The nuttiness of the browned butter in these cupcakes pairs perfectly with an addicting salted caramel frosting.
Super excited to share these browned butter cupcakes with you! I've been sitting on this recipe for months now as there just aren't enough hours in the day for me to get everything accomplished that I'd like. The browned butter adds so much flavor and depth to the cupcakes and the salted caramel frosting pairs perfectly with the nuttiness of the browned butter. If you've never baked with browned butter before, you are in for a treat!
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I know I told you a while back that my homemade cinnamon ice cream is the best thing I've ever created, but I believe this salted caramel frosting is giving that ice cream a run for the money! It's so darn silky and addicting!!
TO MAKE THE BROWNED BUTTER
You will start by browning your butter as it will need to solidify back at room temperature, which takes about an hour. You could speed the process a little by popping it in the refrigerator for a few minutes, but you'll want it at room temperature before using it.
To brown the butter you will place a half cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter in a small, light colored saucepan (I prefer to use a light colored pan as it makes it easier to see the color changes as the butter browns). Place the butter over low heat and let it cook until small brown flakes form. You will want to stir or swirl the pan frequently to keep it from burning. The butter will foam and bubble up along the process, just keep stirring/swirling and move the foam aside from time to time to check the color. The butter will turn an amber/brown color and will smell nutty and toasted when it's ready. Once it's browned, pour it into a glass bowl to cool, making sure to get all those lovely browned bits out of the pan.
While the browned butter is cooling and solidifying, it's time to start making your homemade salted caramel for the frosting. We'll be making my favorite salted caramel recipe, which is slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction. This is the same caramel sauce I use for my caramel and brown sugar shortbread. The caramel sauce also needs time to cool, so you'll want to get it made before putting the cupcake batter together. If making homemade caramel sauce makes you nervous, you could substitute a good quality store bought salted caramel sauce, but I highly recommend making your own.
TO MAKE THE BROWNED BUTTER CUPCAKES
First you'll whisk your all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set them aside. Then cream your room temperature, solidified browned butter with the brown and granulated sugars. I prefer to use my stand mixer, but a hand-held mixer can also do the job.
Once your browned butter and sugars are creamed and fluffy, you'll add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Turn your mixer to low and add half of the flour mixture, mixing until mostly combined. Then you'll scrape up and down the sides of your bowl (if not using a spatula-type paddle) before adding the milk and sour cream. Incorporate the wet ingredients and then add the final half of the flour mixture, mixing until it just comes together. You don't want to over-beat the batter.
This recipe makes 12-14 standard size cupcakes. You'll want to line your muffin pan with liners (these are my absolute favorite) and then fill each liner about ¾ of the way full. If you end up with extra batter, you can bake the additional two in another pan. You'll bake them for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
MAKING THE SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING
While the cupcakes cool, it's time to make the crazy delicious and addicting salted caramel frosting. Start by creaming your butter and vanilla in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with a hand-held mixer. Then you'll add the powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Finally you will add the cooled and room temperature homemade salted caramel and mix until light and fluffy.
You can frost the completely cooled browned butter cupcakes in any way you like. To get the look in these pictures, I used a Wilton 1M tip and a disposable piping bag. The frosting yields just enough to give one rosette to each cupcake. Which is a very good thing in my case as I would just eat any remaining frosting with a spoon or spatula.🙈 It's just that good!!
I used a little of the remaining salted caramel sauce to drizzle over the tops of the frosted browned butter cupcakes. This is completely optional, but in my opinion a little more caramel sauce is never a bad thing!😉
HAVE YOU TRIED THESE OTHER RECIPES?
Browned Butter Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
Browned Butter Cupcakes
- ½ cup browned butter* (unsalted butter) cooled at room temperature to solid state
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk I use 1%
- ¼ cup sour cream
Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce (Recipe slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
Salted Caramel Frosting
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup salted caramel sauce
- Pinch of salt if needed
To make the cupcakes
- *To brown your butter, place the unsalted butter over low heat and let it cook until small brown flakes form. You will want to stir or swirl the pan frequently to keep it from burning. The butter will foam and bubble up along the process, just keep stirring/swirling and move the foam aside from time to time to check the color. The butter will turn an amber/brown color and will smell nutty and toasted when it's ready. Pour melted butter and all the browned bits into a glass bowl to cool and solidify.Now is the time to make your salted caramel sauce - recipe below
- Once browned butter has cooled at room temperature and is solid (about an hour), preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare a 12 count muffin pan with liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand-held mixer, cream your solidified browned butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on medium for approximately one more minute.
- With the mixer on low, add half the flour mixture and mix until mostly incorporated. Add the milk and sour cream and mix on low until mostly incorporated. Scrape up and down your mixer bowl and then add the final half of the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the 12 liners, filling them about ¾ full. You’ll get at least 12 cupcakes and potentially up to 14. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make the homemade salted caramel
- Add one cup of granulated sugar to a medium saucepan and heat over medium, stirring constantly. Use a wooden spoon or a high heat resistant rubber spatula.
- The sugar will start to melt. Then it will clump together before melting into a thick amber colored liquid.
- When the sugar is fully melted, add the room temperature butter. The butter will cause the sugar to bubble rapidly, so use caution in this step.
- Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely incorporated. I prefer using a whisk to keep the butter and sugar from separating, but your wooden spoon or spatula can work as well.
- When your butter and sugar are fully incorporated, slowly add the heavy cream while continuing to whisk (or stir). Again, the mixture will bubble rapidly, so use caution.
- Let the mixture boil for approximately one additional minute.
- Remove from the heat and stir in ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Carefully pour caramel into a heatproof container and allow to cool to room temperature before using. (you can always place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so if needed, but you want it at room temperature before adding it to the frosting).
- You will have left over caramel sauce, store covered in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
To make the salted caramel frosting
- In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with a hand-held mixer, cream butter and vanilla for approximately 2 minutes.
- Scrape up and down the sides of your bowl and add the powdered sugar. Mix on low until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium high and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Add the cool and room temperature salted caramel and mix on medium high until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt if too sweet.