caramel cupcakes with honey sea salt

At the end of June, our friend Chris flew into town from Tampa to spend a couple of weeks with us. For some reason that I don’t remember, I promised him baked goods on his first night in town. I was going to make red velvet cupcakes since I had some leftover buttermilk but then I thought I should try something else. I stumbled upon this recipe for triple caramel cupcakes and was instantly smitten. Had to make them! Stat!

These. Are. The. Bestest. Cupcakes. Ever.

The cake base uses a ton of brown sugar in it to give the cake a sort of caramel flavor to it. Then it has caramel stuffed inside of it. Then there’s caramel frosting on top!#!@!


It’s dangerous to make these. But you can bet that I will be making them again soon.

Kind of looks like a little hat, doesn’t it?

The nice thing is that the frosting hides all of this cutting-it-up business. No one ever knows!

All they see are rows of pretty little frosted cupcakes.

For that extra little “oomph”, I put a dash of honey salt on top of each cupcake since salted caramel is so, so, heavenly.

Salt and granulated honey! Someone came up with this!

I love them.

Caramel attacks you on multiple levels. If you like caramel or know someone who does, then you should make these.

Be sure to give them away though. Otherwise you might eat them all.

I might have two or three or four within a twenty four hour period.

*sings to self*

Caramel Cupcakes with Honey Sea Salt
(adapted from Kelsie’s Kitchen / Sprinkle Bakes)

Cupcake Base

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prep a cupcake pan with pretty little liners.

Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and sea salt) in a bowl and set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until well blended and it looks kind of fluffy-like. Add egss, one a time, until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and drop in the vanilla.

Add half of the flour mixture and blend. Add half of the buttermilk and blend again. Repeat with the rest of the flour and buttermilk, alternating between each one.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and set.

Caramel Buttercream Frosting

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 sticks salted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, mix together 1/4 cup granulated sugar and water and set over medium heat. You want this little mixture to boil up! Cook without stirring until it gets a deep, darkish amber brown color. Takes a few minutes to get to this stage – don’t leave your stove! Pull the mixture off of the heat and slowly add in the heavy cream and vanilla. Stir and blend this until it’s very smooth. Let cool for 20+ minutes. You want this to be a room temperature and not hot for your frosting.

Beat butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add powered sugar, a little bit a time, until combined (otherwise you get sugar flying all over your kitchen). Add the cooled caramel to the mixture and beat on high speed until light and airy (about 2-3 minutes). If your frosting is too runny, then the caramel was too hot when you added it. You can refrigerate the frosting for 15-20 minutes to help it set up.

Assembly Required

I cheated and used already made salted espresso caramel sauce for my filling. I’m a cheater!

Cut a small top out of the cupcakes. Take a spoonful of caramel sauce and place it into the cupcake. Replace top.

Frost cupcakes with your delicious caramel frosting and sprinkle with a touch of honey sea salt on top.


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Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 12+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

4 Replies to “caramel cupcakes with honey sea salt

  1. I don’t know… I have a bad habit of “taste testing” cupcakes that look like they have a flaw in them, or the ones where the frosting got smeared on the side. I have a feeling I’d end up “testing” too many of these for my own good.

    PS – I think I’m in love with your honey salt… I’m going to keep an eye out for that!

    1. Yes… I know what you mean. It gets bad when they all start looking like they have “flaws”. The honey salt is awesome! I bought it on Fab awhile ago. They also had a salt called “Santa Salt” – pink peppercorn, sea salt and rosemary!

  2. Hi CC – You should try making them! You can cheat like me and buy salted caramel for the filler – we just happened to have some on hand. The honey salt is perfect for desserts – I can’t wait to try it on other things!

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