Caramel Pecan Cupcakes

by Michelle on March 8, 2010

Guess what!

I finally found some photography classes and I couldn’t be happier! I signed up for 6-2 hour classes which are held on Saturdays from 10:00-12:00 pm, beginning March 13th. I am so excited! The classes are Digital Photography I and II, Introduction to DSLR Photography, Studio Lighting, Exterior/Interior Lighting and Filter Factor. I spoke to the instructor for at least an hour and she has so much knowledge and answered all my questions. AND if I need to brush up my skills, I can repeat a class for free..NO CHARGE!

And I bought a new lens for my camera…YES! I’ve been looking at lenses for a while now and after some trial and error I finally decided on the Nikon 60mm f/2.8G and I should have it by my birthday! Yippee! Now all I need is another set of Softbox Continuous Lights and a Tripod and I’ll be all set as far as photography equipment. Mr. Tastebuds is very hopeful that I’ll be set for a long time!

But I have to get to my newest Cupcakes which were over the top delicious! I had some of the Browned-Butter Caramel Frosting leftover from my last Cupcake Adventure, Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes, and it was so good I just had to use it again! So I made my favorite Vanilla Cupcakes and filled them with caramel cream which is always fun. Then topped with the Browned-Butter Caramel Frosting, drizzled with caramel cream and finally topped with Candied Pecan! And don’t you just love ooey gooey!

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Just Plain Good Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from “Small Batch Baking” by Debby Maugans Nakos

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c flour
1/4 c buttermilk
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 c plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 5 muffin cups with baking cups and set aside.

Combine the buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Add egg yolk and vanilla and again whisk until thoroughly mixed.

Place the flour, sugar and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix. Add the butter and half of the buttermilk mixture. Beat with a hand-held mixer on low speed until the dry ingredients are blended. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is slightly increased in volume, about 45 seconds, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour in the remaining buttermilk mixture and beat on medium speed until well blended, 20 seconds. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl

Spoon the batter evenly into the 5 baking cups. Put a little bit of water in the rest of the empty cups in your Cupcake Tin to prevent the cupcakes from scorching. Bake the cupcakes until a tester comes out clean, about 20 to 23 minutes.

Remove from the oven and as soon as you can remove the cupcakes from the pan and let them thoroughly cool on a cooling rack.

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Caramel Cream

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for “stopping” the caramelization process)
2 TBL heavy cream, room temperature

In a small stainless steel saucepan mix 1/2 c. water and sugar. Turn on heat to medium high. Cook until sugar melts and turns an amber color.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump, sputter and spit so be careful and you may want to wear long sleeves and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly. Remove from heat.

Cool until you can touch the caramel with your finger without burning.

Add 2 TBL heavy cream and whisk well. Caramel should freely drizzle so you may need to add a tsp or so more of the heavy cream.

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Browned-Butter Caramel Frosting
Recipe adapted from MyRecipes

1/4 c brown sugar
4 TBL Butter
6 TBL butter, cold but not firm
1/3 c heavy whipping cream
8 oz cream cheese, cold and firm
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of salt
3 c powdered sugar

Place brown sugar and 4 TBL butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. As soon as it comes to boil remove from heat and whisk in cream, blending well. Pour into a small bowl and cool, stirring occasionally to incorporate butter.

Place remaining 6 TBL butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer until smooth. Since the butter and cream cheese is cold, it can take some time to blend so make sure to hold onto the edge of the bowl as you beat. Beat in vanilla and salt. With the mixer running, slowly pour in cooled brown sugar mixture and beat until smooth. Continue beating and add 1/2 c. powdered sugar at a time, beating well after each addition until completely smooth. Chill for 20 minutes.

NOTE: I used a small tip in my pastry bag and although the cupcakes look loaded with frosting, I was surprised to discover that I used about half the amount of frosting I would have with one of the larger tips. So I had quite a bit of leftover frosting. But Cream Cheese Frosting will keep in the refrigerator or I’ve had very good luck with freezing it. When needed, just thaw, whip it with a fork and it’s good to go.

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To Assemble

Bake the cupcakes. When the cupcakes are cool, carve a hole in the top but not completely to the bottom. Save the “cork”.

Fill the cupcake with a tsp or so of the Caramel Filling. And place the “cork” back in place.

Dip whole pecans, 1 per cupcake, in the Caramel Cream. Lay pecan on a piece of parchment to dry.

Frost the cupcakes. Drizzle with Caramel Cream. Top with a Whole Candied Pecan.

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Comments

  • Julie Harward March 8, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Oh WOW…I love caramel in or on anything! These look so dang good…and the picture is awesome! Thanks for sharing! 😀

  • Fresh Local and Best March 8, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I’m excited for you to take these classes! I hope you can share with us some of the best tips along the way.

    These cupcakes look incredible! The caramel cream and frosting simply pushes it over the top!

  • petra March 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    the colors remind me of candy corn. This looks delic. Would look great on a thanksgiving table.

  • Kim March 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Oh yes, these look delicious! How fun to find a class on photography. That will be so much fun and I’m sure you’ll meet some wonderful people. Enjoy!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet March 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    That might just be the best cupcake I have EVER seen. You are so amazingly talented!!

