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Before the Mellowing Year, Serial #3 and Caramel Cupcakes

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So did you ever get to pick your flavor of birthday cake? You know, like a yellow cake with chocolate frosting or a red velvet cake or an Italian cream cake.

Long time ago when I was still little (“Were you always that tall?” they asked. “Not when I was little,” he replied.) I would ask for devil’s food cake with a whipped white frosting–nice and messy and very sweet. More recently, I’ve been asking for Boston Cream Pie, which is really a cake in case you were beginning to think I was weird for asking for pie on my birthday.

Well, here at Reading and Recipes we get to pick our cake on our birthday. And (drum roll, please) since it is our THIRD birthday this week, we polled all the staff at R&R and (surprise, surprise) came up with a unanimous choice: Caramel Cupcakes!

Caramel is all the rage right now, and these cupcakes are double caramel–in the cake and in the frosting. And if you feel like it, pop one of those salted caramel bits on top of those cupcakes, making it a triple caramel treat in honor of our third birthday!

Because it’s great to be able to pick your birthday cake and have someone nice enough to actually make it for you. To all those birthday cake bakers out there–thanks!

caramel cake and buttercream

Caramel Cupcakes

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup buttermilk

For the frosting:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 7 paper liners, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, or about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla. Slowly stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt until almost completely mixed into the batter. Continue to slowly stir in the buttermilk, until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Be careful not to OVER MIX the cake batter.

Divide the batter between the 7 liners, filling each about 1/2 full. Bake the cupcakes in the center of your preheated oven for 22-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by melting the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to the butter, stirring constantly. Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in the salt. Allow the mixture to bubble for 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, beat in powdered sugar, 1 /2 cup at a time, using a handheld mixer. If the frosting is too thick, beat in 1 more tablespoon of cream. Frost the cooled cupcakes.

Makes 7 cupcakes.

caramel cupcakes

{Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction}

Before the Mellowing Year, Serial #3, audio © Jeffrey Anderson

Before the Mellowing Year, Serial #3, text © Jeffrey Anderson


About Elaine

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