Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes and the WINNERS!

by Michelle on February 25, 2010

We have our two winners of Marty Embry’s Coney Sauce Spice Mix!

And the first name drawn out of the hat is…

Jewel of The Tiny Jewel Box

And the second name is…

Bonnie of City Home/County Home

Please send me your full name and home address so Marty and I can get your Jar of Coney Sauce Spice Mix in the mail ASAP!

If you are interested in ordering the Coney Sauce Spice please visit From the Court to the Kitchen Spices and Apparel. And if you’re interested in any of Marty’s cookbooks, poetry or artwork you can find a listing at Marty Embry’s Storefront.

I’ve been tweeting, watching the Olympics and mentally writing this post all night. And I thought it was time I sat down and started typing. Which reminds me I found the most wonderful blog today, Gail Carson Levine, with fabulous information and ideas on How to Write. And with just reading that last sentence, you can tell I need all the help I can get!

I’ve often wondered if enough of my own personality comes across in my blog? Should I reveal more about my life as a teacher, an artist, a wife? I do write of dear, sweet Mr. Tastebuds and his escapades in the kitchen. Although he does not read my blog, he thinks I stretch the truth about him..honey please with you I don’t need to embellish, not one iota! I know I’m not an open person like Ree Drummon of The Pioneer Woman who has such an exciting, idyllic life and writes about every aspect of it for all the world to read. Hats off to Ree but I’m not sure if I could go quite that far. But oh my, the stories I could tell…..

But I digress and need to get back to my cupcakes which were truly delicious! I used my very favorite Chocolate Cupcake Recipe and made a new frosting by adding browned butter mixed with brown sugar and heavy cream to a traditional Cream Cheese Frosting. Now doesn’t that just sound scrumptious! I love Cream Cheese Frosting but after tasting the Browned-butter Caramel Frosting, I’m not sure if I could make plain Cream Cheese Frosting again!

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Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe developed by BigBlackDog

Makes 12-13 regular sized cupcakes

7/8 c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
1/2 good cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 TBL Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

NOTE: This cupcake batter is thin but it bakes beautifully. I use my 1 cup glass Pyrex liquid measure and just pour it into the cupcake liners.

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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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All Rights Reserved 2008-10 © BigBlackDog

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Comments

  • Nancy February 25, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I remember browned butter frosting!

    Writing is challenging. I read Copyblogger, Seth Godin, and probably should look into adding this one. Amazingly enough, I am working on my “copy”.

    Thanks for the tip!

  • Joanne February 25, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I typically spend a lot of time thinking about how to start my posts as well..and then what usually happens is that I wake up at 6AM and then throw everythign I’ve thought about to the wind. And just start doing a stream-of-consciousness kind of thing. Maybe the key is to be half asleep when you try to blog.

    These cupcakes look amazing! I’m going to have to try that cream cheese frosting.

  • Joanna February 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    That frosting sounds amazing! I’m bookmarking it!

  • George Gaston February 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Congratulations to Jewel & Bonnie!

    Michelle, the infusion of Balsamic Vinegar and strong brewed coffee puts your Chocolate Cupcakes in a league of their own. And your frosting just puts them out of this world.

    I definitely need to try your recipes. Thanks…

  • Allie and Pattie February 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I love your writing! I’llbe making these for my chocoholic hubby. By the way, I always use my pastry tips for cupcakes- especially for school parties. I concentrate on the center of the cupcake and leave a little unfrosted “rim”. Makes it easier for little fingers to hold without getting frosting all over themselves- teachers tend to appreciate that :)
    xoxo Pattie

  • Clarice February 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Goodness gracious, these look amazing! I love the way you photographed them.

    I know what you mean about the writing. I’m not sure I’ve found my “voice”, yet.

  • Natalie February 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    that frosting sounds awesome!

    i’m assuming the cupcake recipe is 1/2 CUP of buttermilk?

  • Michelle February 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Natalie,

    Oops..thanks so much for catching my mistake!

    Yes, it’s 1/2 c. buttermilk (love using buttermilk in recipes)

    Recipe is now fixed!

    Michelle

  • Kat February 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Beautiful photos.

  • Barbara Bakes February 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Such pretty cupcakes! The frosting sounds like a must try!

  • Lori E February 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Okay busy lady these are worth waiting for. I love balsamic and could drink it from the bottle so anything that I add it into could only be improved.
    We were just talking about browned butter at coffee yesterday morning.
    Congrats to the winners.
    Michele, you are fine the way you are. Don’t go changin’.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet February 25, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Oh goodness do these look amazing. I am loving the olive oil in the cupcakes and then frosting…I have no words. You are genius!

  • Ezzie February 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Love this recipe! The wonder of balsamic! I wouldn’t have thought of adding it to cupcakes but it seems a natural in these! Itching to get back to baking…just another day or so to get rid of this viral infection and I’ll be good to go! Will have to make these first!

  • Fresh Local and Best February 25, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Michelle, I’d love to learn more about you from your blog. You strike me as a very sweet and lovable person. Thanks for the link to the writing tips, I certainly will be reading it.

    These chocolate caramel cupcake look fantastic! And the frosting- heavenly!

  • Elle February 25, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Browned butter makes everything better, doesn’t it? These look so good–I love a good chocolate cupcake.

    You’re right, writing–and opening up like Ree does is hard. I’m not one to share every detail of my life. I’ll check out that site, though!

