We’ve had our first official taste of Autumn now on the prairie, and while I live for it, I don’t like what comes after–The Season Which Shall Not Be Named, and the inevitable depression. But I shamelessly admit, I like certain seasonal flavors that come back at a certain national coffee chain, though it’s not the infamous PSL. No, I love the Salted Caramel Mocha. And I made it into cupcakes.
I found myself in the mood to bake on a hot afternoon, and decided I wanted something chocolatey and rich. And having some leftover salted caramel still needing a home, I thought it time to make some cupcakes. It’s been awhile.
The recipe made enough that I took half of them into work, and they were a hit. I’m kind of wishing I’d kept them at home, since they’re gone now. I was slightly worried since the frosting is nothing more than coffee whipped cream, and I figured that by the time we’d’ve been able to finish them, they’d’ve gone off.
Plus, since we’re a little more than halfway through the fall rush madness, a lot of us are feeling a bit burned out. I thought we could use a treat.
They were much-appreciated.
Salted Caramel Mocha Cupcakes
Yields 24 cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
2 C flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 C hot water
2/3 C Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 C instant coffee granules or instant espresso powder
3/4 C unsalted butter
1 1/2 C sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
For the Frosting:
2 C heavy cream
1/4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
salted caramel, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Combine the hot water, cocoa powder, and instant coffee, and whisk until smooth.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, and beat until lightened and fluffy (about 3 minutes on medium-high speed). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add in the vanilla.
On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and cocoa-coffee mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Using a large (3-Tbsp.) scoop, portion the batter out into the prepared pans. Bake the cupcakes for 23-25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of several cakes comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.
Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, make the frosting. Whip the cream in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters until thickened. Add in the sugar and instant coffee, and whip until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spread the cream on top of the cupcakes. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over top, and drizzle with salted caramel.