Monday, September 12, 2011

Caramel Cupcakes!

Ladies and gentlemen, this was to DIE for! A light yet moist cake, mellow frosting, and sweet caramel drizzle. I had a hankering to make a batch of my Italian Meringue Buttercream, which is odd because normally one would crave the cupcake and have to find a frosting to match. But since I am a little backwards, this fits me fine.

So a cupcake to shine with the light and not-too-sweet frosting was needed, and it had to be one that I had all the ingredients for already since I decided to bake at dinnertime.

Ahh, aren't cravings wonderful?

The cake:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp molasses
1 cup buttermilk (or soured milk, which is 1 cup milk with 1 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar added and let sit for a bit... and is what I used.)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour

Cream together the butter and the sugars. As in the orange dreamsicle cupcakes, be sure to cream thoroughly, at least 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating at least 30 seconds after each addition.

Here's where the recipe is different from what I usually do, but that's because we are adding oil. Mix in your molasses, buttermilk, oil and whole milk. Beat until combined. Mine looked rather curdly and seperated at this point but I tried not to worry too much.

In a seperate bowl, combine your dry ingredients. Dump that into your wet stuff and mix until it looks all creamy and cupcake-batter-y! Don't over beat, it comes together just fine.

Fill your cupcake papers between 1/2 to 2/3's full of batter and bake at 3 for about 20 minutes. Or until they look and smell done and a toothpick, or large skewer like I use, comes out clean.

To fill my cupcakes, I use a melon baller scooper thing from Pampered Chef. The medium size that works great for even round cookies. Two scoops seems to be about perfect for filling cupcakes or muffin tins. So long as I don't make them heaping scoops.

The Icing:

I just used the meringue buttercream from this post, minus the orange soda and sherbet.

The Drizzle:

A jar of caramel hot sauce from my fridge! I warmed it up and drizzled it over, but you could also use caramel sauce from a squeeze bottle or something so it doesn't melt the buttercream like mine did.

Then, if desired, finish it off with a VERY small sprinkling of sea salt. Just a little! It dissolves into the caramel and gives it a little bit of depth of flavor. Totally optional though, I just happen to be one of those people that have this in their cupboards. :-)

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