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 :
* 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.
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.