Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes (SCC) are everywhere and I decided to read up a bit and try it out. I was most inspired by Cupcake Royale in Settle, USA, and absolutely love their piping-bag-free frosting technique. For this cupcake, I used a combination of two recipes. Magnolia Bakery’s Chocolate cupcakes and a Salted Caramel Frosting recipe from Chow.com because it was the easiest and did not require eggs (I am all for low cost baking.) However, I did tweak the ingredients a bit as several were too expensive for me. Namely Buttermilk and Heavy Cream. Heavy Cream was way too costly for me and for the amounts I was using, it did not justify the price tag. Buttermilk is just a waste for money considering you can use milk and simply add lemon juice or white vinegar.
Also although I did use all the ingredients and amount set by Magnolia, I decided to try something new and used Billy Bakery’s one-bowl method. Watch the video on Martha Stewart and you will know what I mean. It is very different from Magnolia’s technique of first creaming the butter and sugar. What I like most about the Billy technique is that it minimized a lot of washing up for me to do. 🙂 Texture wise the Billy method was not as moist but no fear, the cake was still moist and tasty. The cake was similarly delicious. I loved how velvety and soft it was. And I will definitely use this method for my future cupcakes. Furthermore, I left in some burnt caramel for some bite to the frosting. A delightful treat.
Recipe after the jump as well as my thoughts and feelings.
Magnolia Bakery’s Chocolate Cupcakes
with Billy’s Bakery one-bowl method.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted (see Note)
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp white vinegar/ lemon juice. When added together, leave for it to curdle.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Note: To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for approximately 5–10 minutes. Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm 5–10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour. Then add cooled melted chocolate.
- In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
- Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Salted Caramel Buttercream
(enough to frost more than 24 cupcakes)
- Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
- Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.
- Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.