  • Allie and Pattie March 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Okay, these just look decadent! And I’m SO jealous- I would LOVE to take a class like that! Have fun!
    xoxo Pattie

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen March 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I wish I lived closer so I could take the classes with you! How exciting. Your new lens looks wonderful too. I have a 90mm lens that I love.

    WOW! What amazing cupcakes!

  • kat March 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Those cupcakes look insane! I really need to take a photography class too.

  • Sweet and Savory March 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I am not sure which is better your opportunity to take photography classes or that cupcake that is staring me, in the face. That is one beauty.

  • Maria March 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    These look amazing! Nice job!

  • Joanne March 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’m in love. With you. And these cupcakes. Caramel is my ultimate favorite flavor!

    These are gorgeous.

    Yay for the photography classes! I’m thinking of taking some this summer when I have more free time. Your photography is already awesome so I’m sure this will push it over the edge!

  • Mimi March 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Your photos are always so gorgeous, I can’t wait to see what you learn. Incredible cupcakes.
    Mimi

  • theUngourmet March 8, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I just got a fancy camera for my birthday. I would love to find some classes as well.

    Yum yum! These look too good for words! The caramel frosting just puts this cupcake over the top!

  • mrs. c March 8, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Don’t tell me about another lens because I will have to buy it for my birthday…I just got a 35mm 2.0 and love it…look at my cave photos it was wonderful for those shots!

    I am drooling over those cupcakes, I am not a chocolate girl, I’m a caramel, nuts and coconut kind of girl and this fits the bill!

  • Megan March 8, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    How exciting about the classes. Have fun! The cupcakes look delicious. I cant imagine your pictures getting any better then they already are! They are great!!!

  • Donna @ Way More Homemade March 8, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I love the texture you used with the icing – the curled up rope looking texture. They are really beautiful and while I personally don’t do pecans, I could do these for my dad.

    Great job!

  • Sophie March 8, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Waw,…georgous & decadent & rich cupcakes with a lot of lovely topping!!!

    MMMMMMMMMMMM,…..Good for you for those classes!

  • Pam March 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Those do look over the top!!! But over the top is always good!

  • knittykim March 8, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    yummmm! and there won’t be 12 cupcakes to tempt!

  • The Quintessential Magpie March 9, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Oh, delicious! Every time I see caramel, I think of my aunt and my grandmother. They had killer caramel recipes… one for cake and one for candy. This looks SO good, Michelle!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

  • Danielle March 9, 2010 at 6:41 am

    ooh man….NOT fair. I’m sitting here wanting something sweet before I go to bed (and theres NOTHING) and what do I see? These little lovelies? I’m probably going to dream about them now.

  • Danielle March 9, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Oh ya…and have a wonderful time with your photo lesson (although I don’t see why you need to take classes with the beautiful pictures you take)

  • Kathleen March 9, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    THUD! They look wonderful…
    And great on the photog lessons. Wish I could find some here..
    Yes, and do share the good tips, please..
    5 cupcakes..I never saw a recipe for so few..how cute!

  • Rambling Tart March 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Oh my goodness, Michelle – these are wondrously ooey and gooey! :-) How fabulous about your new class! I’m excited to see what new things show up in your blog as a result. :-)

  • Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction March 9, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Yum! These cupcakes look wonderful. I love caramel! Hope you enjoy the photography courses… They sound great!

  • Velva March 10, 2010 at 1:05 am

    The cupcakes look fabulous!!! It is great that you were able to sign up for photography classes-cheers!

  • tasteofbeirut March 10, 2010 at 3:06 am

    And I was going to ask you to give me photography lessons!
    The cupcakes look irresistibel, by the way.

  • YankeeQuilter March 10, 2010 at 3:39 am

    How fun to find a class like that…you already have a great eye with your photos so they only have to teach you the “techy” stuff!

  • Barbara Bakes March 10, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Oh my! These looks heavenly! Your photographs are great! Have fun in the class1

  • Holly March 10, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Oh boy, Ohh BOY!! These are probably some of theee Yummiest looking cupcake I’ve seen in a while!! Wish I could be tasting;) Guess I’ll have to make them for myself! I would love to have you stop by our new food blog-http://thepepperedpantry.blogspot.com/

  • Clarice March 11, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Does this mean your photographs are going to be even more beautiful?!

    Enjoy yourself!

  • Fuji Mama March 11, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I’d really just like to dive into one of those photos and gorge myself! I mean, wow! Love the idea of filling them the way you did.

  • Brian + Cheryl B. March 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    So how was your first photo. class this morning? I bet your itching to try what you learned!!!

    This week I heard that the local Dairy Queen is once again open … and I have such a craving for one of their pecan mud slides!!! [I asked Brian if he’d bring me home one, if I’m not up to traveling]

    But thses cupcakes sound absolutely, tantalizingly good too …. let’s see …. oh what the heck … so much for losing poundage … I’ll have one of yours {please ;-p} after lunch, and the DQ one after dinner o:->

  • Jenny Flake September 22, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Beyond gorgeous! have fun in your photography class!

  • Tracy September 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Love these cupcakes – so decadent!!

  • Jen @ How To: Simplify September 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    This recipe is perfect for the fall!

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