Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I'm back with a recipe post today; one that I'm sure a lot of people will love.
I know for a fact that these salted caramel cupcakes went down a treat with my family and friends, and hopefully they will with yours too!
Salted caramel - it sounds so wrong on paper.. but once you've tasted it, the antithetical flavour combination of the sweet caramel and the savoury sea salt unite to create my idea of edible harmony.
Relatively simple to make, pretty to look at and most importantly, completely moreish.

Light and flavoursome chocolate sponge topped with creamy caramel buttercream and a trickle of rich, salted caramel sauce.
Oh and let's not forget my favourite bit.
The salted caramel surprise you'll find filling the centre of the cupcakes once you take an indulgent bite.
Gluttony at its very best.
Just look at that caramel drizzle oozing down the buttercream.. you know you have to give the recipe a go!
They're irresistible.


For the sponge:
70g unsalted butter, at room temperate
250g caster sugar
170g plain flour, sifted
50g cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200ml milk
2 large eggs

For the salted caramel sauce:
75g unsalted butter
50g soft light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
125ml double cream
1 tsp good quality sea salt (or to taste)

For the buttercream icing:
650g icing sugar, sifted
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60ml milk
3-4 tbsp salted caramel sauce, as above
Pinch of good quality sea salt


For the sponge:
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.
To make the batter, begin by creaming the butter and sugar together in a freestanding electric mixer until light and fluffy. Then add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, beating until combined.
At this point, the mixture will be quite dry and crumbly so add in the eggs one at a time, beating on a medium speed. Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour the milk into the mixture, gradually increasing the speed until the batter is completely smooth and ready to put into the muffin cases.
Evenly distribute the batter between the cases and pop in the oven for approximately 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Then leave to cool completely before icing.

For the caramel sauce:
Whilst the cupcakes are cooking, place the butter, sugars and syrup in a small saucepan and melt on a low heat until combined. Once the mixture has been simmering for a few minutes, add the cream and sea salt. Swirl and stir the ingredients together, leaving to simmer for a couple more minutes until it forms the desired consistency.
Pour into a dish, ready for later.

For the buttercream:
Beat the butter in an electric mixer until light and creamy. Next, add the sugar gradually, ensuring that the mixer is on a very low speed.
Once the butter and sugar are completely combined, slowly add the milk to increase the creaminess of the icing, followed by the caramel sauce (feel free to be liberal with the amount you add!)
Then add a pinch of sea salt and beat the buttercream on a medium speed until it becomes light and fluffy.

To assemble:
Using a knife, cut out a circular disc from the centre of each cupcake about 1.5cm deep. Fill each hole with about a teaspoon of the caramel sauce and then replace the circular pieces of sponge.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle with the buttercream and pipe a large swirl on the top of each cupcake. Then for a pretty finishing touch, add a drizzle of salted caramel sauce over the top of the icing and any other decorations you fancy!

Now it's time for the best bit.. devouring every last morsel!


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