First off, these should be illegal and that’s saying something from me since I’m not the biggest fan of cupcakes in general. Don’t hate me but I’d rather eat a cookie or a piece of cake than have a cupcake. Most cupcakes have too much icing on them. In my opinion there should always be more cake to icing ratio and in all those fancy cupcake stores, the icing is usually twice as much as needed. It’s a cupcake not a cupicing.
So why did I make cupcakes? Someone asked me if I would and I said yes. When I asked what they wanted they asked if I could do a salted caramel and a strawberry. So there you have it :)
I already had a kick ass chocolate cake recipe and a vanilla cake recipe that I could rework into a strawberry.
First the Chocolate Salted Caramel cupcakes. These require three things, the cake, the icing and most importantly the caramel. Now you could make your own if you have the gift. I don’t so I use the salted caramel sauce from Trader Joes. You can eat this right out of the jar if you were so inclined. I was ;)
I then needed a really luscious icing recipe. I thought a cream cheese icing might work really well with the salted caramel. The icing should always balance out the cake not over power it.
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
- In bowl of stand mixer, combine dry ingredients.
- Add buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla slowly until just combined
- Slowly add coffee until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and fold to make sure all in incorporated.
- Scoop into regular cupcake pan. I use a standard icecream scoop to make all the cupcakes the same size.
- Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before removing to cool completely.
Salted Caramel Icing
- 1 cup softened unsalted butter
- 1 8oz package softened cream cheese
- 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce (I use Trader Joes)
- 6 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and cream cheese.
- Add the caramel sauce and vanilla until combined
- Mix in the 6 cups of sugar until the icing stands up on it’s own. The thing with using cream cheese, the icing is a lot softer than traditional butter cream.
Putting it together!
- Fit a piping bag with a large star tip (1M).
- Starting in the centre, pipe circles outward to create a rosette.
- Drizzle more salted caramel sauce over the icing.
- Sprinkle with Fleur-de-Sel and chocolate curls.
Next up in the Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes. I use actual fresh strawberries but add a small package of strawberry jello powder to really enhance the flavour. I got this idea from Sweetapolita. I also used fresh strawberry puree in the buttercream as well.
Fresh Strawberry Cake:
- 1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 (85 g) package strawberry flavored Jell-O
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- 3 cups unbleached flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup strawberry puree
- To make the puree, remove 1 cup of frozen strawberries and add to a blender. Let them sit out for about 5 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of apple juice and blend until no big frozen chunks are left. Put aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and jell-o until fluffy.
- Add eggs until combined.
- In one separate bowl, combine milk, vanilla and strawberry puree.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Alternate adding each bowl contents to butter mixture. Starting and finishing with dry ingredients.
- Scoop into prepared cupcake pan.
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool.
Fresh Strawberry Icing
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup Crisco shortening
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4-6 tbsps strawberry puree
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and Crisco until combined.
- Add the 4 cups confectioners sugar
- Add the milk, vanilla and strawberry puree. Whip until nice and fluffy but holds it shape.
- Pipe onto cupcakes using the 1M Wilton star tip. This time start at the outside and circle to center.
- I made small fondant strawberries and added them to each cupcake for a little accent.
Each of these recipes makes two dozen cupcakes. I only needed three dozen total, so the last dozen I froze and will use when I need a quick dessert.
So I hope you don’t hold it against me that I’m not a cupcake lover but I would totally make these again in a heartbeat!
Thanks for looking!