The holidays are here, the holidays are here! Last week I tested out this chocolate cupcake recipe and it was extreme! The ultimate chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and salted caramel sauce is just crazy good. I can’t wait to make them again for the family gatherings to come. I’m so happy I tested this recipe because I learned so much. I’m going to share my whole debacle with you and give you the right tips to make it a success.
Let me say first, and foremost, patience is key. I haven’t baked in almost a year because of the issues with my hands and wrists. So, I think I lost sight of why I loved baking so much. What’s that? Putting love into what you are making. And, to do that, you need to take your time to enjoy the art of baking. What happened to my cupcakes, and why was it such a disaster? So many things, where do I start? I had to make the batter twice because my eggs started to scramble when I added them to the chocolate, my frosting started cracking and melted off the cupcakes, and I put them in the refrigerator so they hardened. I know, I know! What a mess! So, here are my key tips:
always preheat your oven, and note hot spots in your oven
make note of cooking temperature and time differences for high altitudes
allow noted ingredients to get to room temperature
sift dry ingredients, especially when making frosting
don’t over mix batter ingredients
refrigerate frosting if it becomes too soft after preparation
having an icing disaster (like me)? use an ice cream scoop for a different aesthetic
And, please feel free to share any baking tips in the comments section below. I love reading all your comments!
Recipe (adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 4 oz. milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- warm chocolate glaze (recipe below)
- cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
- salted caramel sauce (recipe below)
- caramels and chocolate bark for a decorative touch
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees & line 12-cup muffin pan with liners
- Simmer water in a sauce pan and place chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Warm chocolate over simmering water and add butter slowly. Stir over heat until smooth and then set aside to cool.
- Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda
- Combine sugar and melted chocolate mixture
- Slowly stir in eggs and vanilla to the sugar and chocolate mixture
- Then, combine chocolate sugar mixture with flour mixture. Be careful not to over mix.
- Fill cupcake 3/4 full and bake 20-25 minutes
- After baking, poke holes in cupcakes with a fork and dig a small hole in the middle. Pour warm chocolate glaze over the top of warm cupcakes. Let cool, and top with icing, salted caramel sauce, caramels, and chocolate bark.
Warm Chocolate Glaze
- In a saucepan combine 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, 8 oz, semisweet chocolate chips, 2 tbsp. unsalted cubed butter. Heat over medium heat until chocolate is smooth and starting to boil. Stir in a tbsp. or two of milk until sauce is thinned slightly, be careful not to make it too runny. Wait until glaze has cooled slightly, and then pour over and into cupcakes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- With an electric mixer beat two 8 oz. packages of cream cheese with 6 tbsp. of butter. Be sure that all ingredients are room temperature. Mix (slowly) until combined, then add in 1/2 – 1 tsp. vanilla (personal preference here) and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Make sure you sift all lumps out of the sugar before you add to cream cheese.
Salted Caramel Sauce
- Combine 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil (do not stir). Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Remove the sugar mixture from heat and whisk in 3/4 cup of heavy cream. Add this slowly and carefully. Stir in 3 1/2 tbsp. of unsalted butter and 1 tsp. of salt
- Allow to cool before serving
Luckily, I tried the cupcakes before they hardened in the refrigerator. The texture was amazing after cooling down slightly. When I added the chocolate glaze, whoa. Too good for words! I could have stopped there, but I wanted to dress it up with my favorite frosting. The salted caramel sauce was for Mike, my husband, he loves salted caramel anything. If you’re not in love with the idea of chocolate and cream cheese frosting, switch it up with a vanilla buttercream or classic chocolate ganache frosting. Another idea is to just finish the cupcakes by pouring the caramel sauce directly over the chocolate glaze. Which ever variation you go for, it’s going to be simply delicious.
Enjoy! Buen Provecho!