Caramel Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Scented Cream Cheese Frosting and Salted Caramel

by Kirsten on February 23, 2011 · 27 comments

in Cookies, Cupcakes & Muffins, Desserts

So, here it is, finally, the complete recipe of  the “Winner of Best Taste” at Tracy’s cupcake party. It is a chocolate cupcake filled with caramel sauce and topped with vanilla scented cream cheese frosting. The decoration on top is a small salted caramel.

When I received Tracy’s invitation to her cupcake competition I was a little nervous, unsure what to bake or what the judge would like. Knowing that you can never go wrong with chocolate the decision on the chocolate cupcake base was pretty easy. Looking through my favorite blogs and magazines I finally found this caramel cupcake recipe at Jamie’s blog “My Baking Addiction”.  Caramel and chocolate combined is always a winner. I changed the frosting from a butter frosting to a vanilla cream cheese frosting, since I prefer the lighter taste. Butter frosting is usually way too heavy for me. I can hardly eat it. The cream cheese frosting worked beautifully and added a fresh touch to the cake.

The cupcake gets filled with the caramel sauce either by injection or the use of an apple corer to remove some cake out of the center part of the cupcake and refill it with the caramel sauce. This method worked very well for me. The cupcake then gets frosted with the cream cheese mixture and decorated with a homemade salted caramel.

The cupcake is a little labor intense but very much worth every second you spend in the kitchen.  Winning “Best Taste” speaks for itself, especially since we were all judged by Desiree Kelly. Desiree is a well known sugar artist here in Denver. Go and visit her bakery “The Makery “.

I know that I won’t be winning the price for best looking cupcake anytime soon, but I will try my best to improve my decorating skills in the near future. I might need to visit Desiree for some decorating classes, so I will be better prepared for next year’s challenge.


Step 1. Prepare your salted caramel.  Recipe: here

Step 2. Prepare your caramel sauce.  Recipe : here

 Step 3. Bake Chocolate Cupcakes :
Makes 24


* 2 cups sifted cake flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 2/3 cup vegetable oil
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup 2% milk


Preheat oven to 375F. Grease and flour 24 muffin cups.

Mix and sift flour, cocoa, sugar, and baking powder together into a bowl. Add oil, vanilla, eggs, and milk; beat for 30 seconds with a mixer at low speed, scraping the bowl frequently. Beat for 7 1/2 minutes more with a stand mixer at medium speed or 6 minutes with a hand mixer at high speed, scraping the bowl 4 – 5 times. Pour batter into pans. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from oven and cool in pans for about 12 minutes. Remove muffins from pans and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Altitude adjustments:
6,500 – 8,500 feet: Decrease baking powder to 1 3/4 teaspoons.
8,500+ feet: Decrease baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons. Increase milk by 1 tablespoon.

Step 4. Frosting:


* 3/4 pound cream-cheese, at room temperature
* 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
* 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

Step 5. Assemble:

Fill the baked cupcakes with the caramel sauce using an apple corer to remove some of the center part of the cake and refill it with the caramel sauce.

Frost your caramel filled cupcake and decorate with your homemade salted caramel. Enjoy!

Adapted from Epicurious, “My Baking Addiction” and “Sweet and Saucy”.
Recipe for the cupcakes from the book “High Altitude Baking” by Patricia Kendall.

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Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden November 7, 2012 at 6:57 am

These cupcakes really are a winner! I’m delighted with delicious flavour combo and they look great, too ! I’ve featured this recipes on my blog! I hope you don’t mind! If you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.

Billie Jo Tumlinson April 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm

These look fantastic…well, that’s an understatement! I’m curious, how do you think pure vanilla extract would work in the frosting? Add a tint maybe or too much flavor? I’ll be trying these soon!

Lot-O-Choc February 27, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I love your blog! I've just found it, it looks like you make some delicious things! This cupcake looks out of this world and I hope you do win! It sounds and I bet it tastes amazing!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes February 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm

WOW!!! This cupcake looks amazing! Thank you for sharing and have a great week!

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle February 27, 2011 at 2:36 am

I've been waiting for this recipe. Or maybe it was the salted caramel, all by itself. That look, as they say To. Die. For.

Whoever they are, they say that…and it's true.

So happy to see you again today and thanks for dragging all of your gear; so helpful for everyone to see it in action. I just love our group!

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks February 25, 2011 at 6:34 am

Great combo Kristen. Congrats on the cupcake award. Love the new banner. Are you changing it with the seasons?

See you Saturday.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) February 25, 2011 at 12:06 am

What a beautiful cupcake! I love the piping and the little wedge of caramel in there too! Great recipe.

Ps. I love your blog look at the moment.

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE February 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Hey I love your new header! Those are the Rockies I remember. These cupcakes look delightful. The salted caramel just takes them to a whole new level of scrumminess!

Susi February 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Kirsten, kein Wunder das Dein cupcake gewonnen hat. Das Rezept hoert sich fantastisch an! What a fun event and your cupcakes look beautiful. Love everything about it. Your little cupcake stands are darling :o)

Karen Harris February 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm

All of your components came together to make a beautiful cupcake. What a fun challenge. You deserve your title! By the way, beautiful photos.

Sourkraut February 24, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Ooh, that looks and sounds amazing!

Nuts about food February 24, 2011 at 10:36 am

'Tis a beauty!

Ana Rita February 24, 2011 at 9:32 am

Just gorgeous…..Loved every litle bit!!

Chele February 24, 2011 at 7:12 am

Wow … I have cupcake envy right now!

kitchen flavours February 24, 2011 at 6:02 am

Your cupcakes are gorgeous and looks delicious! Love your cupcake stand, very pretty! Congratulations for winning the "Best Taste". I wish that I could have one now!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch February 24, 2011 at 3:33 am

Congratulations!! Best taste, what an accomplishment – you should be SO proud of yourself! They're lovely, too 🙂

Sara @ Saucy Dipper February 24, 2011 at 1:34 am

Yum. Yum. Yum. What I'd give for a piece of that salted caramel now.

Jenna February 24, 2011 at 1:31 am

These look incredible! I love salty-sweet desserts–they are my weakness.

Zoe February 24, 2011 at 12:55 am

Very delightful. Love all your new look for your blog, your cupcake stands and your photos. Everything is very nice!

JelliDonut February 24, 2011 at 12:31 am

I want one of these so badly right now, I can't even tell you!

Baking Addict February 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm

this definitely looks like a winner to me! I love chocolate and salted caramel.

Hazel February 23, 2011 at 10:44 pm

A cupcake couldn't be more perfect! Congrats!

My Kitchen in the Rockies February 23, 2011 at 9:36 pm

@highplains: Yes, I just saw one last week at "Sur La Table". It is an actual cupcake corer. It costs about $5. My apple corer worked well, too.

highplainsdrifters February 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Apple corer, eh? Sounds easy. The one time I tried to hollow out some cupcakes, I used a grapefruit spoon, and it worked fine, but I'm not sure it was the quickest.

You can get doughnut holes at Dunkin's … can you get cupcake cores at those fancy cupcake shops?

EliFla February 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm

tell me I read right: YOU ARE THE WINNER!!! Because this is a masterpiece of bakery!!Hugs, Flavia

The Food Hound February 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I'll say this should be the winner!! Oh my gosh, I started salivating after just reading the title!! They look amazing!!

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