Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Prep Time: 1 hour | 30 min
Yield: 1 Dozen
  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1/4 C Oil
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 1/2 C AP Flour
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 C Buttermilk
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 1/4 C Caramel sauce (see below)
December 21, 2014


Salted caramel is a relatively new trend here in the United States, but is origin dates further back in France where pastry chefs began putting sea salt on butter caramels in the early 1900s.  The flavor combination took international flight when a French Chef, Pierre Herme, invented a sea salt macaron, and the craze hit New York, spreading quickly through food magazines and high status restaurants.

We’ve created a cupcake that combines the southern tradition of caramel cake with the fancy flavors of sea salt caramel.  First, we baked a moist yellow cake with caramel whipped into the batter, then we topped it with a light caramel frosting and lastly, drizzled with a salted caramel sauce.  We hope we did Chef Herme proud!



Cream the butter and sugar together.  As it is whipping, drizzle in the oil and beat until light and fluffy. Add the caramel sauce.  Add the eggs, one at a time and the vanilla and egg yolks.  Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.  Add the flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour.  Portion into baking cups and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, making sure not to over bake or the cake will become dry.


For Caramel:

2 cups sugar
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed & room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1 Tbsp fleur de sel


In a heavy sauce pot, heat the sugar until completely melted, then let it cook until it begins to turn an amber color.  When it had reach a dark amber, remove from heat and add the butter.  Once the butter is incorporated, add the heavy cream and sea salt and stir to combine.  Cool.

½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
5oz unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
? cup heavy cream
6oz cream cheese, softened
¼ tsp salt

1/2 t vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted


In another heavy sauce pot, heat the brown sugar and 2 oz of the butter until melted.  Boil for 30 seconds, then remove from heat and add the cream.  In a stand mixer, cream the rest of the butter and cream cheese.  Add the powdered sugar and salt.  As the mixer is running, add the brown sugar syrup in a slow steady stream until it is completely incorporated.



Cut out the middle of the cupcakes if you wish to fill them with caramel sauce (we did!).  Then, pipe the caramel frosting on top and drizzle with caramel sauce.  If you wish, garnish with fleur de sel.

Kathryn Wandrie is the head chef and co-owner of KC Catering. Though she is trained in French Classical Cuisine, she expands the boundaries of her culinary education by experimenting with new techniques, cuisines and methods. When she's not cheffing, you can find her on the family farm, spending time with family, or reading a good novel.

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