the ultimate cupakes
As I’ve told you many times before, I am NOT a baker.
I don’t like to bake.
I don’t have the patience to bake.
I am not skilled at baking.
That being said – I baked these cupcakes… and they are The BOMB!
Seriously! I gave Connor one to sample and his eyes rolled back in his head with delight! He made me promise him that I would make them for his birthday in May. That is a promise I intend to keep!
The recipe came from HERE.
If every recipe on bakersroyale.com is as scrumptious as these cupcakes, and if YOU love to bake, you should be going to this site everyday from here on out!
All I did was change them from standard cupcakes to mini cupcakes. Otherwise, I followed the recipe almost as written and they were perfection! So much so, that I could eat the caramel frosting, with a huge spoon, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
OK, maybe not! The frosting alone has a pound of butter – but to be fair, there was quite a bit of frosting left over, even after all the cupcakes were made.
To prevent me from using a spoon to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I put it in the trash and then dumped the nasty contents of my Roomba on top of it!
I can’t have that sort of temptation around here!
Toffee Crunch Mini Cupcakes
1 cup flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons instant espresso
1/2 cup hot coffee
5 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened (yes, and entire pound of butter!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup purchased caramel sauce
Chocolate Dipping Sauce
2/3 cup dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Bittersweet Chips)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
2 to 4 tablespoons warm water, as needed
1/2 cup chocolate covered toffee bits
Cupcakes: Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill mini-muffin tins with cupcake liners and spray the liners with baking spray.
Place flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, add the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute. Add the flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture and beat for 20 seconds.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the espresso powder and hot coffee. Beat for 20-30 seconds until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thin enough to pour, so transfer to a liquid measuring cup.
Fill the mini-muffin liners three-quarters full and bake until just firm, 8 to 12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Set the pans on a rack to cool. Remove cupcakes from pans and frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool. Store and serve at room temperature.
Caramel Frosting: Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees (on an instant-read thermometer) while whisking constantly.
Transfer mixture to a standing mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume.
Add butter one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking – this is normal. Keep mixing and adding butter and it will become smooth again. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add caramel sauce and mix to combine.
Chocolate Dipping Sauce: Place the heavy cream in a glass bowl and heat in microwave until nearly boiling. Add chocolate and let sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add water one tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Set aside and let sauce cool to warm.
To assemble cupcakes: Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round or star tip and start piping from the outside working in toward the center to create one even layer.
Freeze cupcakes for 20 minutes before dipping in warm chocolate sauce, so that the frosting does not melt. Remove cupcakes and dip in warm chocolate sauce, and then sprinkle with chocolate covered toffee bits.
Return cupcakes to freezer for five minutes for chocolate to set. Remove from freezer and finish piping frosting on top.
Make ahead notes: The cupcakes can be made a day in advance. The frosting can be made seven days in advance and then brought to room temperature for piping consistency. The cupcakes can be fully assembled the night before and refrigerated.
Makes about 48 mini cupcakes