Chocolate Cupcakes With Salted Caramel Buttercream

Chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream: the most moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes topped with a delicious silky salted caramel buttercream frosting these cupcakes will be a hit at your next party!

chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream

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About The Recipe

These outstanding chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream frosting are made up of, as the name suggests, two components: the chocolate cupcake and the salted caramel buttercream. The chocolate cake is an easy on-bowl recipe that makes the most moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes you’ll ever have! It also has coffee in it, which just makes the cupcake even more chocolatey!

The salted caramel buttercream is a less sweet version of an American Buttercream frosting, it’s made with less powdered sugar, and also has heavy cream which gets rid of most of the grittiness that American buttercream usually has. It’s flavored with my homemade salted caramel sauce, but you could also use a store-bought salted caramel sauce.

Why you should make these cupcakes?

  • They’re delicious! You can never go wrong with the combination of chocolate and caramel, they’re just two flavors that compliment each other so well!
  • It’s easy! When I say easy, I mean really easy! All you need is a bowl and a whisk for the cupcakes, and the buttercream also comes together in less than 20 minutes.
  • Fast: the recipe comes together in less than an hour, not including the time the cupcakes need to cool.
  • This recipe makes a batch of 24 cupcakes making it perfect for parties, picnics or just for your family!
  • Made with basic and easy to find ingredients.

What You Need To Make This Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need to make these chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream:

Chocolate Cupcakes

Flour: all you need is regular all-purpose flour, not cake flour, or self-rising flour or anything like that.

Granulated Sugar: this is for the chocolate cupcakes.

Vegetable oil: use a flavorless oil, like sunflower or canola oil.

Cocoa powder:  the better the quality the richer the flavor of chocolate will be in your cupcakes, so use a good quality cocoa powder.

Baking powder & Baking soda: these are the rising agents, so make sure they aren’t expired or the cupcakes may fail to rise.

Buttermilk: the acidity in the buttermilk reacts with the rising agents making the cupcakes super soft and fluffy! Make sure to use room temperature buttermilk. Don’t have buttermilk? No problem make it at home in 1 easy step!

Eggs: eggs are the binding agent it’s what gives cakes/cupcakes structure. Use room temperature eggs for the best results.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Butter: using softened butter is very important when making buttercream. It makes it so much easier to whip it up.

Powdered sugar: also know as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar, this is to sweeten the frosting.

Heavy cream: adding a bit of heavy cream to the buttercream makes it light and fluffy and also gets rid of the grittiness in the frosting. Make sure you heavy cream has a fat percentage of 35% or higher otherwise it will not work, and you’ll end up with a soupy buttercream!

Salted caramel sauce: I used my homemade salted caramel sauce, but you can also use a store-bought caramel sauce.

Salt: adding a bit of salt to the buttercream helps balance the overall sweetness of the frosting.

How To Make Chocolate Cupcakes With Salted Caramel Buttercream

Step 1: Preheat the oven, line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake liner and set aside. Make the chocolate cupcake batter, combine the wet ingredients in a large bowl.

Step 2: Sift in the dry ingredients, then add in the sugar. Whisk everything together until you have a smooth batter.

Step 3: Fill the cupcake liner with batter, 3/4 of the way up. Bake at  Bake at 180 °C / 350 °F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Once baked, let the cupcakes cool completely.

Step 4: While the cupcakes cool, make the salted caramel buttercream: In the bowl of you stand mixer, combine the softened butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream and salt. Beat on medium-high speed for a whole 10 minutes until the mixture turns pale and fluffy. Add in the salted caramel sauce and beat on low speed to combine.

Step 5: Pipe the buttercream onto the fully cooled chocolate cupcakes using whichever piping tip you’d like. I used a star tip. Drizzle with some more slated caramel sauce and enjoy!

Storing The Cupcakes

Store any leftover chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. It’s important to note that buttercream does start to melt at high temperatures, so if the climate where you live it quite hot, store the cupcakes in the fridge until you serve them.

