These Coffee Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting have a wonderful coffee overtone topped off with a delicious hint of salted caramel in a beautiful and rich frosting. Made completely from scratch with high quality ingredients and topped with a luscious caramel drizzle and chocolate covered espresso beans; these cupcakes are the ultimate dessert.
Cupcakes continue to be a reigning contender in the dessert world for their ease of preparation, versatility of design and flavor creations, and their single serve easy-to-grab portions. Our family loves cupcakes and creating new recipe combinations is a fun way to get creative in the kitchen.
We are sharing our best tips for getting fluffy, moist cupcakes with the perfect frosting. Balanced and full of fresh flavors and a silky texture. There is some finesse when it comes to the baking world, but we are here to help you bake the best desserts that everyone will love.
If you are looking for another coffee inspired cupcake, give our Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream a try. We also have an Easy Iced Coffee recipe that is divine and perfect for any day that you want a refreshing, cool coffee drink.
What is the secret to baking the best Cupcakes?
Well, there isn’t just one secret when it comes to baking the perfect cupcakes. There are many different factors that impact how your cupcake bakes, as well as the quality of the cake itself, fortunately, most are simple to learn and easy to execute.
Room temperature ingredients like butter are very important, this will help everything blend into a creamy texture with no lumps. It will also prevent over mixing which will result in a broken batter or frosting. Be careful to mix only until your ingredients are combined.
Other tips such as not overfilling your cupcake liners is important, this allows your cupcakes to evenly bake without burning the tops or under baking the center. It’s also good practice to only bake one batch at a time. Yes, with convection ovens it can be tempting to bake multiple cupcake pans at the same time, but cupcakes can be finicky and do best when cooked in single batches.
What makes a moist Cupcake?
We all love a fluffy, moist, flavorful cupcake; but baking them can prove to be challenging. What’s the secret? The best way to avoid a flat, dry batch of cupcakes is by not over mixing. When you are mixing your cupcake batter you are incorporating air into the mixture, if you over mix you will deflate all of the air bubbles that have been created.
This will lead to heavy, dense, and often times dry cupcakes. Mixing on lower speeds and remember to use ingredients that are at room temperature, such as eggs and butter. When these ingredients are warm they require less mixing time and will not leave behind chunks in your batter.
How do I make the best Caramel Buttercream?
Common problems that arise with buttercream frostings tend to be that they are runny, gritty or broken in texture. We are sharing some of our tried and true practices that will help you make the perfect fluffy buttercream every time. First, if you are making your own caramel sauce, take care that your sauce has cooled completely. Adding a warm caramel to your buttercream mixture will damage the delicate frosting and likely cause it to break and become runny.
Balance is the most important aspect of all frostings, if you add too much of an ingredient it will be either too wet or too dry. If you do need to add additional amounts of ingredients, do so slowly and allow everything to mix before adding any more.
Finally, the mixing time for buttercream is important. Above all, follow the recipe instructions and the advice given for the mixing time and speeds. Buttercream is delicate and will break and separate if mixed too long. On the flip side, if you don’t mix your buttercream long enough it will not have enough time to combine and cream properly. This can result in a dry frosting that will be challenging to pipe and may not hold its shape.
Coffee Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting Recipe
For this recipe you will notice that we did not make our own salted caramel. However, we do have a fantastic recipe for Homemade Buttermilk Caramel Sauce. And Inger’s Single Ingredient Caramel Spread. Both are scrumptious and absolutely perfect for this recipe, we highly recommend them for the best flavor. Inger’s Caramel Spread will need to be diluted to a sauce consistency with water or milk if you choose that recipe.
If you prefer to grab a pre-made caramel sauce, just be sure you select the best quality one you can find. It will make all the difference with these cupcakes.
CUPCAKE BAKING TIPS:
- Before you begin allow all ingredients to come to room temperature, this includes the coffee, butter and eggs.
- Thoroughly cream the butter and sugar. The order of operations of this recipe is important. After creaming the butter and sugar keep the mixing to just what’s needed to combine the ingredients. It is especially easy to over mix this batter using your stand mixer so be careful to mix on a low speed.
- For extra coffee flavor in your cupcake add a teaspoon or two of espresso powder into the dry ingredients. This brings a beautiful, rich coffee flavor that everyone is sure to love.
- This cupcake is similar to some coffee cake muffin recipes. It’s not as light as some of our other cupcakes. We recommend using an ice cream scoop to fill your cupcake liners.
- Be careful not to over warm your butter. It should not be more than about 70 degrees. Over warm butter will not stand up to the mixing time required and is prone to breaking if melted.
- The directions say cream the buttercream for 3 to 5 minutes, this is an important step. Your buttercream will have much better texture if you let it develop. Look at the video if you need help with this.
- Use a 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of espresso powder in the frosting if you love coffee flavor and don’t mind the changed look.
- After the cupcakes are completely cooled, cut any rounded tops off if there are any. Remember, filling the liners properly, about 2/3 full, will help prevent your cupcakes from doming.
- Use a 1M wilton tip in a decorator bag. Swirl from the outside edge and cling to the edge for one circle while holding your decorators bag straight up. When you run into your first circle continue swirling the frosting to the inside of the last circle until you reach the center of the cupcake.
- To release the frosting press a small amount of frosting out while giving the tip a little press and lift. This gives you a place for the coffee bean.
