Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Bourbon Salted Caramel Frosting

I did some baking for the bambino’s school. Twice a year, during parent-teacher conferences, the PTA asks for parents to make or bring things for the teachers’ meals. I always make cupcakes of some kind. This time around, I made more Custard Tart Cupcakes, as well as these Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Bourbon Salted Caramel Frosting.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Bourbon Salted Caramel Frosting

This is what I had envisioned the last time I made brown sugar cupcakes.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Bourbon Salted Caramel Frosting

Warmly sweet cupcakes topped with rich salted caramel and a hint of bourbon.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Bourbon Salted Caramel Frosting

I would like to think the teachers appreciate this sort of thing. I certainly would love it if someone baked fun, boozy treats for me!

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Bourbon Salted Caramel Frosting

Of course, the fact that my birthday is coming up in a couple weeks has me thinking about treats. I feel like I should be planning some huge send-off for the first half of my life, or be planning some fun adventure to celebrate my ascent (descent?) into middle age. Part of me just doesn’t care, but at the same time, I feel like I should do something fun. My last few birthdays have been lackluster to say the least. And this year, it’s on Friday the 13th. Though I seem to recall I said I wasn’t going to bother celebrating birthdays after I hit 35. So we’ll see. I’ll likely settle for food shopping and eating my way through Sioux Falls the day after. Of course, I could go full-on narcissistic brat and celebrate a full week of my birthday, because it’s the most important holiday of the year (and yes, just in case you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic).

Yield: 20-24

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Bourbon Salted Caramel Frosting

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Bourbon Salted Caramel Frosting
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


For the Bourbon Salted Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 C packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 C (4 Tbsp.) butter
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. bourbon (I used Bulleit)

For the Cupcakes:

  • 2 1/3 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 C dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 C milk

For the Frosting:

  • 1 C Bourbon Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 6 C powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. bourbon
  • 2-4 Tbsp. milk, as needed


Combine the brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and whisk until somewhat thickened, 5-7 minutes. Carefully add the bourbon, and whisk 2-3 minutes more. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour into a heatproof container and allow to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with liners and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.

Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined, being careful not to overmix.

Using a large (3-Tbsp.) scoop, place the batter in the prepared baking pans. Bake the cupcakes for 18-22 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of several cupcakes comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the salted caramel sauce and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together on medium-high speed, until well-blended.

On low speed, add half the powdered sugar, then add the bourbon and 1 Tbsp. of milk. Add the remaining powdered sugar, and if the frosting is too thick, add additional milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Whip the frosting on high speed for 1-2 minutes before decorating cupcakes as desired.

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But before I can even really think about my birthday, I need to get through my cooking class first! For someone who doesn’t enjoy public speaking WHATSOEVER, I have no idea why I agreed to this. Oh, wait, I do know. My desire for kitchen gadgets outweighs my fear. At least I hope so! Any of my readers who’ve done something similar–Got any advice? I suck at making small talk, and I’m one of those derps who giggles stupidly when I’m nervous. Wish me luck that I don’t make a complete arse of myself or chop off a finger!