I'm no stranger to a good dessert so when I saw that this weeks Sunday Supper theme was a holiday dessert I got into the kitchen and started baking. I was lucky in that I had volunteered to make a desserts for a few kids at school who had learned their prime numbers to 100. The teacher had given then challenge and gave the students 3 weeks to study. In the end only 3 students knew their prime numbers so the teacher and I decided they deserved a treat.
When I think about cupcakes that both kids will love and that would be great for the holidays I immediately came up with chocolate. Kids love chocolate and people love chocolate at the holidays because they are stressed out and chocolate is comfort food. So I started with my basic chocolate cupcake recipe but I wanted to make it stand out.
That's when I thought about caramel together with the chocolate. One of my favorite pairings is chocolate and caramel. So instead of just making a salted caramel frosting, which I did do, I added some caramel notes to the cupcakes as well. In order to do this I used salted caramel creamer. That's right, I substituted part of the milk for the flavored creamer. Because the cupcakes are chocolate the caramel just had a faint note in the cupcakes which was perfect.
When it came time to decorate the cupcakes I went with a salted caramel buttercream. Again, I just used a simple buttercream recipe and then flavored it with caramel syrup. Once the cupcakes were frosted I drizzled caramel sauce on top.
Then, because I really wanted that salted flavor to come out with the sweetness, I added a pretzel on top. I thought it was the perfect thing to tie the cupcake and frosting together. Plus I knew the kids at school would get a kick out of having the pretzel on top of the cupcake and my family would think it made the cupcake really pretty at the holidays.
- 1 stick butter
- ½ c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 t. vanilla
- ½ c. caramel creamer
- ¼ c. milk
- 1¼ c. flour
- ⅓ c. cocoa powder
- 1½ t. baking powder
- 1 t. salt
- ½ c. butter
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 T. caramel sauce
- 2-3 c. powdered sugar
- 1 t. sea salt
- Caramel Syrup
- 12 pretzels
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake liners in 12 muffin cups.
- In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar. Cream until smooth.
- Stir in the eggs and mix well. Stir in the vanilla.
- In a small bowl combine the caramel creamer and milk. Set aside.
- In another small bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Stir in the milk and creamer mixture until smooth.
- Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Fill the cupcake liners ⅔ of the full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl combine the butter, vanilla, and caramel syrup for the frosting. Mix until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar a half cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Drizzle with caramel sauce and then top with a pretzel.