Have you ever wondered about or wanted the recipe for that beauty in my header? Well here you go. I love this cupcake. A rich chocolate cake, vanilla bean salted caramel filling, and chocolate ganache frosting topped with sea salt. They are the most perfect, most rich cupcake ever. These will knock you off your feet. If I could marry a cupcake, I would be Mrs. Salted Caramel Cupcake thank you very much. The only wedding present we'd need would be a treadmill. And I would happily hop on one every day.

And it's not just me who loves these cupcakes. It's everyone except for those people who hate chocolate (I don't understand those people by the way). I've seen people devour these proudly, and I've seen people hide in corners lost in their own experience. I know that sounds super strange, but when you try one you will understand. These certainly make other desserts pale in comparison.

Since there's three parts to these cupcakes, I recommend making the caramel sauce a day before (or you can use something store bought). Then you can make the cupcakes and frosting the day of and assemble. They are definitely worth any time spent. Oh, and don't forget the sea salt at the end. If you skip that, it definitely won't be the same. The salt helps to temper the sweetness and provides the perfect balance of salty and sweet. Ahhh...and I'm going to go have another one. I've just convinced myself again. 
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
Makes 12 cupcakes
Print this recipe

*Note: If you're making these at high altitude, use 3 eggs instead of 2 and increase your oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the cupcakes:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs*
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

About 1 cup caramel sauce, divided

For the frosting:
8 oz good semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter

Sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
*High altitude: preheat to 375 degrees.*

For the cupcakes, in a medium bowl, combine the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot coffee. Let sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth. Set in the refrigerator to cool completely, about 15-20 minutes. Whisk in the oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla until blended. Add in the salt and baking soda and whisk until incorporated. Add in the sugar and bread flour and whisk until smooth. Divide the batter among 12 muffin cups in a muffin pan (about 1/4 cup of batter each). Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 17-19 minutes (*16-18 minutes for high altitude*). Cool cupcakes in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove to the counter and let cool completely.

While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, make the frosting. In a small saucepan, mix together the cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Heat over medium until sugar has dissolved and mixture is very hot. Pour over chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes, giving the chocolate time to melt. Stir until chocolate has melted, add the butter, and stir until melted. If the chocolate won't fully melt, you can heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Let the frosting sit for about 10-20 minutes, stirring periodically. It will firm up as it cools. If it hardens too much, simply reheat for about 10 seconds until it's spreadable again.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, core out some of the middle using an apple corer or a knife. Fill the space with the caramel sauce. Pipe the cooled frosting on top of the cupcakes and sprinkle with sea salt.

Chocolate cupcake recipe from America's Test Kitchen.
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01/20/2013 11:11pm

Oh. My. Word.

These are insane. Literally drooling over here.

Pinning these, and can't wait to make them!

02/01/2013 1:29pm

Ok, reporting back because I was true to my word and made these this morning. These are awesome. I used storebought caramel and mixed it with a pinch of fleur de sel before filling the cupcakes to turn it into salted caramel. I had to refrigerate the frosting to get it firm enough to pipe, but that may have just been impatience on my part! I always have trouble with chocolate cupcakes that sink in the middle, and these didn't at all. They held their shape beautifully, and are so moist. I'm bringing these to a get together at a friend's house tonight, and can't wait to share them! Thanks a bunch for the amazing recipe!

01/21/2013 8:39am

Ahhhh omg these cupcakes look SO AMAZING!!! Love em love em love em.

01/21/2013 8:41am

Um...wow. These look amazing. Fighting the urge to make them RIGHT NOW!

01/21/2013 9:12am

These sound like the perfect cupcakes!

01/21/2013 2:06pm

That deep dark chocolate color is outta this world, diggin it!

01/21/2013 3:37pm

i love the caramel surprise!

01/22/2013 7:12am

Hmmmm, the whole recipe took a wrong turn with the words, "the day before" . . . . Then I read you could just buy the Carmel sauce ;). Thanks for posting!!!

01/22/2013 9:27am

These look insanely decadent and totally amazing. I'm the huge chocolate lover in my family, and I would definitely be the one visibly in heaven while eating one of these cupcakes. And I believe I've tried the America's Test Kitchen recipe for the cupcake (base) - it's a winner for sure! I cannot wait to make these cupcakes and try them out!

01/23/2013 1:11pm

Wow these look ridiculously good! I really can't wait to try making these, salted caramel and chocolate is such a good combination.

01/31/2013 11:13pm

ohhhhh yummmmm...

02/01/2013 10:34am

I saw these on FB (Grocerize) and had to come over and get a closer look! I think I may have fainted from the lusciousness! LOL! Seriously, these are amazing....chocolate and caramel perfection! Thank you!!

