Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

 

 

 

 

 

What does a baker do the day before she walks Pittsburgh’s half-marathon?  She bakes herself chocolate cupcakes with caramel frosting.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.

Add eggs, almond extract, and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Add half of the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Add half of the milk and beat until just combined.

Add remaining flour mixture and milk alternatively, beating until just combined.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin tins.

Bake 20-22 minutes.

Cool completely before frosting.

Caramel Frosting

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation

Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan and slowly bring to a boil.

Boil for one minute, remove from heat, and stir in milk.

Return to heat and bring to a boil once again.

Pour mixture into mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Beat caramel mixture on medium speed for a few minutes to disperse heat; the mixing bowl should not be too hot for you to touch, but if it remains warm that is fine.

Add one cup powdered sugar and one teaspoon vanilla, beating until smooth.

Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth.

Working quickly, frost cupcakes; I use a flatware teaspoon to scoop the frosting onto each cupcake, then spread it with a knife.  Trust me when I say you need to work quickly; f you’re not a speedy froster, you’ll end up with a bowl of hardened caramel that is very tasty, but not spreadable.

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