[Baking] Salted caramel chocolate cupcakes

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a recipe post!  But now that my kitchen is set up, I’m ready to jump back into cooking and baking.

I picked up a jar of Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce from Trader Joe’s.  I can’t resist salted caramel.

Trader “Jacques” Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce

For a few days I couldn’t figure out what to do with it.  We don’t usually keep ice cream in the freezer.  There were no apples or pears in the crisper.  And then it hit me: salted caramel chocolate cupcakes!

I’ve had Sprinkles’ version of salted caramel cupcake, and I must say that I wasn’t so impressed.  The salted caramel frosting was way too sweet – you could barely taste the sea salt.  Overall, it was too sweet due to the combination of the chocolate cupcake with caramel.  I thought I’d give myself the challenge of making a better version.

And so, I turn to my go-to cookbook (bakebook?) for desserts, Nick Malgieri’s The Modern Baker, a birthday present from my roommates in college.  I tinkered a bit with the recipe for “Incredibly Moist Chocolate Cupcakes” and whipped up a batch of heavy whipping cream with some of the Fleur de Sel caramel sauce.

The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri

The result?

Delicious, moist, fluffy cupcakes!  The flavors were nicely balanced between caramel and chocolate, salty and sweet.  I will definitely be making these again!


What you’ll need…

For the cupcakes (adapted from The Modern Baker):

  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 oz. unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (I used Trader Joe’s 82% Dark Chocolate bar)
  • 1/2 c. boiling water
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt

For the salted caramel topping:

  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 1/2 c. caramel sauce, with some extra for drizzling (I used Trader “Jacques” Fleur de Sel caramel sauce)
  • 1/4 c. powdered sugar (you may need to adjust the amount of sugar, depending on the sweetness of your caramel sauce)


For the cupcakes:

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and set to 350F.  Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and set aside.  Put the cut-up chocolate pieces in a large mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over it.  Let stand for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth.  Whisk in butter, then eggs, whisking until smooth after each addition.  Add in vanilla and yogurt and whisk until smooth.

Whisk in the flour/sugar mixture in three additions, making sure to whisk until smooth after each.

Divide the batter equally among the tins.  Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes, until they are well risen and a toothpick comes out clean.  They should feel firm when pressed in the center.

Cool in the pans on racks for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool completely on the racks before frosting.

For the whipped cream:

Pour the whipping cream into a mixing bowl, and using a hand- or stand-mixer, whip the cream until firm peaks.  (See this helpful tutorial from The Kitchn on whipping cream or egg whites.)

Using a spatula, fold in the caramel sauce and powdered sugar.  Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

Cover and chill cream in the refrigerator for at least one hour before decorating.


You can pretty much decorate the cupcakes however you want.  I normally use a pastry bag, but I was feeling lazy and just used an offset spatula to spread the cream on top of the cupcakes, then drizzled some more caramel sauce on top.

Brought these to a party, and my friend KT was kind enough to take a photo for me :)

Photo courtesy of KT

Are you a fan of savory-sweet combinations?  What is your favorite cupcake flavor?

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section!


  1. says

    =O this looks AMAZING. I love salted caramel, and general savory-sweet combinations. The best cupcake I’ve ever had was in Pittsburgh, where the peanut butter buttercream was salty, and the chocolate cupcake was slightly sweet. <3

    Funnily enough, I recently got to go to Sprinkles in Gerogetown DC. I will be posting about it soon enough, but I liked what I got there =) I think their dark chocolate cupcakes are reaaally good. I definitely want to visit Sprinkles again La Jolla =D?


Leave a Reply