Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes


Okay, so we all know that I am not a big coffee person.

Unless you consider a measly 1/4 cup of actual coffee combined with 3/4 cup of fat free milk and 1 gallon of coffee creamer a “coffee person.”

It was only until recently that I realized people only use like, maybe a Tablespoon of coffee creamer at a time. And that the nutritional facts on the back specify for “one teaspoon” which, if I may go off on a brief tangent, is completely ridiculous. Who eats or drinks one teaspoon of anything? No one, that’s who. Can we like, protest to increase nutritional stats to something more logical? Like 1 cup of coffee creamer per cup? Because hello, that seems more logical than using a teaspoon. If you’re only going to use a teaspoon of coffee creamer, why spend $4 on a bottle if you can barely taste it? UGH I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE WORLD SOMETIMES.

Okay. Mooooving on.

Anyways, since I have basically been drinking coffee creamer straight, I’ve been stocking up. And one of my fave flavors is Salted Caramel. It tastes like Starbucks but better because I know I did not need to sell my right lung to enjoy it. And things always taste better when all of your body parts are in tact, amiriteee?

cakesandcupcakescoverAnd then I got my Cakes & Cupcakes Special Edition Martha Stewart mag in the mail and spotted this gem on the cover: a Salted Chocolate-Caramel Cake, and in that second of spotting its lusciousness on the cover, I knew I was going to have it. Except for one minor problemo: I am awful at making cakes. Like, if my life depended on making a gorgeous layered cake, I would go down in the history books as “The Dead Girl Who Made The Ugliest Cake In The World.” It’d look so bad, Cakewrecks would shut down their site and be like, ‘nothing looks as bad compared to this hideous thing’ and feature my cake on the front page.

DSC_0508So because I didn’t want to eat some horribly lopsided, ugly duckling cake while staring at the picture of the most beautiful cake I’ve ever seen, I decided to go with a route I’m more familiar with: cupcakes. Hello, the cover of the mag does say “Cakes AND Cupcakes.” So I turned these babies into cupcakes.

DSC_0478AIf I may say, it was rather genius. Almost as genius as my protesting teaspoon-measurements.

DSC_0479AChocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes *inspired by Martha Stewart’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake in her Cakes & Cupcakes Special Edition magazine, in stores now 

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (Betty Crocker is what I used)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 & ½ cups buttermilk (or add a Tablespoon of vinegar to 1 & ½ cups regular milk, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 small box chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 1 jar caramel sundae sauce
  • Chocolate Caramel Frosting (recipe & ingredients follow)
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Hershey's Dark Chocolate & Caramel Bliss Candies, optional
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with about 18 paper liners; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, softened butter, eggs and buttermilk with a handheld electric mixer, beating until combined, about 2 mins. Stir in the pudding mix to blend.
  3. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about ⅔ full. Bake for approx. 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool for about 15 minutes.
  4. Using a toothpick, poke numerous holes over the tops of the par-cooled cupcakes. Immediately pour about a Tablespoon or so of caramel sundae sauce over the tops of the cupcakes. The sauce may sit on the top for awhile, but eventually it'll sink down into the cupcake. Alternatively, you could cut out the centers of each of the cupcakes and fill the cores with caramel sauce, but again, the cake will absorb the sauce. You can always cover the cored cupcake hole with frosting. Allow the cupcakes to finish cooling either way, and let the caramel set.
  5. To prepare the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened; ¼ cup cocoa; ¼ cup caramel coffee syrup (like Torani or Monin); and a teaspoon of vanilla extract until combined, about a minute. Gradually add in 4 cups powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until a light and fluffy frosting consistency is achieved.
  6. Place the frosting into a piping bag attached with an open star tip and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. Immediately sprinkle with coarse sea salt and adorn tops with a dark chocolate & caramel candy. Serve immediately, or store airtight in the fridge for up to 2 days.


DSC_0490AAI think the ratio of chocolate, caramel and salt was just perfect for these cupcakes. The salt isn’t too overwhelming– in fact, it totally balances out the overt sweetness in the chocolate & caramel frosting and makes for such a decadent bite. The cake itself is super moist (sorry for using that word, but it’s true!) and light, thanks to the use of buttermilk instead of water. And I love the hint of that sweet and salty caramel swirled through the batter. I found that a lot of the caramel sank to the bottom of the cupcake, creating that really nice bite at the end. You’ll super love these, I promise!!

