Here are some common reactions to the salted butter caramel ice cream I’ve made for fellow friends:
Angela: Holy crap. What is this?
Jenny: It’s soo good!
Me: Holy mackerols
Stick: This is actually good!
So now that we’ve gotten the ice cream out of the way, it’s time to translate that flavor into a…
C u p c a k e !!!
My Secret Santa had surprised me with a Williams Sonoma Cupcakes book! I was so excited. There were some ridiculous sounding cupcakes in this book like
- Tres Leches
- Mexican Chocolate
And since I got myself that cupcake maker, I figured I’d be able to put the book to good use. But it wasn’t until many weeks later that I finally whipped out the mixer and fired up the machine.
Of course, with my luck this January, these cupcakes didn’t turn out right. It would figure that following two car accidents and a cracked window, some divine force would prevent these cupcakes from coming out right. Yes, my bathroom window cracked as I was lying in bed. I thought someone was coming to burglarize me. I mean seriously, look at my luck. AND THEN, I failed an exam. There world, I announced it- I failed.
Man, I feel better now. Whoo-sa.
Of course, all it takes is a piping bag and some deeelicious salted caramel frosting to amend things.
(Disclaimer: The following three paragraphs below were written in error. Refer to the recipe for more details.)
But to my defense, it wasn’t my fault. The recipe, listed on page 85 of Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski, forgot to list the milk in the recipe! I usually always prep everything by leaving all the ingredients on the kitchen counter. The page listed milk in the ingredients list. As I’m whipping out the batter, I clean up along the way, putting things back into the fridge. The batter finishes mixing and lo and behold.
Why is there a gallon of milk on my counter?!
They forgot to include the damn milk in the recipe!!!!
Anyway, I reckon that they meant to add it with the eggs. So these cupcakes, while delicious, didn’t last very well into the next day.
Then, to make it worse, their buttercream frosting totally didn’t come out right! This however, I think was my fault. So I went back to my fail-proof buttercream recipe I got from Magnolia. And viola! Beautifully piped cupcakes! What I like to do is sprinkle some Fleur de Sel onto the finished product. YUM!
Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Adapted from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski
(the amount of sugar listed in the original recipe is obscene)
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
- 2 large eggs (room temp)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Sea salt (preferably Fleur de Sel!)
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a standard 12 cup cupcake pan with liners.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat the sugars and butter using an electric mixer. You want them to be light and fluffy, which should take approximately 3 minutes if the mixer is on medium-high speed. Then, add in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Add in the flour mixture. Wait.
Crap, I just realized- they DID include the milk. I must have skipped it whilst I was en route to my batter making. My bad.
Anyway, add in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk in 2 additions. Beat on low speed until just combined and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Fill the prepared cupcake cups and bake for 20 or so minutes until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
Salted Caramel Buttercream
- 1 stick butter
- 3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Pinch of sea salt
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, cook the granulated sugar over medium high heat until it begins to melt. That’s right, you’re going to make CARAMEL! Making caramel is a fine art because while you want it to turn into an amber brown, you don’t want it to burn. However, you DO want a hint of that smokey flavor. In other words, burn a bit, but not too much.
Carefully pour the cream in, in a steady stream. The whole thing will bubble and sputter but no fear. Just keep stirring until completely smooth. Set aside to cool a bit.
Now onto the frosting part…
Using a mixer, cream the butter until fluffy and smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar half a cup at a time. You may not need all 4 cups. The sugar just helps the consistency of the buttercream. Then, when the consistency is the way you want it, add the pinch of sea salt and take a spoonful of the caramel (should be cool by now) and add it into the frosting in dallops. Gently swirl. Fill into piping back. For that swirly effect, just fold the caramel into the frosting once with a rubber spatula and then pipe. The piping tip will take care of the rest. Garnish with sea salt.
The caramel can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before using.