These salted caramel cupcakes will satisfy any dessert lover! The moist and soft vanilla cupcakes are topped with an irresistibly delicious and creamy salted caramel frosting. Every bite makes you want more. They are easy to make and suitable for any occasion. Tip: Serve with caramel sauce and sea salt flakes! By the way, have you tried my coffee cupcakes yet?
How to make the best vanilla cupcakes
- I prefer to use oil instead of butter because I've found that the texture is fluffier and moister when I use oil instead of butter.
- Buttermilk makes the cupcakes extra soft and tender. However, if you don't have buttermilk available, this recipe works with milk as well.
- I encourage you to use vanilla beans whenever possible because the taste of bourbon vanilla beans is simply the best vanilla taste existing. However, this recipe also works with vanilla extract. Just replace each vanilla bean with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Fill the cupcake liners max. ¾ full with batter to prevent the cupcakes from sinking in the middle or spilling over the sides.
Tips for the perfect salted caramel frosting
- The homemade caramel is the main ingredient of the frosting and not just an ingredient to add flavor, so replacing it with store-bought caramel doesn't work well.
- Be careful not to overcook the salted caramel, otherwise it could split. You can avoid this by cooking the caramel in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and constantly stirring the caramel. Also, don't cook it longer or higher than recommended. But don't worry, most of the time, you can fix split caramel by gently heating it and adding hot water while stirring constantly.
- The salted caramel is a little saltier than I would normally make it because the frosting is made with a lot of powdered sugar. But feel free to adjust the salt to your taste.
- Be sure that the caramel has cooled before preparing the frosting.
- Cupcakes: You can make them 1 day ahead and store covered at room temperature until ready to decorate and serve.
- Frosting: The frosting can be prepared for up to 2 days in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator.
Can I freeze them?
Yes, they freeze well for up to 3 months. Flash freeze for 1 hour, then wrap in plastic wrap and store in freezer bags. To thaw, unwrap and place on the counter for 1-2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
More cupcake recipes to try
If you love cupcakes, you've come to the right place. Here are some of my favorite cupcake recipes for you to try!
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Banana Cupcakes
- S'mores Cupcakes
- Brownie Cupcakes
- Orange Chocolate Cupcakes
- White Chocolate Cupcakes
- 4th of July Cupcakes
Best Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Optional for serving
- caramel sauce
- sea salt flakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Then line two 12 cup muffin pans with 14-15 cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, and salt to combine and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the egg and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy, for about 2 minutes.
- Then add the oil and vanilla and mix until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Mix them in on a low speed and just until combined, for about 1-2 minutes.
- Spoon the batter into the liners until max. ¾ full that your cupcakes don't sink or spill over the sides. Bake the cupcakes for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool to room temperature before frosting, for about 1 hour.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the brown sugar and ¼ cup heavy whipping cream and bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, simmer for another 2 minutes. Whisk continuously.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla until combined. Transfer the caramel to a large heat-proof mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix on medium-low speed until combined and crumbly. Then add the remaining ¼ cup heavy cream and mix on medium speed until combined and creamy.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle with sea salt flakes, if desired. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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