Thanks again to Martha Stewart for giving me a copy of her Cakes & Cupcakes magazine to review! You must pick up an issue today — it’s seriously an awesome magazine to keep on hand for all-occasion cakes and cupcakes. Also, be sure to check out my Rainbow Chip Cookie Cake which was based off a fun, giant cookie cake in the magazine!!

Have a great day!

xo, Hayley

I was provided a free copy of the magazine to review. All opinions expressed are my own. 



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  1. Yummy pics! So much cuter (and easier) as cupcakes. Yum!!!

  2. My oh my, these cupcakes look so luscious. Just thinking about chocolate and salted caramel makes me drool!

  3. I haven’t stopped by in a while so when I saw you on triberr, I thought I should check in. You had a genius idea to adapt the recipe into cupcakes. And yes, food manufacturers are annoying with their serving sizes. They are counting on you taking a quick glance at the nutrition label, seeing only x amount of calories per serving and not looking to see that there are 520 servings in the container.

  4. Great idea to turn that intimidating, perfect tower of delicious cake into cupcakes. Cupcakes are more fun to make and eat anyway. I’m loving the frosting. Wish I could take a spoon right to it!!

  5. I always look at the fat and calories on something and think, “oh that’s not too bad!” then I see that I just ate 5 servings of it…and then it’s bad. Fail! These look seriously amazing! Especially that frosting!

  6. I am one big coffee person!!! I LOVE these cupcakes Hayley! It’s like they were meant for me! Caramel and coffee-beautiful! Nicely done!

  7. These look amazing Hayley and I totally know what you mean about the coffee. I’ll drink it, but it’s more milk and syrup than anything else! 🙂

  8. How fun! Love salted caramel and chocolate combo! These cupckaes look scrumptious, Hayley!

  9. Cakes=scary. I also am not a coffee lover! omg we’re so the same 😛

    And omg these cupcakes look diviiiiiine. So gooood

  10. Um, YUM! I just might have to get that book, now. 🙂 And, sometime can you teach me how to make the frosting pipe out so frilly? I use my star tip all the time, but just can’t get that ruffley look. I have the coarse salt in prep for some pretzel making…It just might get used for something like these cupcakes sooner, rather than later!

  11. I love that creamer too. Soooo good! These cupcakes are crazy! I don’t believe you can’t make a cake look pretty. Look how gorgeous these are!!
    That last picture is nuts….I want a bite bad! 🙂

  12. Mildred Dots says:

    A “serving” of coffee creamer is actually a tablespoon 😉

  13. Cake’s are a pain in the butt to make. Mine always turn out lopsided and waiting for the layers to be cool enough to frost is like watching paint dry! Which is why I love cupcakes. Although I can never get my frosting to look as pretty as yours. Any tips for a novice like me?

  14. These are so amazing Hayley! I love, love love that frosting. My mouth is watering!

  15. My two favorite flavors- perfect! And I have only had coffee maybe 3 times in my life and each time it was 75% chocolate & caramel creamer and 25% coffee lol

  16. Found these on Pinterest and OH MY WORD of course I repinned! Please come link them up on Pinteresting weekly blog hop!

  17. These cupcakes look sooo good, but I can’t help but be bothered by adding milk AND creamer to coffee? I’m a drink-it-black kind of girl and I might add the sliiiightest splash of creamer once in a while. Any more and it somehow tastes to me like nothing more than a glass of creamer.

  18. Love these flavors and love that you turned the cake into cupcakes! I’m can handle cupcakes!

  19. These look fantastic Hayley!

  20. Hayley they are gorgeous! I think cupcakes are cuter than cake anyways (hence why I avoid full sized cakes – they always end up looking so blah) and that sprinkle of sea salt takes these over the top 😀

  21. Oh my sweet stars and garters… Those look simply fantastic!

  22. that caramel gets me every-time! they look so good Halyey

  23. These turned out gorgeous, Hayley! I am totally into salted caramel right now. And chocolate. And pretty much THESE, right in my pie-hole.

  24. noyomoco says:

    These look amazing! I’m so not a coffee person. I tried so hard, but alas, it is not meant to be 🙂

  25. Oh yum these look like the perfect cupcakes, I love love the combination of chocolate and salted caramel!

  26. These are all my favorite flavors in one cupcake!

  27. That Salted Caramel creamer is my favorite. It’s in my fridge right now! What a great job on the cupcakes…I don’t believe your cake would look bad at all. You totally would rock it out and make it look amazing!

  28. Just found your blog through Pinterest- these cupcakes look great! I am searching for the perfect Fathers’ Day cupcakes for my chocoholic father in law and these are it!


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