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?

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make! 

 

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

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

Ingredients:

Caramel Cupcakes

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200g) packed 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) packed 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.

Cupcake recipe adapted from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski.

Frosting recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction.

Recipe Notes:

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

Did you make a recipe?

Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.

© 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

 

 

 

361 comments

  1. Hi Sally, can I make the salted caranel frosting, the night before, and use it to frost late morning?

  2. Sorty Sally, you’ve already answered my question

  3. Sally can I make cream cheese caramel frosting for these!!??

  4. Hi there! These sound amazing, I’m thinking of making some for Thanksgiving. I have an egg allergy, would I be able to use an egg substitute in this recipe?

  5. I am actually a professional chef by trade but only bake as a hobby. I work for a restaurant group and have a bake-off coming up for the holidays. There is some stiff competition! Do you have a recipe that is hands-down the biggest crowd pleaser?? I am dying to win!

  6. Going to make it for Christmas,potluck party,at work,and Christmas dinner at home,I will tell you the results later.

  7. Every time I make these delicious cupcakes, the liners pull away from the cupcake! I am sad because they don’t look as good… Any idea as to why this is happening??

  8. I baked these today to test them before baking for my daughter’s birthday. I used a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons water) but otherwise followed the recipe. I needed to bake them about 4 minutes longer than the recipe called for. None of them rose very much and all sunk while cooling. I think it might be my baking powder. I will try these again (with new baking powder) because they are delicious and fluffy. I have not frosted them yet but they are quite sweet. I would also like to try making them into a cake vs, cupcakes. Will report back when I try again.

    • I baked these again as a 9 inch cake and wanted to report back. Again I subbed each egg for a flax egg. I was also armed with new baking powder. Unfortunately these cupcakes did not work out as a cake for me. It came together quite nicely, baked well but then broke into a bunch of pieces coming out of the pan. I baked it three times. Once I took it out of the pan after about 10-15 minutes. Once I waited until it was totally cooled and the third time it was warm, not hot but not totally cool. It just seemed like the cake could not hold together and that could be because of the eggs. On the plus side, these tasted great and would work, without eggs, as cupcakes, just not as a cake. I froze the pieces and am going to attempt cake pops. I hope it works! Any additional thoughts would be appreciated.

      • Made my broken cakes into cake pops with the addition of caramel frosting from another of Sally’s posts. I coated it with chocolate melts. I got about two dozen cake pops from one cake. They were a big hit and very tasty!

      • Thank you for sharing your experiences! The information was helpful to me!

  9. Hi!  I’m hoping to make these for a birthday coming up soon,  but I was wondering if the frosting was too thick to be piped? I always strive for that perfect swirl. 

  10. Hi Sally!

    Your recipes are my go to whenever I need something sweet, they are always beyond fabulous. I was wondering if you could recommend a filling to use if I was inclined to try to fill these.

    Thanks!

  11. Hi Sally! 

    I made the icing last night and it was totally spreadable, but I don’t need it until Wednesday so I popped it in the fridge. I’ve brought it to room temp, but it is no longer spreadable…it’s pretty much fudge! What should I do?

    • This sounds odd, but can you lightly warm it on the stove (on low heat) until spreadable? That should do the trick.

  12. Hi Sally,

    I have some inquires about the flour. If i use Self-raising flour, how much baking powder should i put in?

  13. Hi Sally – I was wondering if this recipe could be used to make a large layer cake? Would the recipe have to be adjusted or the cooking time altered a little? Thanks in advance

  14. Hi Sally, 

    This is my favourite Salted Caramel cupcake recipe. I used to make this as a cake and cupcakes and didn’t have a problem it came out absolutely delicious. However from recently the cupcakes have starting sinking in the middle. Could you please explain to me why and how I can make them not sink. It is quite frustrating as I didn’t have this problem before. 

  15. Hi Sally! I made your delicious salted caramel sauce a day ago and its in the fridge . I wanted to use it for a recipe . Will the frosting turn out fine if I added your caramel sauce and then the rest of the ingredients??

  16. I LOVE these cuppys and they’re definitely a crowd pleaser, but I’ve made them 4 times and EVERY time they majorly sink in the middle which makes them look terrible and I have to use extra icing to get them right. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?? Thanks!!!

  17. Hi, this looks like the most delicious caramel concoction I have come across in a long time! I want to try making this buttercream recipe for a cricket cake and wondered if the texture would hold well to pipe grass? I would appreciate any advice please and thank you x

  18. Will the cupcakes still taste good without the frosting? I’m making them for ils who arent frosting people 🙂

  19. This recipe looks amazing! Could I use half cake flour? Also could I make them a day ahead?

    • Wow!!! This is a great recipe! I did use half cake flour and they turned out perfect crumb. I answered my own question, and read further in your recipe that they will keep for a day. Thank you Sally! This will be one of my favorite sites.

  20. Hi Sally,

    Tried making this caramel frosting and it was a disaster. Followed the instructions and once I started beating powdered sugar into the caramel it turned into clumps and there was no way to fix it. Any suggestions?

  21. Hi! I tried your recipe. When I remove it to cool, the cupcake shrink. It detach from the cupcake holder. Any idea why? Did I over-beat it on the mixer or did I bake too long? It was still watery so I baked it for around 30 mins.

  22. Just made these for a work potluck tomorrow. OMG! 

  23. This is gonna sound stupid, but I’m from Russia and can’t really understand the “heavy cream” part haha 
    Is it like a 33% cream you buy that’s a thick consistency but still liquid or is it the kinda cream you add on top of a hot chocolate? I know that’s whipped cream, but Google tells me heavy cream can be also called whipped cream so i don’t know 

  24. I am going to try your recipe today, I just wanted to thank you for writing the equivalents in grams in your recipe, because I usually waste 20 minutes translating ounces to grams, etc. So, thank you very much!

  25. Hello I would like to know what I can substitute the heavy cream with? There is no such thing in Germany it seems. THANKS!

  26. Wow, just made these. Perk of being the chef tried one whilst waiting for them to cool! Absolutely divine. Thank you for an easy recipe and also measurements in gms as I do not understand cups.

  27. Hey Sally! I really want to make these for my friend’s birthday tomorrow, but I was wondering if I could use light brown sugar instead of dark. Would it make a huge difference? Thanks!

  28. I have made these twice and both times they fell in the middle. Why!

Leave a Reply

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