"Heaven in a cupcake" is what these should be called. I had absolutely no self control when it came to this caramel frosting. Seriously. I pretty much ate it by the spoonful. (after they were all frosted of course...most of them were at least...) It's pretty darn delicious on a graham cracker too...just sayin'.
If you've never made swiss meringue buttercream, it does take a bit of time to make, but it's worth it. Oh so worth it. It's basically the only buttercream recipe I will make. Add that to the best chocolate cupcake/cake recipe I have in my arsenal, add some caramel sauce and pecans. DONE. Turtle cupcakes go Boom. (and by Boom I mean go right in my mouth.) So try these soon-they are delish without the nuts too if you're not a fan of pecans.
Seriously...go make them. Now.
HERSHEY'S Chocolate Cake
via Hershey's site
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. Makes about 30 cupcakes.
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. At this point, I usually stick my water in the microwave in a glass measuring bowl to get it boiling. It takes just about 2 minutes-so that works out perfectly! Mix in the boiling water slowly. Pour batter into the liners. It's a thin batter, so I usually use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and use that to fill. Only fill the liners 2/3 of the way.
- Bake 22-25 minutes (rotating halfway through) or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack then let them cool completely. Then frost to your heart's delight...preferably with the recipe below...
Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
makes enough to frost about 2-3 dozen cupcakes
(wipe down your bowl, whisk, beaters, etc with lemon juice before you start, this will help your meringue)
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
1 scant tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup caramel sauce
- Whisk together sugar, the egg whites, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water; whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 140 degrees. (I rub a drop between my fingers, if it's grainy, it still needs more time.)
- Return bowl to mixer; fit mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and mixture has cooled down. Switch to paddle attachment. Reduce speed to medium low; add butter, a few tablespoons at a time. Continue mixing until fluffy and smooth. This may take some time, if it curdles, keep mixing and it will come together.
- Add caramel and vanilla; beat on lowest speed until combined. Pipe onto cupcakes, drizzle caramel sauce on top, then sprinkle chopped pecans on top! Yum!