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

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes

Print Recipe

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


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


  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.

Additional 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.

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





324 Responses to “Salted Triple Caramel Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Mandyposted February 1, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Oh these look delicious! I can’t wait to give your recipe a go! x


  2. #
    Devikaposted February 10, 2015 at 2:24 am

    If I double the recipe, could I use it for a bundt cake? I really hope you do see this comment. 😀


    • Sallyreplied on February 10th, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      I’m sure you could yes– but I do not know the bake time.


  3. #
    Iviposted February 10, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    HI, Sally

    I have follow you from you beginning. My question to you is we latinos do not add salt to the caramel. Would it change the flavor to the frosting if I do not add the salt? I do not like the combination salt and caramel. I think the salt over power the flavor of the caramel.

    Thank you,


  4. #
    Sarahposted February 14, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Hey Sally,
    Made these today for VDay for the Husband (who is the harshest Salted Caramel ANYTHING critic around!) HE LOVED THEM! This is a recipe that will be a regular in our house! (well, okay, if I don’t want him getting diabetes, maybe not SO regularly! The man has zero self control around baked goods *lol*)
    So just wanted to stop by and let you know that! Love the blog, Love the recipes! (My boys thank you too! You’ve rekindled my baking addiction, and they’re reaping the rewards!)
    Thanks again! :) And Happy Valentine’s Day!


    • Sallyreplied on February 14th, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Thank you Sarah! So glad to read this. Happy Valentine’s Day!


  5. #
    Lanaposted February 14, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    just made these, and they were delicious! thank you so much for sharing an amazing recipe


  6. #
    Aliceposted February 15, 2015 at 1:54 am

    I just made these cupcakes tonight for Valentines dessert and they are so delicious! I couldn’t stop licking the batter! And the finished cupcakes were even more delicious! This is the second cupcake recipe I’ve tried from your website and you never disappoint! Thanks Sally for the great recipes and happy Valentines Day!


  7. #
    Martyposted February 19, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Hey Sally!

    The frosting turnes out like Some kind of really thick fudge with me (it was very good, but not frosting). I tried it twice! Any idea on What went wrong?


    • Sallyreplied on February 20th, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Nothing went wrong– the frosting is supposed to be super thick and fudge-like.


  8. #
    Jessicaposted March 13, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Hi Sally,

    I plan to make these for my sisters birthday in a few days. Just wondering why do you suggest to fill cupcakes 1/2 vs 3/4?


    • Sallyreplied on March 13th, 2015 at 8:27 am

      They rise quite tall.


  9. #
    Rachaelposted March 16, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Thank-you for an amazing recipe, I want to make theses for my friends b’day but her mums gluten free. Can I just sub with GF flour? I’m in Australia btw :-)


    • Sallyreplied on March 16th, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      I’m unsure– I’ve never tried it. I’m sure it should be fine.


  10. #
    Sarahposted March 18, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Can I substitute light brown or white sugar for the dark brown sugar in the caramel frosting? Also, would it be okay to pipe this frosting on to the cupcakes?


  11. #
    jessicaposted March 19, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Hi sally,

    I was wondering could I make the batter the night prior to save time to bake the next day? Also would piping the frosting be okay?


    • Sallyreplied on March 19th, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Because of the baking powder, the batter should be baked right away. You can prepare the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately the night before and then mix the batter and bake the cupcakes the next day. When you mix wet and dry ingredients, baking powder activates instantly.


  12. #
    Lauraposted March 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    These were hands down, the most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever made. They were so good and turned out so great.


  13. #
    Diposted March 27, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Wondered if these could be filled with something and if so what?


  14. #
    Kelseyposted April 18, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Would the frosting be too sweet? And anyone know where to get soft caramel candy in Singapore?


  15. #
    Tiffanieposted April 19, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Hi Sally,

    These are one of several of your cupcakes that I make, and I just love your flavors. I am having a consistent problem though- my cakes are not “dome-ing” (is that a word? If not, I am making it into cupcake vocab) as they should. I THOUGHT I was being super careful to not over mix, I cream my wet engredients thoroughly, I’ve tried whisking my eggs to no end, and still- no dome. So, I’ve neem wondering if it’s because I’m at a higher altitude? I live outside of Denver- so maybe I should add more flour? An extra egg? Help anyone!?


