Salted Triple Caramel Cupcakes.

This recipe is the motherload of all that is salted caramel! Caramel cupcakes topped with salted caramel frosting and salted caramel candies.

These are the BEST cupcakes! Caramel cupcakes topped with salted caramel frosting and salted caramel candies. @sallybakeblog

If you like salted caramel, I can tell you three ways why you’re going to LOVE this cupcake.

(1) The cupcake itself is… wait for it… caramel flavored.  A brown sugar and caramel flavored cupcake to be exact.  (2) Swirled on top of the caramel cupcake is a thick layer of salted caramel frosting. (3) Adorning that luscious frosting is a petite salted caramel candy.  It’s a triple threat cupcake.

Sweet caramel cupcake, thick salted caramel frosting, adorable salted caramel candy.  My taste testers (hi Erin and Megan!) said these are the best cupcakes they have EVER eaten.  Hands down, they are my new favorite cupcake as well.

These are the BEST cupcakes! Caramel cupcakes topped with salted caramel frosting and salted caramel candies. @sallybakeblog

Let’s begin with the homemade cupcake.  The recipe yields 12 standard size cupcakes – just enough to share with friends, coworkers, or your family.  After saving a few cupcakes for myself and friends, I brought them into work and they were gone by 9:15am.  Breakfast of champions.

The ingredient list and baking method are both very simple. Forget the boxed mix and make a cupcake from scratch. There is nothing like a homemade cupcake and these are just as easy as a boxed mix, I promise.

Today’s cupcake is caramel/brown sugar flavored. The taste of butter is an essential piece to caramel flavor, which is why butter (and not oil) is used. The cupcakes are very soft and moist because I use brown sugar to sweeten them. Brown sugar lends a soft texture to baked goods. Make sure to use dark brown sugar in this cupcake recipe, which has more profound caramel and butterscotch undertones compared to light brown sugar.

These are the BEST cupcakes! Caramel cupcakes topped with salted caramel frosting and salted caramel candies. @sallybakeblog

The salted caramel frosting. Oh my goodness, this frosting is legendary.  It’s a bit thicker than the salted caramel frosting I’ve made before.  Today’s version tastes identical to salty caramel corn, but in creamy dreamy frosting form.

I followed my original salted caramel frosting recipe, but made a few simple changes. Melt butter, dark brown sugar, and heavy cream on the stove.  You are making homemade caramel in this step. Allow the caramel to bubble and boil. I kept the caramel sauce bubbling on the stove for 3 full minutes, as opposed to 1 minute in my original recipe. This extended period of time browned (but did not burn) the caramel.  Remove from heat and stir in salt.

Allow the caramel to cool completely at room temperature. Do NOT put caramel in the refrigerator to cool. My caramel took about 15 minutes to come to room temperature.  Once the caramel is no longer warm, beat in the powdered sugar with a hand mixer.

These are the BEST cupcakes! Caramel cupcakes topped with salted caramel frosting and salted caramel candies. @sallybakeblog

Once the cupcakes were cool, I swirled the frosting on top with a knife – rustic style! I gave my piping tips a break. The recipe makes enough frosting to really pile it on high. I had some extra frosting leftover that I used to frost leftover cookies. Extra frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Allow it to come to room temperature again before frosting anything.

The little caramel candies on top complete the whole cupcake “outfit.” I used store-bought soft caramel candies, cut them in half, dipped them in melted chocolate, and sprinkled them with course sea salt.   I ran out of time, so only some of them were dipped into chocolate.  If you don’t have time to dip caramels into chocolate, simply use store-bought caramels – or any caramel decoration of choice. Or leave out the topping completely!

I also used Rolo candies too. :)

These are the BEST cupcakes! Caramel cupcakes topped with salted caramel frosting and salted caramel candies. @sallybakeblog

The caramel/brown sugar flavored cupcakes are soft and tender, but sturdy enough to support the thick salted caramel frosting. I admit, I ate one even before I frosted them! A few hours after frosting the cupcakes, I found that the salted caramel frosting “set” and thickened/stiffened up even more, giving the frosting a candied-like coating. One bite of the cupcake leaves some serious teeth marks into the frosting.

There is SO much flavor into every bite. You’re getting salted caramel from every angle possible, making these cupcakes dangerously good.  Are you ready for this?

 

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Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Caramel cupcakes topped with salted caramel frosting and salted caramel candies.

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Caramel Cupcakes

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200g) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, must be at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk (or even buttermilk, do not use skim milk or 1% milk)

Thick Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115 grams) salted butter (or unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup (200 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cups (240-360 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • additional pinch of salt, as needed
  • salted caramel candies for decoration, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners, plus a second pan with only 2 liners. Fill empty cups halfway with water to prevent the pan from warping. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, beat the butter and sugars together at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until no flour remains, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Slowly stir in the milk. Do not overmix the batter.
  3. Fill each cupcake liner only 1/2 way full with batter. Bake cupcakes for 22-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool before frosting, about 1 hour.
  4. While the cupcakes are cooling, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted, add brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add salt. Allow to bubble for 3 full minutes, no more. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool, only about 15 minutes. Do not place in the refrigerator to cool. With a hand mixer at medium speed, beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency. Add a little heavy cream if you'd like the frosting a little creamier or thinner (I usually add 1-2 Tablespoons). Add more salt if the frosting tastes too sweet. Frost cooled cupcakes and adorn with salted caramel candies. Cupcakes stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature and 5 in the refrigerator.

*Extra frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Allow it to come to room temperature again before frosting anything.

Cupcake recipe adapted from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski.

Frosting recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction.

© 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.