02/06/2013 2:31pm

Is there anything we can relpace the coffee with that would still make this recipe work? i really want to make these for my sister's baby shower.

She Makes and Bakes
02/06/2013 3:14pm

The coffee just enhances the chocolate flavor and you can't taste it. You could use decaf coffee instead if you're worried about the caffeine in the coffee.

02/07/2013 5:36pm

Looks and sounds so yummy! Thanks for the recipe! :D I do have a question:

If I made the frosting the night before and stored it in the fridge, would I just need to heat it up a bit before piping it on or whip it up again? just curious. I wanted to avoid refrigerating the cupcakes (I'm afraid of drying them out), so I thought it best to frost right before I bring them somewhere.

She Makes and Bakes
02/07/2013 9:33pm

Yes, you could store the frosting in the fridge overnight and then heat it up briefly before piping it on the cupcakes. Chances are good that after heating it up you'll need to let it cool down before you can get it to a good piping consistency so plan ahead!

02/08/2013 3:35pm


02/09/2013 4:07am

The cupcakes look delicious! :)
I can't wait to make them but I'm not familiar with the cup as measuring unit.
Could someone tell me how much a cup is in ml or gram?

She Makes and Bakes
02/09/2013 3:02pm

You can find the conversions for bread flour here: http://allrecipes.com/howto/cup-to-gram-conversions/. Be sure to look at the bread flour and not the all-purpose one.

02/23/2013 3:40pm

These are the best cupcakes I have ever eaten - and I made them! I couldn't find any salty caramel sauce so made that myself too, another first. Thanks so much for sharing this amazing recipe!

03/09/2013 9:41pm

Hi I'm just wondering what is hot coffee?

She Makes and Bakes
03/11/2013 6:00pm

Hot coffee is coffee that's hot so that it can melt the chocolate. I'm not really sure how else to answer that question. Hope that helps!

03/20/2013 3:22pm

where can we find bread flour? or how is different from the all purpose flour

She Makes and Bakes
03/20/2013 10:23pm

You can find bread flour at any major grocery store in the flour aisle. It has a higher gluten content and provides a sturdier crumb (which is needed in a chocolate cupcake). Just look for bread flour.

03/20/2013 7:02pm

If I make these the night before, should I store them in the fridge or air-tight container? I am very excited to try them!!

She Makes and Bakes
03/20/2013 10:22pm

I would store them in an air tight container on the counter. Good luck!

Deborah Rusell
03/28/2013 7:45am

Have just made these but as I couldn't get any caramel I used Lemon Curd as the filling and they were delicious. Many thanks for the pin.

04/04/2013 1:23am

I tried the chocolate frosting and followed the recipe except that I omitted the sugar as I didn't want an overload of sweetness since my vanilla cupcakes + caramel filling are sweet already. Somehow I couldn't get the frosting to firm up enough for piping. I was still runny even though I left it to set overnight. I put in the fridge next day, took out to microwave a bit, it was still runny. I tried whipping it on high in my mixer for about 5 mins, I was still runny. I don't know why I can't get it to firm up like yours. Please help!

She Makes and Bakes
04/04/2013 9:19am

I've never tried it without the sugar so I can't really say why it won't firm up. Those two tablespoons of sugar might just do the magic trick. You could try it again with the sugar (it's not a sweet frosting at all) or you could try this recipe instead: http://www.shemakesandbakes.com/1/post/2013/02/the-best-chocolate-frosting.html

06/13/2013 3:56am

For me, I just couldn't resist sometimes that in my life I need to eat chocolates and other foods that would really make me fat. Honestly, My appetite is always the best and i am loving it.

06/13/2013 4:31pm

Are these a bitter cake or do they have a sweetness? I know the frosting is sweet and the filling is sweet but is the cake?

She Makes and Bakes
06/14/2013 8:03pm

The chocolate cake is sweet, too.

Priyanka Ashar
07/18/2013 9:37am

I am a vegan, we do not eat egg. Please could you suggest an alter ingredient.

She Makes and Bakes
07/19/2013 9:54am

I am not a vegan, so I'm not sure. I'm sure google would have some good solutions for you. Good luck!

07/25/2013 2:18am

yay.. I do really like chocolates. that;s the reason why i am really getting fat these days and i know that it's going to be what i always expected.

10/20/2013 6:27pm

Hi , the cupcakes look absolutely yum! What number nozzle did you use for your piping bag to get that lovely mini rise like frosting?

03/26/2014 3:19am

nice post thanks for sharing this


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