These cupcakes are a love note to two of my favorite flavors: caramel and bourbon.
The guys over at Probably This have such inventive, tasty recipes, and they’re absolutely perfect the way they are. If you’re after a goat cheese buttercream or cookies with heaps of chocolate and rosemary, then they should be your go to guys for A Better Homo and Garden.
However, I am someone who enjoys riffing on a good idea like their brilliant Crunchy Caramel Popcorn Layer Cake with Rye Whiskey Buttercream:
Rye Whiskey? I prefer Kentucky Bourbon.
Layer cake? Let’s make cupcakes for a crowd instead.
yield: 2 dozen caramel cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 six-ounce containers vanilla yogurt (not greek)
- 1 cup salted caramel sauce
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 4 eggs
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners. Set aside.
In another large bowl, combine the yogurt, caramel sauce, butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix in the eggs, one at a time just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until it comes together.
Honestly, you can mix these cupcakes by hand, and they work wonderfully. Using a 1/4 cup measure or two large tablespoons, fill each cupcake liner a little over halfway full and bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- 1 1/2 cups salted butter, softened
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted to remove lumps
- 1/4 cup bourbon*
- 3-4 tbsp heavy cream
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter for at least 3-5 minutes on medium-high speed, until nearly white in color. Add in 3 cups of the confectioner’s sugar, mixing on low to incorporate. Increase speed and mix on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes longer. Add one cup of confectioner’s sugar, the bourbon and the cream, and mix together, again starting on low before increasing speed to medium. Add in the remaining cup of sugar gradually, until desired consistency and taste is achieved.
Transfer to a piping bag or spread generously on cupcakes.
*My favorite bourbon that comes in right around the $20 dollar mark is Jim Beam Double Oaked. It offers a hefty flavor that translates well in this frosting and is pleasant to drink on its own (which is always a perk!). Feel free to experiment with your own favorites!
Salted Caramel Sauce
Here’s my recent post to my own Sour Cream Salted Caramel Sauce, or you can always buy a trusted delicious brand. Either way, you’ll need a total of 2 cups to use in the cupcakes and for decoration.
- Pipe a ring of frosting.
- Fill the center with caramel.
- Pipe frosting to cover.
- Drizzle with a little caramel.
- Top with caramel popcorn.