Friday, January 6, 2012

Caramel Frappucino Cupcake

My weakness.....COFFEE! I am so addicted. My convos in the mornings, pre-coffee, consists of grunts, snarls, and growls. Sometimes I even show a little teeth.

I hated coffee until college, and when I realized I needed an extra boost to get me through finals I turned to coffee for help. Dunkin Donuts was on the corner between my apartment and campus so I pretty much lived at Dunkin Donuts...before class, after class, between classes, breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime....well maybe not bedtime but you get the picture.

I always find myself trying to justify paying so much for coffee at the local coffee shops, and I always seem to find a way for it to make sense to pay $5 for a cup of coffee..."I had a really bad day." "I had a really good day." "I deserve this." "I did good on a test." I saved money by skipping lunch."....I can always find a reason. A damn good reason to treat myself to such a perfect cup of Joe.

My point is, I'm crazy over coffee! I thought this cupcake would be sooooo perfect for me. Caramel and Coffee....what a perfect marriage of flavors....and add some whipped cream and ZAM! You've got a damn good cupcake!

It would also be fun to add a chocolate covered espresso bean to the top of the cupcake, but I did not have any..... I'll have to keep some around in the future because I will definitely be making these bad boys again!

Adapted from

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1 tsp espresso powder

*I would recommend using espresso plus espresso powder instead of coffee and espresso powder*

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tins with paper liners

2. In one bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt

3. Brew coffee and dissolve espresso powder in the coffee

4. In another bowl beat buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla together on medium speed until well combined

5. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in thirds until just Incorporated

6. Add the coffee and stir until well combined, scrap the ingredients out of the bowl

7. Fill cupcake liners a little more than half way full. Do not put too much batter in the tins.

8. Bake 14-16 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

9. Cool completely before icing and garnishing

10. ENJOY!!!

To give this cupcake a caramel frappucino taste, I used a homemade vanilla whipped cream and then topped it off with caramel sauce.

Here's how to make the whipped cream:
4 cups of heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp vanilla

Beat the heavy cream on high with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat the cream until peaks form. Keep chilled until used. It also helps to chill the bowl and beaters before mixing the heavy cream.

The recipe for this whipped cream was only enough to cover half of the cupcakes, so I have doubled the recipe and added one more tsp of vanilla for flavor.

*I suggested using espresso and espresso powder because I used a strong coffee and the coffee flavor was hard to find in this cupcake although the flavor was great. Because I am such a coffee lover, I would like the coffee flavor to be a more prominent.*

*The recipe calls for hot coffee, but I would like to try this recipe again and chill the coffee before mixing it into the batter. The hot coffee instantly melted everything and the batter became very thin. The bottoms of the cupcake liners were damp after pulling them out of the oven, but they were dry the next day. I do not know if the consistency of the batter contributed to this, but it's worth a shot to try and chill the coffee before adding it in.*

*Do not overfill the cupcake wells because the batter will run over the sides of the wells before rising due to the consistency of the batter.*

I know I have a lot of notes about these cupcakes, and it looks a little scary but these are well worth it! The flavor is awesome and they are so moist. A coworker even asked how I got them to be so moist! This is a must try folks!

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