I'm a bit obsessed with salted caramel at the moment... ever since I made my Salted Caramel Cheesecake I've been wanting to making something else with the same flavour. So I came up with these Salted Caramel Cupcakes - I've put light brown sugar in the sponge to give it a caramel flavour, the buttercream has a salted caramel sauce mixed in it, then they're filled with salted caramel sauce, topped with a bit more of the sauce and also some salted caramel fudge! They are a salted caramel explosion!
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
The photos for this post were updated in December 2020. The recipe has been very slightly amended.
How to make Salted Caramel Cupcakes
To make the sponge, mix together the butter and light brown sugar, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Then add the self raising flour and whisk until smooth.
Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases, and bake them for 25 minutes until golden.
Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, use a cupcake corer or a knife to make a hole in the centre and fill it with salted caramel sauce. Make the buttercream by mixing butter, icing sugar and a salted caramel flavouring extract (or you can use caramel sauce). Pipe it onto the cupcakes, then add some chopped up salted caramel fudge and more salted caramel sauce.
What caramel sauce is best to use?
My favourite caramel sauce to use is my Homemade Caramel Sauce, it's rich, smooth and absolutely divine! You can also easily add salt to it to make it into a salted caramel sauce. If you don't want to make your own, it's quite easy nowadays to find a good quality ready made caramel (or salted caramel) sauce in the shops or online. I have used Tesco's Finest, Bonn Maman and Carnation Caramel in the past with great results.
How long do the Salted Caramel Cupcakes keep for and can they be frozen?
The cupcakes will keep in an airtight container for 3 days in a cool place. You can freeze the sponges either alone, or decorated (but do not freeze the Kinder Bueno pieces or sprinkles). Once the sponges are fully cool, wrap them well with cling film or put them in an airtight container. You can freeze the buttercream on it’s own in a tub, or you can decorate the cupcakes and freeze them assembled. To do this and avoid damage to the decoration, freeze them in an airtight container. Or let them freeze solid on a board or plate, then wrap in cling film. Remove the cling film when you take them out to defrost it, if you don’t it could damage the decoration as it defrosts and softens.
Can you make the cupcakes with plain/all purpose flour?
Self raising flour, which is very commonly used in the UK where I am based, already contains a raising agent and a little salt too. Therefore if you want to swap it for plain or all purpose flour, you will need to add some additional baking powder and also a little salt if you like. Some people like to add salt to cake recipes and some don't, so I'll leave that up to you as it won't affect the bake. The general advice is to add 2 teaspoons baking powder (a measuring teaspoon, not the kind you stir your coffee with) per every 200g plain or all purpose flour. So for this recipe you'd need to add 1 + ¾ teaspoons baking powder. Please note, I have not tested this recipe using plain or all purpose flour.
Can the cupcakes be made gluten or dairy free?
Yes! For gluten free you can replace the self raising flour with a gluten free self raising flour blend. If you only have a gluten free plain flour blend, you will need to add baking powder. The general advice is to add 2 tsp baking powder per 200g flour, so for this recipe you'd need to add 1 + ¾ teaspoons baking powder. You may also like to add ¼ tsp Xanthan Gum for better texture. For a dairy free version, use a dairy free baking spread and dairy free milk for the cupcakes and the buttercream. You will also need to use a dairy free caramel sauce for the filling and decorate them with dairy free fudge.
Can you make the fudge for the topping?
You can use a shop bought salted caramel fudge to top the cupcakes (Tesco do a really yummy one), or you can make your own. You might like to try my recipe for Salted Caramel Fudge.
Can this recipe be made into a large cake?
Yes! Check out my Salted Caramel Cake recipe for the ingredients and instructions.
Do you need an electric mixer to make this recipe?
While you can absolutely make this recipe with a wooden spoon and some elbow grease, I do recommend using an electric mixer for the best results. The cupcakes will be lighter and fluffier when made with an electric mixer. The buttercream will also be smoother. You don't have to use an expensive stand mixer either, you can get electric hand whisks for as little as £10!
More tips for making the Salted Caramel Cupcakes:
- The piping nozzle I used for these was Ateco 829, however you can use any nozzle you like to pipe the buttercream on.
- You could also decorate them with sprinkles, or those little fudge pieces you can get in the baking aisle.
- If you can't find caramel extract for the buttercream, check the recipe notes for another option using caramel sauce to flavour it.
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- Cupcake tin
- Electric hand mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Kitchen scales
- Piping bags
- Cooling rack
- Caramel extract
- Brown cupcake cases
- Salted Caramel Sauce
- Ateco 829 piping nozzle
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More Salted Caramel recipes...
Salted Caramel Cupcakes
For the sponge
- 175 g Butter or baking spread
- 175 g Light brown sugar
- 3 Eggs large
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 175 g Self raising flour
For the buttercream
- 200 g Butter
- 400 g Icing sugar
- 2 tsp Salted caramel flavouring I used Tesco's (see recipe notes if you can't find this ingredient)
- 1 tbsp Milk
For the filling and decoration
- 200 g Salted caramel sauce good quality shop bought or homemade
- 75 g Salted caramel fudge optional, chopped up
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases
- To make the cupcakes, mix together the butter and light brown sugar, ideally using an electric mixer, until fluffy
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and whisk well
- Then gently whisk in the self raising flour
- Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake cases
- Bake them for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack
- Use a cupcake corer or a knife to make a hole in the middle of each cupcake
- Fill the holes with the salted caramel sauce. You can do this using a spoon or put the sauce into a small piping bag, snip the end off and pipe it in
- Make the buttercream by mixing together the butter and icing sugar, then add the salted caramel flavouring and milk, and mix until smooth. You can do this by hand or for best results use an electric mixer
- Pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake using a piping bag fitted with a nozzle. Or spread on with a spoon
- Sprinkle the fudge over the top
- Drizzle over the salted caramel sauce, using either a piping bag or a spoon
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place, eat leftovers within 3 days