Okay, so I know I talk a lot about all the different desserts I love… but I have to say, these are by far the BEST dessert I have EVER made. The dark chocolate cupcake is super moist and filled with delicious salted caramel that just makes me want to drool. I am literally in love with this cupcake! If you don’t believe me, try it. I promise you won’t regret the decision.
I made these for a happy hour and people went nuts over them! I made them again for Halloween and I’m pretty sure I caught my husband eating 3 in one day (he refused to share the last one with me, too J). They are that good! I hope you enjoy them as much as I and my friends and family have, they are fabulous, decadent cupcakes!
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
From Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
Makes 12-18 cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cups + 3 Tablespoons cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon special dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup canola oil
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 1/8 cups warm coffee
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the cupcake pan with liners.
- Sift the 1 1/2c flour, 1 3/4c + 3T sugar, 1/2c+1T cocoa powder, 1 1/2t baking soda, and 3/4t salt into a large bowl. Stir to combine them well.
- Add the 3/4c oil and 3/4c sour cream and whisk to blend. Mix in the 1 1/8c coffee a ½ cup at a time. Blend in the 1 1/2T vinegar and 3/4t vanilla. Whisk in the 2 eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed.
- Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Allow time for cupcakes to cool before either preparing or freezing for later.
Sea Salt Caramel Frosting & Caramel Filling
Makes enough for 12 cupcakes
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 8 Tablespoons water
- 4 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1 cup cream
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2lb powdered sugar
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- Add the 8T water, 4t corn syrup, and the 1c granulated sugar together in a very small saucepan – DO NOT STIR. Why corn syrup AND granulated sugar, you ask? Because the corn syrup, while not strictly necessary to make homemade caramel, will help inhibit the creation of sugar crystals. Sugar wants to be in crystals, but we don’t want it to be for our caramel. Adding the corn syrup to the mix, even in such a small quantity, really makes this a pretty foolproof recipe.
- Bring the water and sugar mixture to a boil over medium heat, but still DO NOT STIR. Stirring also encourages crystallization. Cook until the water and sugar mixture caramelizes into the beautiful golden brown color in the photo just above. It happens quickly once the sugar starts browning, so don’t walk away from the stove during this step!
- Remove the caramelized sugar syrup from heat, and mix in the 1c cream. It mixes in more easily if the cream is at room temperature, but it can still work if you have cold cream–you just have to do it slowly, at least at first. Pour in just a tiny bit of the cream, a couple teaspoons worth, and mix that. Add just a splash more, mix that in. Our goal is to lower the temperature of the caramel, so that it doesn’t get a big cold shock when you pour in the cream and just sieze up. Continue mixing in the cream a bit by a bit, but you can start adding more and more as you go along.
- Mix in the 2t salt and the 2t vinegar. The acid is another optional ingredient–the caramel doesn’t need it in a chemical sense–but it does brighten the flavor and make it taste even more amazing. Stir to combine.
- Set the caramel aside to cool completely before moving on to making the icing. I’m not joking. COMPLETELY. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a soupy, melted buttery mess. Which, while I’m sure would be delicious, would not be particularly useful in spreading on cakes or cupcakes.
- Once the caramel sauce is completely cool, split the recipe in half (about 2/3 cup). Take ½ the caramel sauce and combine with the softened butter in a stand mixer.
- Add powdered sugar ½ cup or so at a time, allowing it to combine between additions. Add 1t vanilla and continue mixing.
- Beat until a smooth, glorious buttercream icing. If the icing is too stiff, add just a bit of milk, cream, or water (just a bit at a time) until the icing is the perfect consistency for your needs.
- The rest of the caramel sauce you will use to fill the cupcakes. Fill a squeeze bottle with the caramel sauce and press into cupcake, squeeze and pull the bottle up from the cupcake until you reach the top.
If you loved this recipe, make sure you check out my Caramel Apple Cupcakes with this Sea Salt Caramel Frosting!