I made my very first cupcake sale the other day! I was extremely excited, to say the least. Since I wanted to make sure I presented the most delicious and visually appealing cupcakes, I spent about six hours of my day baking all the cupcakes—everything from scratch, of course.
I decided to make a spice cupcake filled with homemade caramel sauce, piped with smooth caramel buttercream frosting and drizzled with golden caramel sauce. Is your mouth watering yet? I combined a few recipes, changed some ingredients and fudged a few things to make these cupcakes my own. The result: moist, delectable and irresistible cupcakes. I chose to make my blueberry lemon cupcakes again for the second batch, since I got such a great response last time I made them.
My dad took the leftovers to work and I couldn’t believe how much of a hit they were. He said people were fighting over the cupcakes and someone even put up a sign with an arrow leading to the desserts. I received two e-mails from his co-workers about the cakes. Let’s just say I was on cloud nine the other day and so happy that my cupcakes were a success!
Recipe (Makes 15 cupcakes):
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 stick salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plue 2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
Slightly less than 1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/8 tsp. all-spice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla. 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. Blend in all four spices (mix on low speed or with a wooden spoon).
Divide batter evenly among 15 lined cups. Fill liners halfway to three-quarters full. Bake for approximately 17 minutes, depending on the hotness of your oven. Remove cupcakes and let cool.
Caramel filling recipe:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp. salted butter, cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. heavy cream, at room temperature
Melt the sugar over medium-high heat in a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. You can shake the pot a few times to incorporate the sugar and water (so the sugar does not burn). Add the butter and stir until melted. Pour in heavy cream and quickly whisk until you get a smooth sauce. Be sure to use a whisk with a long handle so you do not burn your hand. Remove from heat and let cool.
Cut a small round pice out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour about 1 tsp. of caramel in the hole. Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside.
Caramel buttercream frosting recipe:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 sticks salted butter
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
In a small saucepan, stir together 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 add cream and vanilla. Whisk quickly and continuously to prevent caramel from hardening. Stir until smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes.
In a mixer, beat butter and salt until light and fluffy. Add confectioner’s sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down sides of bowl and add the cooled caramel sauce. Beat on medium-high speed until light and completely incorporated (about 2 minutes). Top cupcakes with frosting.