Hahaha, see, that’s the reaction I figured I’d get to that statement! Cookies are just better if I’m going to have a treat! But I DO like making pretty food, and cupcakes are definitely in that category! Thanks Taylor!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *