chef tamara

August 7, 2009

Caramel Cupcakes w/Brown Sugar Frosting

Filed under: baking,cooking,cupcakes — chef tamara @ 6:38 PM

SUGAR SWEET SWEETNESS!!!! Holy Sucrose is the frosting on these sweet! But they’re pretty good and flavorful as well. I made these inspired by the recipe from the Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook so I can’t print it here, much less take credit for this as an original idea. But hey. Who cares. It’s CUPCAKE TIME!


Funny thing, when I lived in NYC, Buttercup was a block away from the restaurant I worked at and about 20 blocks from my apartment. Not a good idea to have that on my walks home from work. Let’s just say, been there and done that a few too many times. Loved it! Their traditional Banana Pudding rocked as did their German Chocolate and their Sour Cream Spice cupcakes. Anyone who knows me knows that German Chocolate cake is by far my favorite cake. Ever. Seriously. EVER!


The cake is basically a plain vanilla cake (butter, sugar, eggs, flour, leavener) which gets Caramel swirled into the recipe. Um, hello?! Knee-buckling deliciousness! This added so much flavor, moisture and richness to the cakes. On a side note: anyone else get as annoyed as I do when the cupcake liner folds up a bit? Argh! Yes, these are the things that keep me up at night. So sad.


Okay, moving on. So once baked if you’re awesome like me (never said I was humble) out come these golden brown orbs of of caramelly goodness. I’m guessing the caramel contributed to the sturdiness of each cupcake ’cause they were quite firm. But still soft and moist.

IMG_0829Seriously. Add a slab of butter and these are good by themselves. This cake recipe would work very well if you just wanted to throw a simple syrup on it, maybe with some Don Q rum mixed in, or a simple sugar glaze.


Raise your hand if you want some frosting. Raising both hands over here! So let’s make some Brown Sugar Caramel.IMG_0835

Well that looks quite brown and boring. Sure, it’s caramel. Sure, it’s sweet. Sure, it has awesome flavor. But BOOOORING looking. Unless you decide to start playing around with it. But who’s silly enough to just play with caramel? Or who’s silly enough to add a dab of caramel on top of a still warm cupcake and let it melt and eat it so fast you had no time to take a picture? Um. Not me! I would never do that. Ever.IMG_0844

Once cooled, you whip it up with some – are you sitting down – more sugar. Yes. Add some Powdered/10X sugar and continue to whip and add and whip and add until you like the consistency. Nice. Insulin shocked yet? You’ll be fine. After a week or two. Just kidding. It only takes three days to wake up from the sugar coma. Maybe four. Okay, five days TOPS!


Once you’ve whipped for a while you’ll see the color fades quite a lot and it gets quite thick. But no worries. If the consistency is too thick, just THIN it out with HEAVY CREAM. Get it? “Thin” it out with “Heavy Cream?” Anyone else amused by this other than me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? (RIP John Huges! You rocked!)

And MY OH MY! What a lovely white KitchenAid bowl I have in the picture above, right? Where does one get a beautiful white KitchenAid bowl like that?

IMG_0846Um… nowhere. Do they even exist? I’m just too lazy sometimes to use the big KitchenAid mixer so I use my handy dandy KitchenAid Hand Mixer more often than most. Easy to clean and works great for simple frostings. I do love my Kitchen Aid, which I lovingly refer to him as my Alien. Like from the movie Alien. Anyone else think it looks like the Alien from Alien or am I revealing WAY too much here? But yeah, the Alien, and the bowl, and the attachments are sometimes just too big for a bit of frosting. So use your hand mixer. They rock!


Still with me? Didn’t scare you away? Cool. These were interesting. Next time I will try something different with the Brown Sugar Caramel Frosting ’cause it’s a bit too cloyingly sweet for me. Definitely needed more Heavy Cream to thin it out and make it creamier and softer. But as is, they are fine. To some peeps, the sweeter and more sugar, the better. But in the ironies of the many ironies of my ironic life, I am so not a huge fan of overly sweet stuff. Go figure.


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