Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting.

A shortcut chocolate cupcake recipe topped with creamy salted caramel frosting.

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Devil’s food chocolate fudge cupcakes with a salted caramel-infused buttercream frosting topped with caramel drizzle and a pretzel twist. I die.

This frosting is on of the best frostings I’ve ever had.  I did NOT want to stop eating it.  I had enough “samples” that I actually had to make more frosting. You have to taste test the recipe before you serve it, right?! The caramel flavor hits all the right notes and isn’t too salty or too sweet.  It’s creamy caramel bliss and literally melts in your mouth.

I was contemplating making salted caramel cupcakes to pair with the salted caramel frosting, but I wanted a bit  more of a flavor contrast.  Caramel and chocolate are like a match made in heaven, so chocolate won. I used the recipe from Amanda for the BEST ever chocolate cake that starts with a….wait for it…. Devil’s Food Chocolate boxed cake mix.  Now, you have to trust us on this one…this is TRULY the best chocolate cupcake.

If you’d like to make a 100% from-scratch, homemade chocolate cupcake instead, I suggest using my homemade chocolate cupcake recipe.

Today’s semi-homemade cupcakes incredibly moist, rich, and so incredibly chocolatey.

But there’s a little secret behind using the cake mix.  You have to forget all of the ingredients that the back of the box calls for.  Instead, add a small box of Jello Chocolate Fudge instant pudding mix, 4 eggs, some vegetable oil, milk and sour cream. That’s it!

This magic combination produces the chocolatiest, most decadent chocolate cake and cupcake I’ve ever tasted.  Every rich, fudgy and moist bite is to-die-for.

Now, many people do not think that boxed cake mixes produce “homemade tasting” cakes or cupcakes. And I agree — to an extent. By modifying the ingredients called for on the back of the box, you can truly create a “homemade” cake or cupcake while still having the convenience and ease of a boxed mix.

After one taste, my friend even said that this cupcake was the best cupcake she’s ever eaten!



Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Yield: 20-22 cupcakes

A shortcut chocolate cupcake recipe topped with creamy salted caramel frosting.



  • 1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1 small box Jello Chocolate Fudge instant pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream (or low fat Greek or regular yogurt)

Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 20 pretzel twists, optional


Start with the frosting: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add salt. Allow to bubble for exactly 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency.

Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cupcake pans with liners. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand held electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, milk and sour cream. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Scoop the batter evenly into cupcake liners. I got 20 cupcakes using 1/4 cup measuring cup to spoon into the liners.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let cool. Once fully cooled, frost cupcakes with salted caramel frosting and garnish with a pretzel twist.

Cupcakes stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for 5 days.

Additional Notes:

*I saved a bit of salted caramel to drizzle over cupcakes.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


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121 Responses to “Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting.”

  1. #
    Jenniferposted October 31, 2014 at 9:46 am

    How many cupcakes does this recipe make?


  2. #
    Leslieposted November 27, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Hi sally! I wanna make these cupcakes right now but I don’t have any heavy cream for the frosting with me. What can I substitute it with?


  3. #
    Amberposted January 17, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I made these and they are to die for! Thank you for sharing!


  4. #
    Samanthaposted January 23, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I made these. They are so yummy and fantastic! I didn’t have any pretzels, but I did melt some caramel and spread it out on a cookie sheet, broke it up when it was cooled and put that on top as a pretty in place of the pretzels. Big hit at my house!


    • soniareplied on February 19th, 2015 at 12:24 am

      did you use the caramel from the recipe for garnishing?? I’d like to try to do the same thing but I’ve never done it before. Thanks :)


  5. #
    Amyposted January 29, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Made these cupcakes tonight and they are excellent! I sprinkled maple syrup salt on top instead of using pretzels. I love trying out new cupcake recipes. Thank you! I will definitely be making these many times in the future!


  6. #
    Susanposted February 15, 2015 at 2:18 am

    Delicious! A requested remake (S–don’t double)


  7. #
    Abbyposted March 2, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    These cupcakes are soooo yummy! I got 24 very full cupcakes from this recipe. The caramel was so very easy to make. I saved about 1/2 a cup of it to drizzle on ice cream later this week so I did not add all of it to the frosting. I did add an extra stick of butter to the caramel after it had cooled with a little vanilla and a splash of cream and whipped it till it was light and fluffy then added the powdered sugar. I just wanted to make sure I was going to have plenty of fluffy frosting and it came out perfect. My family and friends will love these. Thank you for such a great recipe…every recipe I try of yours always comes out great!


  8. #
    Laura Mahoneyposted March 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    how would you recommend making this frosting if you already have homemade salted caramel on hand?


  9. #
    melissaposted March 26, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I made these and they were so amazing!!! I’m making them for my sons 2nd birthday party was just wondering if i can make the ice the night before and put in the fridge and frost the cupcakes a couple hours before? Also can i do that with the white wedding cupcake frosting too? Thank you



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