my name is miki and i am addicted to coffee.
i need to have coffee every single morning or i just can’t function for the rest of the day. it’s pretty sad how reliant i am on it. it’s actually probably more unhealthy than anything. oops! but not only do i need the caffeine from coffee, i also love the taste of coffee.
usually i just have coffee from our office’s keurig machine (or on the weekends i make just plain simple coffee), but sometimes for a treat i will go to the campus starbucks and get a caramel macchiato. they are my favorite!!! i love the pairing of caramel and coffee together. yum! so this is kind of what inspired this caramel mocha cupcake. though i don’t drink caramel mochas often i added chocolate because it goes so well with caramel and coffee. perfecto!
this may be one of my favorite cupcakes. it’s a chocolate cupcake with espresso swiss meringue buttercream, topped with vanilla bean caramel sauce and fudge sauce. the espresso swiss meringue buttercream is the best part – it’s super coffee-y, silky, and just like how the strawberry swiss meringue buttercream tasted like strawberry ice cream, this espresso buttercream tastes like coffee ice cream. i love coffee ice cream!
the espresso swiss meringue buttercream is flavored with instant espresso dissolved in a little bit of water.
then just add the concentrated espresso once the buttercream is just about done. mix and mix until it’s well combined. then pipe the espresso swiss meringue buttercream on a batch of chocolate cupcakes.
now comes the vanilla bean caramel sauce. i actually tried a new way to make caramel sauce that combines the caramel sauce and vanilla bean caramel sauce recipes i’ve used before. i really like it because it has the additional flavor of the vanilla bean but i didn’t have the issue of it becoming too thick like i did before. yay!
for the recipe for the hot fudge sauce, please visit my hot fudge sauce post.
when your sauces are ready (it’s best to make the sauces ahead of time since they take some time to cool), drizzle them onto each cupcake. also another good tip is to use squeeze bottles to drizzle the sauces on. makes it super easy!
i started with the caramel sauce.
then i drizzled on the fudge sauce. just make sure the fudge sauce isn’t too hot, otherwise it will melt the buttercream.
and the caramel mocha cupcakes are done!
i know the recipe looks long and kind of intimidating. but if you do it in a few steps, it’s totally do able. make the sauces the night before, then bake the cupcakes and make the buttercream the next day. not too bad right? plus it’s totally worth it once you take a bite of this caramel mocha cupcake
Caramel Mocha Cupcakes
Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, divided in half
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 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
Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 3 tablespoons espresso powder
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- To make the caramel sauce, in a small saucepan, add the heavy cream. Scrape the seeds from inside 1 vanilla bean. Place the seeds and pod into the cream. Warm over low heat.
- In a medium saucepan, boil sugar and water over medium heat. Let it reach boiling and hit 350 degrees (use a candy thermometer).
- Once it reaches an amber color, pour in the cream. Whisk together for a few minutes.
- Allow to come to room temperature and then pour the sauce into a squeeze bottle. (Store in the refrigerator).
- To make the fudge sauce, in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and half of the chocolate to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low (enough to maintain a low simmer), and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate, the butter, and the vanilla extract, stirring until smooth.
- Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before using (it will thicken as it cools).
- Pour the sauce into a squeeze bottle. (Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)
- To make the chocolate cupcakes, heat oven to 350°F.
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
- Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
- Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
- Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.
- Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.
- Bake 22 to 25 minutes.
- Cool completely.
- To make the buttercream, mix the espresso powder into the hot water. Mix until the powder is completed dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes. (The bowl should be cool to the touch.)
- Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more (or longer – don’t worry, it will come together!)
- Blend in the concentrated espresso until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pipe frosting on to cupcakes as desired.
- Drizzle the vanilla bean caramel sauce and the fudge sauce onto each cupcake. The caramel sauce should be thin enough to drizzle but if the fudge sauce is too thick, heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
Printer Friendly Recipe: Caramel Mocha Cupackes