Easy-Peasy Caramel Sauce:
12 T. butter
1 1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
3/4 c. light brown sugar
3x/4 c. whole milk (do not substitute)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and sugars together, stir in milk and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
12 T butter, room temp
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 t. vanilla
3/4 c. whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins.
In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar over medium speed for 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating until combined.
Add flour and milk, beating on low speed, until just combined - scraping sides of bowl when necessary.
Fill each liner about 3/4 full.
Bake for approx. 20 minutes
Transfer to wire rack and cool.
Delish Caramel Buttercream:
3/4 c. caramel sauce, completely cooled
3-4 c. powdered sugar, depending upon taste/preference
3 T butter, room temp.
1/2 c. shortening (Crisco)
2 T. milk
Course Sea Salt for topping
Combine powdered sugar, caramel sauce, butter and milk in mixing bowl. Add approx. 2 c. powdered sugar (1/2 c. at a time) beating slowly and then add the shortening. Add remaining powdered sugar (1/2 c. at a time), depending on your preference of sweetness.
Once cupcakes are cooled, pipe buttercream onto cupcakes, drizzle with the caramel sauce and sprinkle the course sea salt on top. Now ... go get yourself a cup of coffee, curl up and get comfy, because your world is about to fall away in one bite! Forget Calgone! This trip is much better :)
I made these cupcakes for my hubby's birthday ... he is a fanatic caramel lover! And, let me tell you ... these are now the requested cupcake for all birthdays - - why? Because they are INSANELY GOOD!
I searched and poured over the Internet to find this recipe and was lucky to find it here! I made a couple tweaks to the buttercream recipe, as I wanted a lighter and stiffer frosting to pipe. Also, I did not poke holes into the cupcakes and soak in the caramel sauce - - I tried it with one, and it was my opinion that the cupcake seemed too wet. Trust me ... there is a TON of flavor here and the cupcakes really do not need the extra sauce, as they are moist, crumbly and a knockout!
Note that you will have a good bit of caramel sauce left over. It's like the gift that keeps on giving :) Pour it over ice cream (which by the way ... Land O' Lakes makes the BEST Vanilla - it's like custard and only has 3.5 grams of fat in 1/2 cup!!) ... or dip apples for a semi-healthy after-school snack.
I ended up using most of the remaining sauce as a base for little apple tarts this Halloween. I peeled and diced up about 4-5 Granny Smith's and cooked them in the sauce. I then cut out circles of pie crust ... dolloped some caramel apples in the center and topped with another circle. Make sure to press a fork around the edges to seal. I brushed egg whites over top and baked at 350 until the crust became golden brown. Sprinkled with course sugar.
“The measuring and mixing always smoothed out her thinking processes - nothing was as calming as creaming butter - and when the kitchen was warm from the oven overheating and the smell of baking chocolate, she took final stock of where she'd been and where she was going. Everything was fine.”