    • Sallyreplied on April 20th, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Is it only this recipe, Tiffanie? Or most all cupcakes? I have no experience baking at high altitude but have learned from study that it’s common for cakes and cupcakes to bake up flat high above sea level. Here is a handy chart that my readers at high altitude find helpful:


      • Tiffaniereplied on April 20th, 2015 at 7:26 pm

        Yes, it is most cakes except for chocolate cupcakes for some reason- usually my chocolate cakes dome just fine. Thank you for the website, I’m going to try it out and see if the high altitutude is my issue. :)

  16. #
    vinaposted April 21, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Hello Sally, thankyou for the recipe,
    I have a question, if i want to make it into mini cupcake, should i reduce the baking time? Thankyou!


    • Sallyreplied on April 22nd, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Yep! Around 11-13 minutes.


  17. #
    Dolaposted April 25, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Hi Sally….love your recipes.Can I use this recipe for butterscotch cake?Many thanks.


  18. #
    Hanaposted April 26, 2015 at 2:09 am

    hey, was wondering if there’s a substitute for the heavy cream that you use for the frosting?


  19. #
    Kikiposted May 10, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    What is the consistency of the caramel supposed to look like after bubbling for 3 minutes before putting the powdered sugar in?


  20. #
    Marenposted May 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Oh my word. I just finished baking these for the first time and these are the best cupcakes I have ever tasted. While waiting for the caramel sauce to thicken I could not stop licking the spoon. My husband said the cupcakes are “selling quality”. I used dark brown sugar from palm instead of regular dark brown. The insides were delicious on their own due to the sugar that caramelized. What a treat! Thank you for a fabulous recipe!


    • Sallyreplied on May 12th, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      What a compliment! :)


  21. #
    happywhenieatgoodfoodposted May 14, 2015 at 11:15 am




  22. #
    meganposted May 19, 2015 at 5:49 am

    hi1 will the cupcakes turn out the same if i use light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar? 


  23. #
    Tiffanyposted June 11, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Hi Just wondering if you have made these with Gluten free flour before??? I love the sound of these but my family is celiac. Thanks


    • Sallyreplied on June 12th, 2015 at 9:37 am

      I have not personally tried it. If you have a GF flour that you love, give it a try!


  24. #
    Jaliahposted July 4, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Hi there! Just wondering, u indicated 1 and 1/2 cup, 190g. Shouldnt it be 300g instead? 


    • Sallyreplied on July 4th, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Hi Jaliah! 1 and 1/2 cups of flour weighs around 190g.


  25. #
    Maeposted July 14, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Hi, quick question: if I wanted a thick caramel sauce (one that can be poured over cakes), can I still use your frosting recipe and just stop right before adding the powdered sugar?
    Thanks so much!


  26. #
    Kaitlin Homerposted July 26, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I just made these cupcakes last night for my family. The cake was DELICIOUS- overall very fluffy and flavored just like caramel. However, I was not as impressed with the frosting. It was extremely sweet and overpowered the entire cupcake. If you are planning on making these cupcakes, make sure you have a huge sweet tooth or you will not be able to finish them):


  27. #
    Marianneposted September 13, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Hi Sally, 

    These cupcakes are the best I have ever made. Perfection! Thank you so much. Your blog is a life saver. 
    Just wanted to check if this recipe can be used for a layer cake? 


    • Mariannereplied on September 13th, 2015 at 10:45 am

      Oops sorry for the double post didn’t know that the first one went through! 


    • Sallyreplied on September 13th, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Marianne, so happy you love these salted caramel cupcakes. For a layer cake, I would make two batches of the batter (instead of doubling) for the cake layers. There will quite a lot of batter. Maybe three layers worth. I’m unsure of the exact bake time.


  28. #
    Kylieposted September 14, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Made these today for the new boyfriend to bring to work tomrw. He is in love with me and my cooking and baking so thanks for helping me win over this amazing man with food! Ive made him 3 recipes from your site


  29. #
    Annuposted September 19, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Hi Sally

    Thanks for the recipe. Tried making these today but unfortunately they are way too sweet to my liking, even my kids thought so. Even added extra salt but it didn’t help. If I make them again I will definitely reduce the amount of sugar. Great recipe though


  30. #
    Cintia lantonposted September 21, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    I’m making these for a friend’s birthday party. How many cupcakes should this recipe yield? 


  31. #
    MARIA JOANNOUposted October 15, 2015 at 7:35 am

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


  32. #
    MARIA JOANNOUposted October 15, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Sorty Sally, you’ve already answered my question


  33. #
    Jamieposted October 31, 2015 at 6:11 pm

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


  34. #
    Caraposted November 7, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    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?


Leave a Comment