Pro Tips

  • Baking time may vary: all ovens are different, your cupcakes might take a longer to fully bake, or it might bake faster. So it’s best to start checking on the cupcakes at 18 minutes.
  • If you have a convection oven (oven with a fan setting) I recommend reducing the temperature by 20 degrees
  • Measure the dry and wet ingredients properly. For the flour spoon it into a measuring cup and level it using the back of a spoon.
  • The chocolate cupcake batter will be a bit runny and this totally normal.
  • Use room temperature ingredients for both the chocolate cupcakes and the salted caramel buttercream frosting. This will give you the best results.
  • Using room temp. ingredients is especially important for the buttercream frosting, if your butter or heavy cream is too cold you’ll end up with grainy/curdled buttercream, and if it’s too warm/melted you’ll get soupy buttercream!
  • Make sure the salted caramel is also at room temperature before adding it to your buttercream.
  • You could make the buttercream one day ahead and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temp. before re-whipping it and then use it to frost your cupcakes!
  • Don’t skip the hot coffee, this is what brings out the rich flavor of chocolate in this cupcake recipe, many recipes just use hot water but coffee really enhances the intensity of chocolate, if that makes sense!
  • Don’t have piping bags or piping tips? No problem, just use a zip lock bag, or just smother it onto the cupcakes!

FAQ’s

How to make buttermilk at home?

It’s super easy, just add 1 tablespoon of vinegar for every 1 cup of milk. Let it sit for a few minutes and it’s ready to use! Since this recipe calls for 3/4 of a cup of buttermilk, add a little bit less than a tablespoon of vinegar.

Can I make the salted caramel frosting ahead of time?

Although I recommend making it fresh, you could get away with making it the day before. Just make your frosting, transfer it to an air-tight container then store that in the refrigerator. The next day, take it out of the fridge at least an hour before hand to bring the frosting back to room temp. Then re-whip it for 5-6 minutes to make it nice and fuffy!

Why does my buttercream have so many air bubbles in it?

This is probably because you beat it on high speed after it had already been creamed with the powdered sugar. This has a very easy fix, use a spatula to mix the buttercream until all the air bubbles disappear and you’re left with smooth buttercream.

Why does my buttercream look grainy/curdled?

This happens because the butter or the heavy cream is too cold. Bring the buttercream to room temperature then whip it up again until you have a silky smooth buttercream frosting!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

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Recipe Card

Chocolate Cupcakes With Salted Caramel Buttercream

Chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream: the most moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes topped with a delicious silky salted caramel buttercream frosting these cupcakes will be a hit at your next party!

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Total Time: 45 min

Course: Dessert

Servings: 24 cupcakes

Calories: 203kcal

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Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temp.
  • 2 large eggs, room temp.
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup warm coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (180g)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (50g)
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (250g)

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (170g)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (185g)
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temp.
  • 4 Tbsp salted caramel sauce

Instructions

Make the chocolate cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F, line two cupcake trays with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a large combine the buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and warm coffee. Whisk until fully combined. ( 3/4 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/3 cup warm coffee)
  3. Sift in the all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add in the granulated sugar, then whisk all the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter, DO NOT overmix! ( 1 1/2- cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 Tbsp baking soda, 1 Tsp baking powder, 1/2 Tsp salt, 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar)
  4. Fill the cupcake liners with batter about 3/4 of the way up, then bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Once baked let the chocolate cupcakes cool completely.

Make the salted caramel buttercream frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (you could also use a hand mixer, it will take a bit longer though) add the softened butter, powdered sugar, salt, and heavy cream. Use the paddle attachment and beat on low speed for a minute until the ingredients are combined. (3/4 cup softened unsalted butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup heavy cream)
  2. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an entire 10 minutes, this is the key step to achieve a fluffy and creamy buttercream frosting. Scrape the sides of the bowl from time to time. The butter should have become pale and fluffy.
  3. After 10 minutes, add in the salted caramel sauce and beat on low speed for 2 more minutes. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag fitted with any piping tip you’d like, and frost the fully cooled chocolate cupcakes. (4 Tbsp salted caramel sauce)
  4. Drizzle on some more slated caramel sauce and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 203.88kcal

Total Fat: 10.29g

Carbs: 27.47g

Sugars: 20.02g

Protein: 2.05g

Sodium: 145.13mg

Fiber: 0.82g

** Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more. **

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