Adapted from The Brown-Eyed Baker
While there isn’t any salted caramel used directly in the cupcakes, there is one part of the process that creates a caramel-like flavor. Instead of beating together the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl as most recipes would call for, the butter and sugar are cooked slowly in a saucepan until the butter is completely melted. The result is a little bit of a mix between a nutty, caramel flavor and that of browned butter.
For the Cupcakes:
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 & 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sour cream
- Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard-size muffin pans with paper liners.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Combine the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth, and the butter is completely melted. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is cool, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture, beating until smooth.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix each addition until just incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup malted milk powder
- 7 tablespoons milk
- In a mixer, beat butter and vanilla extract together until smooth.
- Add in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, lightly mix.
- Gradually add in milk, one tablespoon at a time until smooth.