 

Try my Apple Spice Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting next!

apple spice cupcakes with salted caramel frosting

 

 See more caramel recipes.

These are the BEST cupcakes! Caramel cupcakes topped with salted caramel frosting and salted caramel candies. @sallybakeblog

 

 

 

   

253 Responses to “Salted Triple Caramel Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    121
    Katieposted July 24, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I made these with Gluten free flour, and they were such a hit, I couldn’t believe it! Thanks!!! :)

    Reply

  2. #
    122
    Candiceposted August 4, 2014 at 12:36 am

    These were such a hit at the graduation party I did yesterday. This is probably the best frosting I have EVER tasted! I will definitely keep this one in my recipe book.

    Reply

  3. #
    123
    Moniqueposted August 5, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I absolutely loved this recipe, just the right amount of sweetness mixed in with the cake. This is definitely a keeper!

    Reply

  4. #
    124
    Baileyposted August 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    i tried 16 minutes and they turned out perfectly!

    Reply

  5. #
    125
    Baileyposted August 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    the cake is absolutely amazing! i cut the recipe in half, and then made them mini. I baked them for 16 minutes and it was perfect! The frosting, however did not work for me. i had a heck of a time with the caramel. i found the directions confusing, but then again it was my first time making caramel so that might be why. it was awfully hard and sticky, so there was no way i could’ve blended it with the powdered sugar. i really wished it worked out, it sounds so good!

    Reply

  6. #
    126
    Christina Leeposted August 12, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Hi, can I use normal fresh milk? Not skim or anything just those normal ones (:

    Reply

  7. #
    127
    Jennaposted September 5, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Hi Sally:

    I love these cupcakes so much! I just have one question:Can I substitute the caramel flavored cupcake for chocolate? And the caramel candy for Reese’s minis? I have to bake for a party and the birthday girl is allergic to caramel.Thanks!

    Jenna

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 5th, 2014 at 8:29 am

      How about any of my other cupcake recipes that are not flavored with caramel? A chocolate cupcake with reese’s pieces on top would be just fine though. Here are other recipes to browse if you would like other options: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/category/cupcakes/

      Reply

  8. #
    128
    Kestrelposted September 15, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    These cupcakes are perfect. I’m eating one right now! ( quality control & all that)
    The quantities listed are spit on, no tweaking required.
    Thank you so much. :)

    Reply

  9. #
    129
    Rachelposted September 20, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    So I made them, and they totally fell in the middle when i went to take them out of the oven… :( im not sure what i did wrong. Im at a higher of around 5,000 ft, not sure if that was the problem.

    Reply

    • alyxreplied on October 25th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      The cupcake falling happened to me too, and I’m wondering if the altitude has something to do with it. I lived at sea level for years, so I’m not sure if I need to be tweaking things for the difference. even though they fell, I was planning on filling the core anyways, so I just modified it. Minus that small problem, the taste was amazing!

      Reply

  10. #
    130
    Christineposted October 14, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Thanks for the recipe Sally! It turned out delicious. The caramel cupcake was great on its own already without the frosting! Great photos too I had trouble making the cupcakes look pretty in pics! (brown on brown is tough haha)

    Reply

  11. #
    131
    Lornaposted October 14, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Hi Sally. What kind of salt do you use? I generally use sea salt/himilayan salt. Are the measurements for sea salt or table salt? Really looking forward to trying these!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 14th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Hi Lorna! I use table salt for this specific recipe. Enjoy!

      Reply

  12. #
    132
    Noorposted October 20, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Hi. Can this frosting be used to ice a two layer chocolate cake? Will it be enough?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 20th, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      It won’t be enough – I suggest doubling the recipe.

      Reply

  13. #
    133
    Jennaposted October 20, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I made these cupcakes a few weeks ago. It was my first attempt ever at making cupcakes and icing. The cupcakes themselves came out a little too dense but I’m sure that I had mixed a little too much. The frosting, though. OMG.

    My MIL said the frosting was one of the best she’s ever tasted, and then recalled the only other one, from a store back in the 1980’s or something.

    She’s right. The frosting was amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 20th, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks for reporting back Jenna! I LOVE this frosting. I need to make it more often. Actually maybe not – I have the tendency to go totally overboard eating it.

      Reply

  14. #
    134
    Shilpaposted October 20, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Sally,
    If I want to make salted caramel sans brown sugar, could I do it with regular sugar + water + cream and salt? Or will it not be as tasty? We don’t have a steady stock of brown sugar available so I was wondering if another option was possible. Thank you!

    Reply

  15. #
    135
    Jullie Anne Corpuzposted October 27, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Hello! I’m a mom and a first time baker, I just want to ask can I use cake flour on your Caramel cupcake recipe? If that so, what is the measurement?? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 27th, 2014 at 8:14 am

      You can, yes. I would use 1 and 2/3 cup cake flour here.

      Reply

      • Jullie Anne Corpuzreplied on October 27th, 2014 at 10:58 am

        Oh! thanks a lot…

  16. #
    136
    Jennposted October 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I made these today for my friend Michelle’s birthday. She loves anything caramel! We taste tasted as I was making them. Right away she knew they were caramel! My cupcakes came out perfect! Cant wait to try the final product.

    Reply

  17. #
    137
    Ireneposted October 31, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Greetings from Malaysia :)

    Hi Sally..i’m a first time baker and would love to try this recipe..but i dont understand the first step about the second pan..line 2 and fill halfway with water..do you mind explaining this to me..thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 31st, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Irene, this recipe makes 14 cupcakes. So, you will need to bake in two batches since typical cupcake pans can only bake 12 at a time. In order to prevent your cupcake pan from warping, it is best to fill the empty cups with a little water.

      Reply

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