These are the most moist melt in your mouth caramel cupcakes. I made these for a friends birthday this weekend and they were very well received. The recipe was based off of Fine cooking caramel cupcakes. If you have cupcake lines you can use them. I have a silicone pan that I buttered very well. The cupcakes popped out very easily and did have a lovely golden brown color. I was not paying attention when I added the flour and added it all at once and then slowly poured the caramel in while the mixer was running. Everything did work out fine but it is always better to mix the dry and wet ingredients in stages which incorporating the batter better (Hmm this sounds like the tongue twister Betty Butter :-)).
I also reduced the amount of icing sugar because I thought the icing was a bit too sweet and preferred the stronger butterscotch flavor. You could top the cupcakes with anything that you want (nuts, butterscotch morsels etc). They also last a few days outside the refrigerator (if they last that long :-).
Makes 30 mini-muffins
For the Caramel
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
For the Butterscotch
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream (more if you need more)
- 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Cupcakes
- ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
Put the water in a small pot and set it to boil and let it continue to boil till you use it.
Put the sugar in a shallow saucepan over medium heat. Make sure your sugar is evenly spread over the pan. Once it starts melting swirl the pan gently and slowly to help the sugar melt. Once it gets to a slightly darker golden color take it off the heat.
Carefully pour the boiling water into the hot caramel. It will sputter. Put the pan back on the medium flame and stir with a wooden spoon until the caramel is fully dissolved. Pour this into a liquid measuring cup and make sure it comes up to a 1/3 cup. If you do not have enough, add just a little (less than a third of a cup) water to the same pan and boil (there is always caramel there that you can melt again). Add just enough of this liquid to the previously made caramel to bring it up to 1/3 cup. You can set this aside to cool completely.
In a heavy saucepan melt the butter and sugar (over low heat) stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. This may take a little while (2-3 minutes depending on how low your heat is set). Slowly add the cream while stirring. This will make the mixture sputter. Cook for about another 2 minutes until the mixture thickens and looks glossy. Take it off the heat and let it cool, stirring occasionally. After about 5 minutes add the sugar and vanilla and beat until the mixture is incorporated. If the frosting is too thick add a little more cream.
Preheat your oven to 350F. Sift the dry ingredients together. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating until they are fully incorporated. Make sure you scrape the sides of the mixer down to fully incorporate. Now add the dry ingredients in three batches alternating with the caramel. Mix gently until incorporated. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcakes tins. Fill only about 2/3 of the cups. Put the cupcakes into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are a very light brown. Take them out of the oven and let them cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Take them out of their molds. Spoon the butterscotch icing on top of each muffin. Create a swirl with the back of your spoon. Decorate anyway you like. I used dragees.