One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

I was put on cupcake-duty.  What is cupcake-duty?  It is when you are asked to make cupcakes for a large group of people.  It also means that the gathering is on Saturday, you worked all week, and you had to make them on Friday at 8PM because that’s the only free time you had.  THAT is cupcake-duty.  With that said, below is a recipe I originally snagged from Martha Stewart since that woman can do no wrong, in my eyes.  Okay, do no wrong in the baking/cooking world….Taxes, well that’s another story.

  • Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 cups dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temp.
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin pans with cupcake liners (this recipe ended up making 34 cupcakes so plan your pans accordingly).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add buttermilk, vegetable oil, and warm water; whisk to combine.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
  5. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  These puff up A LOT so be prepared to be creative and separate them a bit once they’re out of the oven.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling racks for 5 minutes.  Transfer cupcakes to cooling racks and let cool completely.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes


Before I proceed with the caramel frosting recipe, let me just say that I had a “vision”, of sorts.  I wanted to make my (usually) good whiskey frosting but I overworked it in my Kitchenaid mixer and alas it became a crumbly mess.  So I quickly consulted my Pillsbury cookbook (yes, some of us still rely on cookbooks from time to time) and found a caramel frosting.  Who doesn’t love caramel?  I’ve made caramel in the past and it’s one of those things you have to “work fast” on.  Take your eyes off for one second?  Disaster.  Stop stirring for one second?  Disaster.  The point I’m making is, make sure you work fast and don’t take your eyes off the caramel!

  • Caramel Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk, as always)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Jameson Irish whiskey (I had to add this in to go along with my original vision, this is totally optional)
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.  One the butter is melted, add the brown sugar.  Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly (remember what I said earlier).
  2. Add milk; continue cooking until mixture comes to a rolling boil.
  3. Remove from heat and gradually add powdered sugar, followed by vanilla extract, mix well.  Make sure all of the sugar “bubbles” are completely broken down and work FAST.  Add the Jameson and continue to mix.
  4. Frost those cupcakes, man!  If you let the caramel frosting sit for 30 seconds after you mix it, it will form a Play-Doh like consistency.  What does that mean?  It means you get to spread this on your cupcakes with your (clean) hands and be a kid again!

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting


These came out almost too good.  The cupcakes are moist and fluffy (I had a fan going and one fell over, that’s how fluffy they are).  The caramel frosting saved the day after an epic whiskey frosting fail.  I have to give my mom credit for thinking of using the Pillsbury cookbook, so thanks, mom!  These will be a big hit at tomorrow’s gathering, this I am sure of.  Like I said, work fast with the frosting and you’ll be able to frost these with your hands.  Now that’s something you can’t say about every frosting.

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4 Responses to One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

  1. Phil says:

    So many cupcakes. Just so many…..

  2. Dana Franco de Blasio says:

    Hooray for cupcakes! Can’t wait to try mine on Monday morning. 🙂 Shout out to Kathy and her cookbook!

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