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Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
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Salted caramel chocolate cupcakes-your favorite coffeehouse drink in cupcake form!

Salted caramel chocolate cupcakes-your favorite coffeehouse drink in cupcake form!

I’m SO EXCITED to share with you all this cupcake recipe. I truly believe this is the best cupcake I’ve ever made. The buttercream tastes exactly like the first sip of the salted caramel mocha drink you get at Starbucks (well, sans caffeine).

It’s my favorite holiday/seasonal drink and now it’s in cupcake form – brilliant!

I brought this cupcake to so many people. I brought it in for my coworkers and I brought it to happy hour with my friends. Upon my arrival with the cupcake box to the bar, the bartender asked me, “oh, are those cupcakes from the cupcake place in the shopping center?” You have no idea how awesome it felt to tell her, “nope, I made them!” with a big, cheesy grin :) I love that my frosting skills have improved so much. I remember my first few trials with frosting. Oh man, those were the days!

These will probably be the moistest cupcakes you will EVER EVER have. Seriously. Also, in the process of buttercream recipe testing, I ate so much buttercream that my hips are cursing me and my jeans aren’t happy!

Alright, so, if you aren’t in the mood to get up to go to Starbucks, whip up a batch of these and you won’t even miss that green lady in your hand :)

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Salted caramel chocolate cupcakes: your favorite coffeehouse drink in cupcake form!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2 dozen
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • 1 box devil's food cake mix
  • 1 package of Jello instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 cup (230 g) sour cream
  • 1 cup (237 ml) vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup (118 ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup (270 g) mini chocolate chips

For the salted caramel buttercream

  • 15-20 caramel candies, unwrapped
  • 3-4 tablespoon (3 tablespoon) heavy cream
  • 16 tablespoons (224 g) unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 4 cups (480 g) powdered sugar, divided


  • Preheat oven to 350 °F (177 °C) and line muffin tins with baking cups.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl, mix together cake mix, instant pudding, sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Mix very well. Gently stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
  • Equally divide the batter into the baking cups, filling 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, let cool for 5 minutes in pan, then remove and place them on wire cooling racks to cool completely.
  • In the meantime, make your buttercream by first melting the caramel candies and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the caramel is all melted, stir in 1/2 tsp. of salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add in the remaining 1 tsp. of salt.
  • Gently add half of the powdered sugar to the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Then drizzle in the caramel while the mixer is on low. If the caramel has hardened up a bit that you can't pour it, heat it up just enough so you can pour it into the mixer with ease.
  • Add the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
  • Put the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a pastry tip of your choice.
  • Pipe the frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes.
  • Store cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes

The frosting won't be enough for you to pipe as much as I did on all the cupcakes. You might want to double the frosting if you want to pipe a lot like I did, or you can just pipe a tiny swirl :)
Cake recipe from Kevin & Amanda


Serving: 1 Cupcake | Calories: 383 kcal | Carbohydrates: 39 g | Protein: 2 g | Fat: 25 g | Sugar: 33 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Recipe Rating


Monday 10th of December 2018

Hi there. Are we talking soft caramels or candy like Worthers Butterscotch Caramels? Thank you, looking forward to trying this!

Julie Wampler

Monday 10th of December 2018

Soft caramels!

Donna Cox

Sunday 13th of May 2018

I have made these cupcakes twice and they are awesome! They make so many, can these be frozen??? And if yes, do they turn out as well after freezing??


Tuesday 15th of May 2018

I don't think these would freeze very well. You could try to halve the recipe!


Wednesday 15th of November 2017

I am going to make these tonight but want to make sure my frosting is the right consistency and doesn't melt or get too hard- do you use hard Carmels and melt them down or like the Carmel chews? Like werthers original?


Wednesday 15th of November 2017

I just the soft chewy caramels like these:

Anastasia Pelelas

Monday 13th of November 2017

Delicious and easy recipe - so rich and the contrast between the chocolate and salty sweet icing is a home run. Made waaaaay too much icing though - can it be frozen?


Tuesday 14th of November 2017

Oh no, I'm sorry it made so much icing! Did you double it or do the recipe as is? Someone made the recipe before and told me that there was too little icing so that's why I put the recipe note in there to double it.


Sunday 16th of April 2017

This was my first time making buttercream frosting and I'm not sure what I did wrong...maybe the caramel was too hot when I added it to the butter but it all turned into a melted mess. It still tastes good, but I'm currently cooling it in an ice water bath...hopefully this can firm it up and I'll be able to use disappointed!