This post is dedicated to my sister. She is one of the sweetest people I know. She lives about 8 hours away from me, and I wish every day we lived closer and could see each other more often. She is the type of person that if someone put her in a clothes hamper when she was younger, and then sat on it and wouldn’t let her out, she would still like you. Not that I know anyone who would do that. She is also the type of person that if you told her, when she was tagging along with you and your best friend, she had to go to bed at 6:00 P.M., and if she did, she would find candy under her pillow in the morning, and then when you finally convinced her to do it, you tied her door shut with a rope – she wouldn’t hold it against you. Not that anyone would ever do that.
Sisters are amazing. Even though we live far away from each other, when we do get together, we’ll show up with exactly the same sweater on or the same shoes in a different color. Or if I go to her house, I’ll notice we have the same rug in our bathrooms. The other day she sent me an e-mail, knowing how much I like to bake, with a cupcake recipe she ran across that she thought I might like. It was almost exactly the same one I had already printed out that week and was going to try. So, this recipe is dedicated to her. The cupcakes were delicious. I just wish she could be here to have one with me. We could sit down with a cup of coffee and a cupcake, and reminisce, and I could apologize one more time for the hamper incident.
TRIPLE SALTED CARAMEL CUPCAKES
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 c plus 2 T packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 c plus 2 T buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. set aside.
- Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla. Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
Salted Caramel Filling:
- 1/2 c sugar
- 3 T salted butter, cubed
- 1/4 c plus 1 T heavy cream, at room temperature
- Melt the sugar over medium high heat in a large pot. Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 tsp. of caramel. Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside. Save any remaining filling for drizzling over cupcakes after frosted.
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
- 1/4 c granulated sugar
- 2 T water
- 1/4 c heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
- In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.
- In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium-high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens, refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
- Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting. Drizzle remaining caramel filling over frosting, if desired.
Recipe courtesy of http://www.sprinklebakes.com