You may have noticed I don’t post many dessert recipes. Trust me, it’s not because I don’t love dessert, I do. But I’m also well aware if I bake a nice large cake, we will eat a nice large cake. Since “we” amounts to only two of us, I rarely allow myself to make a cake. Or any kind of dessert, for that matter. I save them for birthdays, Christmas, or (in this case) when we need to take a sweet along to a special celebration. In honor of our dear friend Joan’s birthday, I whipped up these beauties!
I did have to alter Cheryl’s recipe just a touch because I couldn’t find one of her suggested ingredients but the results were still fabulous. Here’s my version.
For the cupcakes:
1 box caramel cake mix (I used Duncan Hines brand)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup liquid Caramel Macchiato flavored creamer (I used Coffee Mate brand)
1/2 cup water
For the frosting:
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping + extra for drizzling
1 lb. powdered sugar
fine sea salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place liners in cupcake tins. (Note: This recipe makes a LOT of cupcakes. I made 18 full-sized cupcakes and a dozen minis, and I still had a bit of batter left. I could have easily skipped the mini cupcakes and made 24 full-sized instead.)
In a large bowl using an electric mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, butter, creamer, and water for 1 minute on low. Scrape bowl and beat on high for another minute. Divide batter between cupcake tins and shake to level. Bake 18 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
To frost, combine butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds. Add the caramel and mix until fully combined. Slowly add powdered sugar and blend on low speed until combined.
Frost cupcakes, then drizzle additional caramel sauce on top. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt. Enjoy!
- The original recipe didn’t call for ice cream topping but rather dulce de leche sauce which can sometimes be found in the Mexican foods section of the grocery store. Mine didn’t carry it, so I had to improvise. I was afraid they’d be too sweet with the ice cream topping but the salt tempers that anyway so it was fine.
- The batter was very sticky, especially as the melted butter began to cool. I used an ice cream scooper to fill the cupcake tins and that helped!
- I used low fat cream cheese for the frosting. I know, I know. Why? Oh well, every little bit helps! And it was delicious!
- “Drizzling” didn’t work very well with my caramel ice cream topping. It wanted to “drip” and “run” instead. So, I added a few drops to the top of each cupcake then swirled it into the frosting with a toothpick.
- Don’t overdo it with the salt (and I’m a salt lover!) Remember, you can always add more but you can’t take it away. Since the recipe makes so many cupcakes there will be plenty for taste testing. 🙂
- A printer-friendly version of this recipe can be found here.