These Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes are so many of my favourite things all in one stunning handful. Just what I need the day before my birthday.

You’ll love these Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes and Cinnamon Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting too.

A closeup of inside a chocolate cupcake with caramel oozing out and caramel buttercream on top.

Why you’ll love them

These rich chocolatey cupcakes are one of my favourites and for so many reasons;

  • Easy salted caramel
  • Moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes
  • Rich and creamy salted caramel buttercream
  • Then a chocolate and salted caramel drizzle

Caramel on it’s own is a super sweet but amazing flavour. I could eat it in spades but by adding salt it balances the sweetness and intensifies it’s flavour.

Taking a bite of something that is both sweet and salty in the right proportions is a game changer and that, to me is salted caramel. A game changer. For more caramel take a look here.

How to make easy salted caramel

This salted caramel sauce is extremely easy to make – we’re talking cheat kind of easy. Although I love to make it from scratch, sometimes I’m busy and there is another way.

You start with store bought soft caramels. My favourite brand for this are Werther’s original soft caramels. This is not an ad and I’m not getting paid for it, I just think they have the best flavour and they work a treat.

Caramel candies and cream in a saucepan being turned into sauce.
  1. To the unwrapped caramels, you add some cream (image 1) and heat them together until they melt into a smooth caramel sauce, then you add the salt. Done (image 2). It takes just minutes and any leftovers will be perfect on top of ice cream, pudding or cakes.

Might I just add, BEST salted caramel buttercream ever!!!

A chocolate cupcake topped with caramel buttercream and streaks of caramel sauce.

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

These chocolate cupcakes are the most moist and delicious cupcakes ever. I’m not joking. I have received so many wonderful comments here on the blog, on Pinterest and in person about how good these are.

I agree. I haven’t changed this recipe one little bit since I created it years ago. They’re fluffy and they stay fluffy for days after they’ve been cooked. They freeze and thaw perfectly too.

This is my favourite chocolate cupcake recipe and I can recommend it for any buttercream or filling flavour you want to add.

Part of what makes them so amazing is how easy they are to make. No creaming butter and sugar here. The method I use for my favourite chocolate cupcakes is melted butter – it increases the moist and delicate texture and keeps things simple.

If you want to see it other forms try these Black Forest Chocolate Cupcakes and my Chocolate Mint Cupcakes.

Step by step instructions

4 images showing batter being made for chocolate cupcakes in a steel bowl.
  1. Beat together the melted butter and sugar (images 3&4)
  2. Next add eggs and beat until combined (image 5)
  3. Add some of the dry ingredients (you’ll alternate this with the buttermilk) (image 6)
Cupcake batter in a steel bowl, being spooned into cupcake cases. And finished cupcakes having the core removed.
  1. Finish alternating the dry ingredients and buttermilk, folding them through with a spatula, until you have a thickesh batter (images 7&8) A silicone spatula is my best friend when making batters as it scrapes everything from the sides with ease.
  2. Divide the batter (I find the easiest way to get them all even is with a large cookie scoop). If you like the tall sides of my cupcakes, that’s created by using these silicone muffin trays (image 9) instead of a regular muffin tin but a regular one works fine.
  3. Once the cupcakes have cooled, I use a cupcake corer (image 10) to cut a hole out of the centre but you can certainly just use a sharp knife.

Tips and tricks (Just 2 really important ones)

  • Weigh your ingredients where a weight is the first measurement given.
    When making cupcakes, you should always weigh ingredients out. If that’s not your thing, I can’t vouch for the results you’ll get. It only takes an extra minute or so and kitchen scales are fairly cheap. If you don’t have or don’t want to get kitchen scales then measure your ingredients by spooning and levelling. Don’t scoop straight from the container. Spoon the flour (etc) into the cup measure, then level off with the back of a knife.
  • Don’t overmix. Once you add the flour, only mix the ingredients enough to combine them and do so gently. This will result in tender, fluffy cupcakes. If you mix too vigorously, the protein will develop too much in the flour and make the baked cupcake tough.

How to store and freeze these choc cupcakes

  • Store the complete cupcakes in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.
  • The cupcakes (cake portion) can be frozen – wrap well in plastic wrap then into an airtight container and freeze up to 3 months.
  • The buttercream can also be frozen in a ziplock bag. Thaw in the fridge, then bring to room temperature and beat well before using.
  • Store the caramel in a squeezee bottle in the fridge and reheat in the microwave to drizzle over desserts. 

I gave my 12 year old niece half a bottle of this caramel sauce thinking she would pour it all over her ice cream. No, she ate it on the way home in the car. I’m so sorry parents!

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Extreme closeup of a chocolate cupcake in a black wrapper topped with caramel buttercream and streaks of caramel sauce.

Without further ado please make and devour these Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes. You wont’ be sorry.

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A chocolate cupcake in a black wrapper topped with caramel buttercream and streaks of caramel sauce

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

4.6 from 37 votes
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes combine rich, moist chocolate cupcakes with and easy salted caramel filling and salted caramel buttercream. This is the best kind of indulgence, right here.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 130 g plain (all purp) flour (1 cup / 4.6oz)
  • 40 g cocoa (½ cup / 1.4oz)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 113 g unsalted butter, melted (1/2 cup / 4oz / 1 stick)
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed (100g / 3.5oz)
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (180ml)

For the salted caramel

  • 250 g store-bought chewy caramels (8.8oz)
  • ½ cup thickened (heavy) cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

For the salted caramel buttercream

  • 200 g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 50 g (1.8oz) dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (125ml) salted caramel
  • 2 ½ cups icing (powdered) sugar (325g / 11.4oz)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons thickened (heavy) cream (notes 1)
  • ½ teaspoon finely ground salt

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F (160C fan) and line your muffin tins with paper cases
  • In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well to combine.
  • In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the melted butter and both sugars until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time and beating well after each. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  • Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir through gently until just combined. Now add half of the buttermilk, Mix gently again. Continue like this until all the flour and buttermilk is combined… just. It is important not to overmix or be too heavy handed otherwise your cupcakes will turn out dense and tough.
  • Fill the cupcake cases only to about half full. Bake in the oven for around 18-20 minutes, turning the pan around in the oven half way through to make sure they bake evenly. When a skewer inserted comes out with just a crumb or two, they are done.
  • Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack

For the Salted Caramel

  • Place the unwrapped caramels and cream in a saucepan over low heat. Heat, stirring until the caramels melt and the mixture is smooth. Add the salt and stir through. Allow to cool before using.

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • Beat the butter and sugar together until lightened and fluffy (4-5 minutes). Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the (cooled) salted caramel and beat well to combine.
  • With the mixer on low, add the icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time.
  • Finally, add the vanilla, cream and salt and beat to combine.

To finish

  • Cut a hole in the top of each cupcake with a very sharp knife. Fill each hole with about 1 teaspoon of salted caramel. If you want to, you can top the hole with a little bit of the cake offcuts but this is optional.
  • Pipe the tops of the cupcakes with the buttercream
  • Drizzle with some salted caramel and melted chocolate.

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen Scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
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