In case you missed my guest post over at The Thinking Closet I thought I would share it here too. Enjoy!
Lauren mentioned that she thought she had lots of readers that were busy moms and working professionals who enjoyed cooking, but might not have a lot of time to devote to the kitchen. I hear ya. I’m currently in graduate school and I really do feel like my time can be scarce. Buuuuuut, it is still fun to whip up something that will wow your friends and family. I therefore bring you today: Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes.
The combination of chocolate, caramel and salt is all the rage right now (and for good reason!), so I wanted to put together a recipe for you that looks impressive, but is not as time consuming as it appears.
To start, I want to talk about the chocolate cake recipe I suggest. It’s vegan. Wait—don’t stop reading. I know for many that might seem a bit strange, but hear me out. In my time as an undergrad I was in a community service group that was constantly having baking sales. Talk about work. However, I went to a very hippie school with lots of vegans and quickly learned that if I made a vegan chocolate cake, it was the first thing to sell out because it was the only option for some people. What I love about it is that the ingredients are always in my cupboard. It is the simplest chocolate cake you could make. But don’t worry, it’s still delicious. I chose to share it here because it’s not the sweetest cake, but very moist and pairs well with the indulgent frosting and caramel sauce. Plus, I like to think it’s a bit healthier. Vegan chocolate cake: totally worth your time. Read on to learn how to put it all together.
Vegan Chocolate Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Sift together all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, salt).
- Mix in another bowl all wet ingredients (oil, vinegar, water).
- Combine wet ingredients into dry bowl, mix until smooth.
- Bake cupcakes typical amount of time, about 12 minutes for mini-cupcakes
Salted Caramel Filling
Sauce and frosting slightly adapted from 6 Bittersweets.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3/4 tsp salt (table salt, sea salt, or fancy-pants fleur de sel will all work)
- Combine sugar, water and honey and stir on low heat until sugar dissolves.
- Put heat on medium and allow mixture to cook for about 10 minutes. The sauce will not turn caramel because honey was used instead of corn syrup.
- Take sauce off burner and add cream and immediately stir as it bubbles.
- Add butter and salt.
- Let cool to room temperature. Mixture will store well in fridge until needed.
Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 5 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Sift together dry ingredients (cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt.)
- Use an electric mixer to cream butter.
- Rotate between adding the wet and dry ingredients into mixer. For a thicker frosting add more powdered sugar, for a thinner frosting add more cream.
- Poke a hole in the middle of each cupcake. I used the wrong end of the spoon to create my indention in the cupcake.
- Spoon a small amount of caramel cream into each hole. You don’t need a lot of sauce, but will want to gauge the amount based on the size of the cupcake. The best way to figure out the ideal caramel sauce-to-cake ratio is to assemble cupcake and try it. Darn! Being a baker is such hard work.
- Frost cupcake.
- Sprinkle with just a touch of either table salt, sea salt, or fancy-pants fleur de sel.
- Double line cupcakes as an extra precaution since you are loading them with caramel sauce.
- If you are making mini cupcakes, you can double the cake batter recipe if you want to make sure to use all of the caramel sauce and frosting.
- These work well to make a day ahead of time, as the caramel flavor soaks into the cake. Yum.
- If you are making the cupcakes for the next day, wait to sprinkle them with salt until right before you serve them.
- If adding a caramel filling feels like too much work, drizzle a little sauce to the top of an already frosted cupcake. Anyone you serve this bite-sized decadence will still love you.
Music: Do you listen to the Raveonettes? I am in love with this Danish rock group at the moment. I’m pretty sure they meant for me to be the dancer in their music video, “She Owns the Streets“. My agent must have misplaced their request…..surely that’s what happened.