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Hundred Dollar Cupcakes with Caramel Icing

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 50 min (includes cooling and setting times)
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes
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Ingredients

Cupcakes:

2 cups cake flour, sifted before measuring

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 

3/4 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 

1 cup granulated sugar 

1 cup light brown sugar 

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened 

2 large eggs, at room temperature 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature 

Icing:

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk 

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Splash of heavy cream, if needed

Edible silver dragees, for decorating

Directions

Special equipment:
two 12-cup muffin tins; cupcake liners; a candy thermometer
  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the cups of two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.
  3. Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted, about 1 1/2 minutes (or melt it in a double boiler).
  4. Put the granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and beat to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk, and beat on low until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, about 1/4 cup batter in each. Bake until the cupcakes are domed slightly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.
  6. For the icing: Make the icing right before you are ready to frost the cupcakes. Combine the granulated sugar, buttermilk, butter, baking soda and vanilla in a medium to large heavy-bottomed saucepan (the liquid will double in volume). Insert a candy thermometer, bring to a boil and boil over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches soft-ball stage (235 degrees F), 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat as it hits the soft-ball stage to avoid over caramelizing.
  7. Working very quickly but carefully, pour the caramel into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed until cooled to warm, about 5 minutes. Working quickly, spoon about a tablespoon of the caramel icing onto each cupcake. (Caramel hardens a little as it cools; whip in a splash of heavy cream to loosen it up if needed.) Let stand until set, about 5 minutes. Decorate with edible silver dragees.

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