- If your swirling design gets muddy looking set the decorator bag into your fridge a few minutes. The buttercream provides a much better edge to its design if you keep if cooler. As you use it your hand may warm the frosting up too much.
- Drizzle the caramel sauce out of a tiny round decorator tip or use a sandwich bag with a tiny hole in the bottom side.
- Place an espresso bean on the top of your drizzled frosting.
- Sprinkle the cupcakes lightly with a larger grained sea salt if desired.
Coffee Cupcakes Salted Caramel Frosting
Coffee Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting have wonderful coffee overtones topped off with a delicious hint of salted caramel in a beautiful and rich frosting.
- 1/4 Cup Chilled Strong Coffee (I brewed a fresh pot of french roast and stuck 1/4 cup in the fridge)
- 1 tsp. Espresso powder (optional- for stronger coffee flavor)
- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Room Temperature Butter (1 stick)
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1-1/2 Cups Flour
- 1-1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Cup Room Temperature Salted Butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 Cup Salted Caramel Sauce (plus extra for drizzle garnish)
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Tsp. espresso powder (optional- use for a coffee flavored frosting)
- 2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
- 12 chocolate covered espresso beans
- Caramel sauce for drizzling over the frosting as desired.
- Mix together softened butter and granulated sugar, make sure they are thoroughly combined.
- Next add eggs one at a time
- Add Vanilla extract next, mix thoroughly.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/8 of the chilled coffee to the liquid mixture.
- Mix well and continue alternating adding in the flour and the coffee until everything is mixed well.
- Taste the batter and add the espresso powder to taste.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with the batter.
- Place in the oven and bake at 350 Degrees F.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out cleanly.
- Cream 1 stick of softened butter for 3-5 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
- Next slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix well between additions.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix it in.
- Add the Salted caramel next and thoroughly blend it into the frosting.
- The frosting should be thick but light and airy.
- Place in a piping bag and pipe frosting onto the cupcakes.
- Place the remaining salted caramel sauce in a piping bag with a small circle tip.
- Drizzle slowly over frosted cupcakes.
- Garnish with a chocolate covered espresso bean.
This is a thicker cupcake batter than some of our other cupcake recipes. It bakes a domed top almost a muffin cupcake. Add more coffee to the batter to thin it down if you like but the baking time may be affected.
- After the cupcakes are COMPLETELY cooled cut the domes off the top of the baked cupcakes. A level surface gives best results for the swirl topped frosting.
- Using a Wilton 1M tip in your decorator bag. Swirl the frosting around the cupcake starting at the outside edge and moving slightly inward for each new circle as desired.
- Put the caramel sauce in a sandwich bag with a tiny hole in one corner. Drizzle the sauce in lines over the frosting as you desire.
- Top the frosted cupcake with an espresso bean of your choice. There are many varieties that will look on these cupcakes.
Serving Size1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving Calories 374Total Fat 17gCarbohydrates 54gProtein 4g
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Coffee Cupcakes Salted Caramel Frosting is featured on Sprinkles and Sprouts 20 Delicious Ways To Enjoy your Coffee Lots of lovely ideas for coffee recipes there!
Recipe Inspired By: Cookingclassy.com and Sweetasacookie
Wednesday 1st of July 2020
Can I make this recipe into a cake.
Wednesday 1st of July 2020
Hi Deanna! I think they would work great as a cake! If you need help, I usually follow this guide.
Thursday 18th of June 2020
Hi, I tried these and were absolutely amazing! I was wondering if I can use the same recipe to make a cake instead of cupcakes.
Friday 19th of June 2020
Hi Julie! That should work just fine, you would need to make enough batter for 24 cupcakes if you want to make 8 inch cakes. Let me know if you try it!
Wednesday 12th of April 2017
I tried the frosting and oh my word...it was sooooo delicious. I tried it on a choclate cupcake but the choclate kinda overwhelmed it. But so delicious. The only problem was that the frosting wouldn't hold its form long after piking it. It falls...any remedy for that other than refrigoration. I hear the fridge can dry a cupcake out.
Wednesday 12th of April 2017
I'm so glad you liked the frosting! It's possible that the butter you used was a little too melted when you initially mixed the buttercream together, sometimes that can result in frosting that doesn't like to hold up. Unfortunately, if you already frosted the cupcakes there isn't much you can do to make the frosting stiffer other than popping them in the fridge. What you can do is just put them in there for 15-20 minutes sometimes thats all you need to harden the frosting. Just don't leave the cupcakes in the fridge overnight and they shouldn't get too dried out. :)
Friday 3rd of March 2017
Made these today for my birthday, absolutely love how the recipe was made for just a dozen. :) They came out delicious, but unfortunately for me a bit dense & dry. That could be my fault, never made cupcakes from scratch before, might have mixed too much! But they have an incredible flavor, especially the buttercream. Took your tip and bought Salted Caramel sauce (smuckers brand). :D
Friday 3rd of March 2017
Hi Jessica! I'm so happy you enjoyed them! Yes over mixing can definitely produce a more dense cupcake! It's definitely an exact science with baking!
A Case of Salted Caramel | Story and Somnomancy
Sunday 18th of September 2016
[…] cupcake base would meld really well with the salted caramel flavor, so I found just the recipe from Homemade Food Junkie, which is a coffee cupcake with salted caramel frosting. It looked absolutely sublime, and with […]