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Vanilla Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes (makes 12)

185g self-rising flour 155g cups all-purpose flour 115g unsalted butter, softened 230g caster sugar 2 eggs, at room temperature 120ml milk 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Caramel Sauce for Buttercream

250g caster sugar

50g butter, soft and cubed

150ml thickened cream

1 tsp flaked sea salt

Caramel Buttercream

(this quantity is enough to lightly frost each cupcake, if you want a more decadent frosting, double the quantities)

100g of the caramel sauce, alternatively you can use caramel condensed milk

125g butter, cubed at room temperature

200g icing sugar, may need more


Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.

  2. Line a 12 tray cupcake tin with cupcake papers.

  3. In a small bowl, combine both flours then set aside.

  4. In an electric mixing bowl, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth.

  5. Gradually the sugar and beat for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.

  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  7. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk (add the vanilla with the milk). Beat until incorporated after each addition, but do not overmix and make the mixture tough.

  8. Spoon the batter into the cupcake papers, filling to 3/4 full.

  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through, remove from oven and allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

  10. Pipe the caramel buttercream on, then drizzle over the reserved caramel sauce.

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Caramel Sauce for Buttercream

  1. Heat the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, use a stainless steal one, that way you can see the caramel colour better.

  2. Once the sugar starts to melt, swirl the pan and gently move the unmelted sugar into the liquid areas of the pan but without stirring.

  3. Meanwhile, warm the cream and salt in a saucepan over low heat, don't boil but keep at a warm temperature for when you need it.

  4. After about 10 minutes, or once the sugar is completely melted and dark amber in colour, remove the saucepan from the heat, don't burn, so quick with the next step!

  5. Whisk in the cubed butter followed by the cream.

  6. Pour through a sieve into a heatproof bowl, leave to cool to room temperature before add to the buttercream, you can speed this up by putting it in the fridge - but watch it closely!!

NOTE: You won't need all of this sauce for the buttercream, the leftover can be drizzled over the cupcakes, and stored in an airtight jar in the fridge also.

Caramel Buttercream

  1. Beat 130 g of the completely cooled and thickened caramel sauce and butter until smooth, then slowly add icing sugar until all combined. Transfer to a piping bag with a nozzle and pipe cooled cupcakes.

To finish, drizzle cupcakes with some reserved caramel sauce, you may need to slightly loosen it but warming it up a tad.

NOTE: You could also 'inject' or cut out a little of the middle of the cupcake and add some caramel sauce as a surprise.

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