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 legit gold. 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, sooo 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!
Makes about 20-22 cupcakes.
- 1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
- 1 small box Jello Chocolate Fudge instant pudding mix
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup sour cream (or low fat Greek or regular yogurt)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
- 1 cup 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.
*I saved a bit of salted caramel to drizzle over cupcakes.
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PS- Cupcake fanatic? Me too!