  • ARUNA February 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Gorgeous clicks, frosting on the cupcakes sounds amazing!

  • Mimi February 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I usually put coffee in my chocolate cake, but not balsamic vinegar. I can’t wait to try these that just sound fantastic.
    btw The pattern on my cookies came from the bottom of my grandmothers sugar bowl.
    Mimi

  • Kayte February 25, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Turn your head, don’t look, b/c I am going to eat the frosting off the top of that chocolate cupcake…it looks and sounds just delicious! Very pretty, I swear you have sprinkles for every occasion. I gravitate toward blogs that I read on a daily basis, or thereabouts, to ones that are personable, but not too too personal. There’s a fine line, LOL. You are nowhere close to that line, btw. Always enjoy your posts.

  • Sook February 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Congrats to the winners!

    The cupcakes look so delicious. I want one! :)

  • teresa February 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    these are gorgeous, i’ll take ten to go! i love that you use balsamic vinegar!

  • The Muse February 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    finding you on twitter…fabulous lol…
    i tend to twitter, in a meandering fashion…very muse like (surprise) lol…

    blogging…(writing) appears to be, with me, very mood based. sometimes it flows…other days i am entrenched!

    my battle is with photography. my beloved is the cook and the photographer…so unless he has done the shot, i feel very wary about posting my sad images.

    so although i have a lot or remodel and new design work…for me to post my images…does not pay homage to the work.

    your imagery is always so vibrant and your blogs are always so enthusiastic…i relish that!

    http://adivashammer.com/archives/1143

  • Catherine February 25, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    What wonderful cupcakes Michelle! These look superb!

  • Kim February 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I think you do a wonderful job posting, but I know that writing is certainly challenging. I also have a hard time getting my point across sometimes and will check out your link to the writing tips.
    The cupcakes, however, speak for themselves. They are gorgeous!

  • TeaLady February 26, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Love the cuppys. Chocolate with caramel = perfect.

    I guess maybe 1/2 between Ree and no personality would be a good mix. I enjoy your blog. Not always easy to remain objective with just a little attitude. Keep up the good work.

  • Mama Peck February 26, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Oh, Michelle, that frosting looks good enough to lick off the screen! YUM And, I love the way you frosted the cupcakes.. looks so cool! (But, how do you eat them without getting it all over your face?.. not that I’m going to mind! LOL) Love your blog!

  • Bonnie February 26, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Michelle,

    Thank you for the Coney Sauce! I’ll share what I make with it on my blog. And, I love the way you blog. There’s room for many different personalities in blogging, and Your blog is “just Right”.

  • biz319 February 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    You had me at browned butter – holy cow, I never would have thought of that!

    Definitely insulin worthy! Happy Friday – hopefully all the snow is behind us!

  • ♥¸¸.•*¨Skip to Malou¨¨*•.¸¸♥¸ February 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    i got here through Christine’s tweet… reading your posts is engaging… I was supposed to go back to my bed (i’m in socal) but lo and behold this site kept me awake.
    and yeah… the reason why i got up early was the itch to write/revise my next post haha!

    btw, my name is malou and im glad to be here…

  • Mary February 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    These sound unique and lovely. I enjoyed your blog. I had stopped by just to say hello and stayed much longer than I planned playing catch up with your offerings. I’ll be back often

  • Sophie February 28, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Hello Michelle!!

    What a georgous & cute cupcake this is!!!

    I love it!!
    I am going to make them today!!
    Lovely & apart topping too!

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen February 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Your cupcakes sound amazing with such a unique blend of ingredients! When I lose my ‘vacation’ weight I’d love to try these with that wonderful frosting recipe. Great photos and writing!

  • Danielle February 28, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Im not sure which I’m drawn to the most….I mean usually it’s either the cupcake recipe or the frosting but this is BOTH!!! The balsamic addition and the coffee flavor in the cupcakes…YUM!…but then you have that lovely icing with the cream cheese, browned butter and heavy whipping cream WOW!

  • Jamie February 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Balsamic vinegar and olive oil? I’ll bet these cupcakes are fantastic! I’m always looking for great chocolate cupcake recipes and this one is calling me to try it! Excellent! And as far as blog writing goes, just be yourself and write from the heart. You never need “to do” something just cause others do it.

  • Chow and Chatter February 28, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    stunning brownies your hubby has good taste in food

  • Marty Embry March 3, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Hey Michelle,
    hopefully, you and the winners have received the spices! I look forward to the response after tasting them!

    This is a comment on your cupcakes! Amazing! I also made an additional batch and added a few ingredients. You would be proud of me! :) I also added Bourbon to both the frosting and cupcake, but I added vanilla mocha coffee to the batter! I also divided the batter and added two tablespoons to part of the frosting (which I also divided). My family was quite pleased with both and I’m sure that I ate half of each batch that I prepared! lol

    It’s a curse! Me and food….food and me….a serious love affair! Thank you again for sharing your recipe!

    I hope that you enjoy the seasoning salt as well Michelle.

    All the best!

  • Megan March 4, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Oh how I love browned butter. I’ll bookmark this for the next frosting adventure. Thanks for the writing link, I need all the help I can get.
    AND you take the best pictures! I could use picture tips too!!! (hint hint) :)

  • Caramel Pecan Cupcakes Caramel Sauce August 28, 2010 at 11:04 am

    […] 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 […]

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