I have no words.
I lied, I have a few. This cupcake is divine. Like everyone stops talking for 5 minutes to eat the thing because it’s so freaking good. Salted caramel should make an honest woman out of chocolate and marry her already, because they made the most beautiful baby in the form of this cupcake. Did I just cross the line? Nope, I think I’m pretty much spot on.
The frosting is really labor of love here, but so SO worth it. I’ve never tasted a better chocolate frosting, and believe me, I’m a connoisseur. It’s rich, thick, and just the perfect amount of sweet. There’s even Greek yogurt in it, so it also has protein! Healthy! Yes!
The rest is wicked easy. The cake recipe, from the amazing Flour Bakery in Boston, is just ingredients dumped in to one bowl, no mixer required. The caramel can be bought at the store for super cheap, or homemade if you’re feeling ambitious (note: on this particular day, I was not). Don’t let the amount of time the recipe calls for deter you; most of it is waiting around for the heavenly frosting to set.
Do you want to make a room go silent, like, in good way? In a great way? You know what to do…
Prep Time: 2 hours | Bake Time: 25-30 minutes | Cooling/Frosting: 30 minutes| Total time: 3 hours (mostly downtime)
Yield: 12 cupcakes
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (the higher the quality, the better!)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup water
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
Filling– 1 cup salted caramel (I used a pre-made variety from Trader Joe’s, but I’ve used this recipe before and it’s easy and delicious!)
- 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add in the sugar and cocoa powder and combine. In a measuring cup, whisk together in heavy cream, yogurt, vanilla and espresso power. Slowly add to the cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot (don’t let this boil, burnt frosting= gross). Remove from heat.
Sift confectioners sugar to remove any lumps, and add to the frosting mixture, whisking until smooth. Cool frosting at room temperature for about 2 hours, whisking every now and then.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a standard cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Add chopped chocolate and cocoa powder to a large bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, sugar and water together until butter is melted and sugar is somewhat dissolved. Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate and whisk together until the chocolate has melted and no lumps remain.
In a large measuring cup combine the milk, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Slowly add the liquid to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk to blend.
In a small bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this mixture to wet ingredients and mix until homogenous.
Distribute the batter evenly into each of the liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full. Place in oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes until centers are springy and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Immediately place the entire cupcake pan into the freezer for about 30 minutes (things just got weird, I know, but this keeps the cupcake super moist).
Remove the cupcakes from the freezer. Using a small knife or apple corer, cut out the center of each cupcake (cutting out a kind of cone shape from the middle works best- here’s how ) . Fill the hole with caramel, about 1 teaspoon per cupcake. Sprinkle each with sea salt. Fit a piping bag with desired tip and fill the bag with frosting (if you don’t have a piping bag, just throw frosting into a large ziplock and cut off small piece of the corner). Pipe frosting onto each cupcake and sprinkle a little more sea salt on to each for garnish. Admire you work for 0.001 seconds and then stuff your face.
Cupcake Recipe from the Flour Bakery cookbook
Frosting loosely adapted from Crazy for Crust.