Chocolate, salted caramel, and cream cheese frosting.
It's anything I could ever want in a cupcake.Now, before you say, "Branflake! That is way too sweet!"
I'll tell you it actually wasn't. I don't like overly sweet things and I love these.
But don't get me wrong, they're sinful as all heck with a dash of absolute gluttony. I mean, not only is there salted caramel on top, but it's also injected in the center like a bit of black market crack.
But that's just how I roll when I want to make my friends happy.
That's just how I roll.
Use a cake recipe you trust. I love the Perfectly Chocolate Cake from Hershey's. For those who get anxious about making cake from scratch, I love Pillsbury Devil's Food because it's not as sweet as the usual chocolate cake mixes on the market.
Use them. Just use them and make your life easier.
Bags and Tips
An piping bag for the icing and a medium sized tip. Another piping bag for the caramel filling and a small tip. I don't have either, so I just use a resealable plastic sandwich bag and cut the tip according to the size I needed.
Salted Caramel from Trader Joe's.
You could probably make your own. I don't know how nor can I vouch for good recipes out there. But their's is amazing, so that's that.
Fun chocolate shavings or sprinkles.
I've made my own before by getting a vegetable peeler and going to town on a block of chocolate. But I had these shavings left over from a Starbucks gift box and they are just so purdy, I couldn't resist.
Cream cheese frosting:
1 8 oz block of cream cheese. softened.
2 sticks or 1 cup of butter, softened.
4 cups of powdered sugar. Sifted, if you want.
(I didn't, and I survived.)
1 tsp vanilla extract.
1/4 tsp salt.
Do not skip on the salt. It changes everything.
~Cream the butter and cream cheese until incorporated.
Beat in powdered sugar until soft peaks form.
(If you let it rest, the frosting will stiffen slightly. Don't add any more powdered sugar if it doesn't harden as much as you want. Just put it in the fridge and let it stiffen. Adding powdered sugar kills the creamy taste of the frosting.)
~Add in vanilla extract and salt.
~Beat until blended.
~Make your cupcakes according to directions and let cool.
~Cut 'x's into the top of each cupcake.
~Fill half the caramel jar into a piping bag and insert tip into the top of the 'x' on the cupcake.
~Press about a teaspoon of the caramel into the cupcake.
~It might overflow. If it does, don't freak out. It'll add to the deliciousness of it all.
~Fill your frosting bag half full and pipe a spiral of frosting on the cupcake, going from outside in.
(It takes some practice to get the pressure of your hand and speed of the spiral just right, but just do a few on a piece of paper as practice and you'll be fine.)
~Sprinkle those fun little sprinkles on!
~Get a fork and dip into the rest of the caramel.
~Drizzle a bit of it on top.
(This is the fun but potentially messy part. Seriously, have fun with it. Don't stress if it's not perfect. It's not supposed to be.)
I'm not gonna lie-
these are the best cupcakes I've ever had.
I'm a bragging? You betcha! Once you've made these, you will, too.