Chef in Training says these are the PERFECT chocolate cupcakes.  I suppose that could be true, but it could be a matter of taste or personal opinion.  I’ll let you decide about perfection but pretty much any chocolate cupcakes made from scratch will be darn near perfect.  In my humble Cupcake Lady opinion. The frosting, though, YUM!  The added touch of Dream Whip in the frosting makes it extra light and creamy.  I may have to re-evaluate this whole perfection thing.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
Salted Caramel Buttercream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 package Dream Whip, dry
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, more if needed to reach desired consistency
Instructions
  1. Add the sifted cocoa powder to a medium sized bowl and pour in the cup of hot liquid. Whisk until completely dissolved.
  2. Next add the buttermilk to cool down the mixture, then add the sugar and whisk until all is combined.
  3. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla and mix again.
  4. In a small bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk this into the wet mixture until you no longer see any lumps.
  5. Stir in heavy cream until evenly mixed in.
  6. Pour into cupcake tins and bake at 350 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until done. Let cool and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Salted Caramel Buttercream
  1. In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.
  2. Alternatively, you could use just under ½ cup of your favorite caramel sauce.
  3. Beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add dry Dream Whip until combined. Next beat in powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Once cupcakes have cooled, frost onto cupcakes.
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