Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

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Have you or anyone you know been hit with the awful flu that’s been going around? I was sick for a solid 2 weeks and spent 4 long days with a fever. After being out of commission for so long, I’ve spent the last week and a half playing catch-up with work, life, emails…but I’m feeling very thankful that I finally feel better and have my health back! I was back to work in time for Valentine’s Day, so I wanted to make something special for all of my co-workers who helped cover my responsibilities while I was out.

Cupcakes were an easy choice, and I couldn’t help but incorporate salted caramel. I know the salted caramel craze has been going for some time, but I can’t get enough. It’s sweet, creamy, buttery, with just a hint of salty that just makes the sweet all that much better. Once I discovered this easy 7 minute caramel sauce, I knew I’d be in trouble. It’s just too easy to make!

Of course, you can leave the cupcakes with just frosting on top…

I tried pouring it on top of brownie bites, which was delicious, but a little messy. This time, it’s incorporated into a buttercream frosting, which is oh so buttery and decadent, with just the right amount of saltiness. I used the buttercream to top some moist chocolate cupcakes, which was a great combo.

Or you can drizzle them with a generous serving of leftover salted caramel sauce. There’s no such thing as too much caramel here!

A couple of years ago, I made salted caramel cupcakes that were brown sugar cupcakes filled with caramel and topped with a more complicated salted caramel buttercream. Those were one of my favorite cupcakes I’ve ever made, but besides the fact that these are 100 times easier to make, I really enjoyed the chocolate/salted caramel combination. They came together to make an intensely rich, irresistible dessert.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: Around 16 cupcakes


  • Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Salted Caramel Buttercream
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup caramel sauce (plus more for drizzling)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Prepare chocolate cupcakes: Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating in between until incorporated. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until just combined. Add cooled cocoa mixture and mix until incorporated.
  6. Fill each lined cupcake well 2/3 full. Bake around 18-20 minutes, until tops spring back when lightly touched (or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean). Let cool completely before frosting.
  7. Prepare salted caramel buttercream: beat butter until smooth and light. Add vanilla, salt, and caramel, then beat until combined. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing in between. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.


23 Responses to “Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes”
  1. Mimi @ Culinary Couture writes:

    What tip did you use for the buttercream?
    Mimi @ Culinary Couture recently posted Quick & Easy Chicken Pot Pie

  2. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking writes:

    Wow, these look irresistible! So delicious and decadent. Great recipe!

  3. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Mimi, I used the Wilton 2D tip to frost the cupcakes.

  4. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Thanks Georgia! They are definitely decadent. I’m glad they’re gone, I couldn’t resist eating them!

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci) writes:

    Glad you are feeling better! I love the salted caramel on these cupcakes!

  6. Rochelle @ writes:

    Those look great! Where do you buy your cupcake papers? I’m always on the hunt for new, cute cupcake papers.
    Rochelle @ recently posted Book Review – Chloe’s Vegan Desserts

  7. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Thanks Laura!

  8. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Rochelle, I am too! I have a ridiculously large collection of cute cupcake wrappers. These are Wilton brand and I found them at Hobby Lobby.

  9. Jillian writes:

    I am a sucker for cupcakes, these look divine!
    Jillian recently posted Chili to Warm you on a Snowy day!

  10. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Thank you Jillian! :)

  11. Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection writes:

    Ahhh the caramel drizzle is making my mouth water. I love caramel and chocolate together, especially when that combination is in the form of a cupcake!
    Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection recently posted Chocolate Banana Honey Muffins

  12. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Me too, Elaine. You can beat caramel + chocolate! :)

  13. Gourmantine writes:

    Gorgeous cupcakes, I’m sure they’d even bring the dead back to life! Happy weekend :)
    Gourmantine recently posted Butternut squash and coconut soup

  14. Danica writes:

    Oh, my god. There’s a new spice shop in Oakland that has VANILLA SALT. The guy said it was great for making caramel…. Wonder what these would be like with that stuff? It smelled crazy, but in a good way.
    Danica recently posted Halfway There!!!

  15. Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen writes:

    I love this combination, your cupcakes look divine!

  16. Hailee writes:

    How do I get the frosting to thicken mine really runny and I’ve added more powdered sugar

  17. Mari writes:

    I made these, but substituted 1/4 cup brown sugar for a 1/4 cup of the white sugar. I also made a chopped macadamia nut crumble (brown sugar, butter, vanilla and macadamia nuts cooked then toasted) to sprinkle on top of the frosting. They were delicious and a huge hit!

  18. Elena writes:

    I made these and they were absolutely delicious! thank you for the recipe :)

  19. Darlene Boyd writes:

    Stephanie – Thanks for posting this recipe!!!! I made these for my daughter’s baby shower and they were the hit of the party. The frosting consistency was just perfect and piped right onto the cupcakes. I am very particular and always critique and try to improve and perfect my baking. There is nothing to change with this FANTASTIC recipe. Trust me…..these are heavenly.

  20. Leanne writes:

    I just made these…they are amazing! Thank you for sharing the recipe! Absolutely love your blog!

  21. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Leanne, thank you so much for your sweet comment – you made my night! So glad you love the cupcakes! :)

  22. 25 Caramel Recipes for Fall - The Princess & Her Cowboys writes:

    […] Caramel Popcorn Caramel Fudge Brownies Caramel Pecan Snickerdoodle Cookies Salted Caramel Bars Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes  Snickers Caramel Apple Salad Caramel Topped Shortbread Bites Caramel Turtle Brownies Homemade […]

  23. Christine writes:

    Hi! How do you make you cupcake frostings not melt?

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