Salted Caramel Cupcakes

This week I’ve had some time off and one thing I decided I wanted to do was try baking a new flavour of cupcake. This is partly just so I can try something yummy but partly because I want to improve my baking in general; baking does not come as naturally to me as cooking on the hob does! I found some recipes for salted caramel cupcakes and decided that would be a tasty flavour so I merged what I found to make my own recipe; below is the recipe I followed and the results.

For the cakes:

  • 150g butter (softened)
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 150g self raising flour (I used gluten free)
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (if using gluten free flour)

Heat the oven to 160 degrees C (180 if not a fan oven). Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs, ensuring they don’t curdle. Finally, fold in the flour, baking powder, (xanthan gum) and vanilla essence until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the mixture into muffin cases in a muffin sized baking tin. Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins.

Remove the cakes from the oven when they are golden and springy to the touch, place on a rack to cool.

For the topping:

  • 50g butter (softened)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 3tsp caramel evaporated milk (I used the Carnation stuff in a tin)
  • Pinch sea salt flakes (generous pinch)
  • Chocolate sprinkles

Beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl with 2tsp boiling water until smooth (be careful, the sugar will go everywhere!). Then mix in the caramel and the salt. When the mixture is ready, pop it into a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cakes. My piping was a disaster; for the first time ever I tried to use a piping nozzle but the mixture just wasn’t coming out properly. It was only at the end that I realised why; the salt flakes had clogged it up. The best thing to do is either use a wide nozzle or just pipe directly from the bag.

Once you’ve done that, if you have any caramel left, pipe some of that on too. Finally, sprinkle on some of the chocolate sprinkles.

Ok, so yes mine looks a bit like it has a turd on the top but that’s because of the last minute, unrefined piping method I had to adopt! What did it taste like? In all honesty, it was a bit dry but I think that’s my fault and I did question it when I put them in the oven. As these are gluten free, they should have been runnier to start with.

The caramel topping is very sweet; ideally I should have used golden icing sugar but I couldn’t find any – I’m not sure if this is why. To me, it doesn’t have enough caramel flavour to it so I shall be looking at how to make my own caramel next time. However the saltiness has really come through; using flakes means it comes in hits rather than just being a general salty flavour. Highly recommended!

So, for a first attempt this wasn’t bad and 3 cakes later I can verify they are definitely edible! Just need to refine the recipe a bit more and really make it mine; if I achieve what I consider to be perfection, I’ll share that with you too!

Anyone come across any good looking cake recipes they’ve tried and loved recently? x