I'm shocked that it took me so long to post this cupcake recipe. Two or three years ago when I was trying out new cupcake recipes from scratch like crazy, these were one of the most decadent and delicious recipes I tried. I snapped a few horrible pictures of them with the worst camera and lighting imaginable. I never got around to making them again, probably because just the memory of them caused me to gain two pounds! But, I always thought about how delicious they were and how if I had the occasion I'd get back to re-trying them. Luckily last week, I had that opportunity. I made them exactly as before, without changing a thing. The chocolate cupcake base is one that I've used multiple times in multiple recipes, and is always my go-to chocolate cupcake. The centers are filled with homemade caramel dredged Snickers pieces, and the top is frosted with a caramel buttercream, more Snickers, and more homemade caramel. These are to die for decadent, and they will not disappoint anyone!
Yield: 20 cupcakes
For the chocolate cupcakes:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup hot water
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
16 tbl (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream, at room temp
For the caramel filling:
8 tbl salted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 regular sized Snickers, cut into pieces
For the caramel buttercream:
16 tbl (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temp
1 lb powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup caramel sauce (recipe above)
1/3 cup heavy cream, at room temp
First, make the chocolate cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled. Mix in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.
Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the caramel filling: Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar begins to foam a bit. It will look and smell like it’s on the verge of burning, and it will turn a caramel color. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the heavy cream. Stir until the sauce is smooth (you may need to return it to the heat to smooth it out), then mix in the vanilla. Let cool.
Reserve enough Snickers pieces to garnish the cupcakes. Mix the remaining amount with 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce. This will be the filling. Set aside while you make the buttercream.
To make the caramel buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time on low speed, and beat until incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and caramel sauce and beat to combine. Slowly stream in the heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy.
To assemble: cut a small cone out of the center of each cupcake and reserve for another use (i.e. cake pops). Fill each hole with the caramel-snickers filling. Use a pastry bag to pipe a mound of caramel buttercream onto each cupcake. Top with reserved Snickers pieces. Put the leftover caramel sauce is a small zip-loc bag and snip the tip. Drizzle each cupcake with caramel sauce.
recipes from Annie's Eats who got them from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz, and My Baking Addiction.
P.S. Look at how different this picture is! This is from 2 years ago.