I made these cupcakes to take into the office for my birthday. They look really spectacular but are actually made from a very simple recipe. Everyone at work was pretty impressed and they disappeared from the office “cake cupboard” pretty fast.
The recipe for these is a actually for a nine inch six layer cake. The recipe is featured in the Martha Steward Living Special Edition Cakes & Cupcakes. It made a lot of cupcakes! I would recommend halving the recipe. This is one of the cakes featured in the magazine that is available online.
The cake recipe is a one bowl making it fairly fast to whip together. I used the rest of my precious Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark, which made the cake taste more intense than regular cocoa powder.
I took a shortcut and used a can of caramel to save time. Frost and sprinkle the cupcakes with salt only right before serving. I salted mine the evening before and by the morning it had all melted.
3 cups plain flour
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder (I used Hershey's extra dark)
1 tbs baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup + 2 tbs sunflower oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 can Carnation caramel
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks, 224g)
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 hot water
Flaked sea salt for topping
- Make the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C and line a muffin tin with paper liners. With an electric mixer on low speed beat together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil and vanilla and beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Fill each liner 2/3 full and bake for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Make the frosting. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat on 30 seconds burst until melted, stirring after each. Set aside to cool.
- Beat the butter, icing sugar and salt together until pale and fluffy. Whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until dissolved. Gradually add in the cocoa mixture and cooled chocolate.
- Cut a cone shaped hole onto the top of each cupcake and put in a teaspoon of caramel. Use a small spatula to spread the chocolate frosting on top. Sprinkle with sea salt.
I added about 1 cup more of icing sugar to get the icing a little more firm.
adapted from Martha Stewart Living Cakes & Cupcakes