Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

A shortcut chocolate cupcake recipe topped with creamy salted caramel frosting.

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

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 on of the best frostings I’ve ever had.  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, so 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!

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

A shortcut chocolate cupcake recipe topped with creamy salted caramel frosting.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1 small box Jello Chocolate Fudge instant pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream (or low fat Greek or regular yogurt)

Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 20 pretzel twists, optional

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cupcake pans with liners. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cupcakes stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for 5 days.

Recipe Notes:

*I saved a bit of salted caramel to drizzle over cupcakes.

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© 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.

 

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153 comments

  1. Hi Sally, I’m from Vancouver Canada and we don’t get Jello Chocolate Fudge instant pudding mix here, just plain old Jello Chocolate pudding mix (no fudge). Will it still be ok to use this as a substitute?

    Also, you said to use a “small” box with no measurements. I checked Amazon.com for reference and the “small” size in Canada is 40g (1.4oz) and “small” on Amaxon is 3.9oz, which is 110g! That’s a pretty huge difference. So in your recipe, how many grams or ounce is the “small” Jello box?

    Thanks!

  2. Hi Sally. I made this recipe yesterday and the cake is incredible! It is so light and fluffy, very chocolatey and not overly sweet. Absolutely stunning. My frosting was a bit of a flop though and I don’t know what happened. It came out very crystalized, almost like an icing rather than a creamy frosting. The caramel sauce was spot on, so I think I made a mistake at the confectioner’s sugar stage. Any thoughts on what I could have done differently?

    Thanks for all of these great recipes! Your website is always my go-to.

  3. Hi, Sally! Is there anyway to add pudding mix to homemade chocolate cake mix (not box)? If so, how would the recipe change?

    Thank you!

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