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


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


  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. 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





246 Responses to “Salted Triple Caramel Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Toriposted April 20, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Hi Sally,

    I love your blog. I am a big fan of baking and you seem to have all the flavour combinations I love!. I’ve just tried to make these cupcakes however the bubbled up over the edge of the cases and sank in the middle. I’m not sure what I’ve done wrong as i’m no stranger to cupcake making and also follow recipes to the tee. I’m thinking it’s possible that my cases were simply too small as there was a small amount of batter left, but I didn’t fill them more than 2/3 full. My eggs had only been out of the fridge about 10-15 mins, and the cream I used is called double cream here in Australia – I am sure it’s the same thing as we don’t have ‘heavy’ cream.Any suggestions as to what I did wrong?



    • Sallyreplied on April 21st, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Tori – Try to leave your eggs out for a little longer before beginning. Or you can leave them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes; that speeds up the process. Do you think you underbaked the cupcakes? That would explain the sinking issue. Do you have access to whole milk? Maybe you could try that option with your next batch. I also have a similar tasting cupcake that I just love. I created the recipe a little after this recipe was posted. You can try this one as well if you’d like (and still use the salted caramel frosting from here):


  2. #
    Selma Smithposted April 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Hey Sally, love your site! Just wondering how the baking times and would differ and if I should double the recipe to make a caramel layer cake with this recipe. Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m yearning to taste this frosting. Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on April 28th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Selma! I’m unsure of the bake time – I’ve never used this recipe to make a cake. I would definitely double the recipe, though, to make the layer cake.


  3. #
    Beth Shackelposted May 6, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Sally. I made these the other day without the frosting and they were delicious! Surprised they managed to last as long as they did without everyone eating them, to be honest! Great recipe which I will definitely be using in the future (including the frosting next time!). Thanks a lot! :)


    • Sallyreplied on May 6th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks Beth! Very happy you enjoyed these cupcakes so much. I need to make them again soon. The frosting is incredible! Enjoy.


  4. #
    Juliette Mposted May 27, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Hi! How long would the baking time be if I wanted to make mini cupcakes? thank you!!!!


  5. #
    Limertillyposted May 29, 2014 at 5:03 am

    These cupcakes are amazing – never worked with a batter that was quite so light and rewarding to work with. I baked the cakes last night and will frost them tonight, and in the meantime, my whole house is filled with a gorgeous toasty caramelly scent. Unfortunately (!) I dropped one of the cakes on the floor, so that was sacrificed to the cook. Delicious, and such a lovely soft crumb – I am really looking forward to getting my chops around a properly frosted cake.

    The only thing that set me back a bit was that I think a standard sized cupcake in America must be substantially different from the same in England – I wanted enough cakes to feed my office tomorrow, so I multiplied the recipe out to give myself enough batter for 18 cakes – have wound up with 24 cakes, the last 3 or 4 of which are mildly overfilled… I’m tempted to just make the standard amount of frosting rather than multiplying it out – will let you know how I get on!


  6. #
    Limertillyposted May 29, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    So it turns out that even if you increase the quantity of the cake mix by 50%, you really don’t need to up the quantity on the frosting. I didn’t, partly because I didn’t have enough dark brown sugar to give it an extra 50%, but I’m glad I didn’t. I have a tiny bit left, and I think my cakes are really well covered in frosting. I can’t wait to try them! Awesome recipe!


  7. #
    HavensBakesposted June 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Sally! I made these cupcakes yesterday for my best friend’s birthday, and they turned out perfectly! Her entire family loved them and couldn’t stop praising them, and she definitely enjoyed them herself! My favorite part was probably the caramel icing, you hit the caramel flavor spot on! Not to mention, it was so rich & decadent I couldn’t resist licking the bowl! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it was fantastic (and surprisingly easy to make!) and helped make a friend’s birthday one she’ll never forget! :)


  8. #
    Amy Sinnamonposted July 4, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I made your frosting last night and it was a HUGE hit! My friend loves Flipz pretzels so I made Guinness chocolate cupcakes, your frosting and decorated with Flipz. People kept asking if I had a bakery and telling me they would invest. One baker to another, the highest compliment I can give you about the frosting is that I had leftover and have eaten today for breakfast. I’m excited to check out your other recipes since this one was AMAZING!


  9. #
    Sharonposted July 13, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Hi there,

    I made these cupcakes for a work birthday. Everyone said they tasted really nice, however the icing was too loose to pipe. I used the higher amount of icing sugar too. Would you recommend placing the icing in the fridge for a while to stiffen before piping?

    Many thanks


    • Sallyreplied on July 13th, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Really? I usually have readers tell me it’s too thick to pipe. I find it too thick as well. I would recommend chilling the frosting, yes.


  10. #
    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!!! :)


  11. #
    Lisaposted July 25, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Sally, just wondering once frosting is on cupcake does it need to be refrigerated as it has cream in it?


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