Fluffy yet dense Dark Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting! These are a total showstopper and so unique! A must try for anyone who loves the combination of chocolate and caramel!
Salted Caramel Brownie Cupcakes
I’ve been on a bit of a salted caramel bender lately, so it felt appropriate to kick-start this week off with dark chocolate brownie cupcakes piled high with salted caramel frosting. Also, there’s a giveaway! This recipe right here is from a famous little blogger you might know as JOY THE BAKER. The one and only. It’s from her latest book Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats, and as you might have guessed, I’m giving you a chance to win a copy! But that’s not all – I’m also giving away the holy grail of kitchen appliances – a KitchenAid 6 Qt. Professional Series Standmixer.
Not bad for a Tuesday, right?
Alright, so let’s jump into this recipe with both feet! We begin at the base of this delicious dessert: the dark chocolate brownie cupcake! These cupcakes are rich, fudgy, and utterly decadent. They are slightly more dense and chewy than a typical chocolate chocolate cupcake, but um, that’s because they’re brownie cupcakes! The tops of the baked cupcakes will be shiny and kind of crinkly (just like a tray of brownies fresh from the oven), so don’t panic if they look a little different than what you’re expecting. They’re going to satisfy you 100%!
Now that we’ve worked out the brownie cupcake situation, let’s mosey on into salted caramel territory. This frosting is legit! Sweet, salty, and very easy to eat by the spoonful… straight from the mixing bowl. Whaaaa? Joy would approve <— I’m 99.5% sure of it.
But don’t eat all of it, ok? We need some for our cupcakes!
Making this frosting is a little different than the usual “beat butter; add sugar; add cream; you’re done” scenario. You’re going to start by making a caramel sauce. This is really easy and only takes a few minutes on the stove-top. My biggest piece of advice here is to stay close while the caramel is cooking. Caramel happens fast, and if you walk away to check your email or feed your dog, you may very well return to a pot full of burnt ingredients. And that would a shame.
Once the caramel is cooked and cooled (just a few minutes!), you’re going to add it to a mixing bowl, add in some confectioners’ sugar, and beat it until it’s nice and smooth. You’ll add more sugar as you go, and beat it on high for a few minutes. Then it’s done! See? Not too scary, right? Now you’re free to decorate your brownie cupcakes as you please! I chose to swirl the frosting on high, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and finally top with a chewy little caramel. I’m dramatic like that.
More Cupcake Recipes:
- The Best Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes
- Ultimate Salted Caramel Cupcakes
- Kahlua Chocolate Cupcakes
- Ultimate Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
- Butterfinger Chocolate Cupcakes
Dark Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting and a Giveaway
For the Dark Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I used high quality chocolate chips here)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (be sure not to pack your flour here)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
For the Salted Caramel Frosting:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a cupcake pan with liners; set aside.
- Place the butter and chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and place that bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the simmering water. Stir until the butter and chocolate are completely melted. Add in the brown sugar, espresso powder (if using), and vanilla; whisk well to combine. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool for a few minutes.
- Once the mixture has slightly cooled, add in the eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Whisk in the flour, salt, and baking powder – careful not to over mix here! Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake cups.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 21-25 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the meantime, make your frosting!
For the Salted Caramel Frosting:
- In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-heat, combine the butter, cream, vanilla, brown sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts and the mixture comes to a low simmer; about 4 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool for 2 minutes, then transfer the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed until well combined. Add in another 1-2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and beat until thick and fluffy; 4-6 minutes. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
April Knight says
The recipe that I would be most excited to try is the Dark Chocolate and Bourbon Pecan Pie. It looks yummy!:)
Chocolate bourbon pecan pie is wonderful , I have been making it for 15 plus years. I use gentleman jack bourbon whiskey, don’t use anything you wouldn’t drink, it makes all the difference
I’d make a recipe from her that I’ve already made and loved…her dad’s Sweet Potato Pie! Perfection!
Terri Coppel says
I loved Joythebaker’s blog!!! Am going to make the Brown Butter Banana Cranberry Bread, — sounds fabulous and my family will love it!!!
Ilona @ Ilona's Passion says
Caramel + Chocolate.. my favorite dessert. Very yummy cupcakes. Pinned it!
Amy L says
I’d like to try the recipe for PUMPKIN SALTED CARAMEL THUMBPRINT COOKIES. They look amazing!
I like the black & white baked donuts!
They look so yummy! Especially the frosting!
Eva @ Eva Bakes says
I’d want to try her salted caramel cheesecake pie!
I will be trying her brown sugar cookies, possibly today. I love the description: like a sugar cookie with brown sugar and a chocolate chip cookie w/o the chips. 🙂
Audrey Yates says
Oh how I miss my fig tree!
I’d definitely make the Fresh Fig and Almond Breakfast Cake first!
I have an overabundance of blood oranges I’d love to use in her Brulee Orange and Cream Cheese Pound Cake!!
Clarence Smith says
Vanilla Bean Coinfetti Cookies. Now that looks fun.
I’ve made and love her brown butter chocolate chip cookies. Definitely need to make them again!
I would like to make her cinnamon rolls.
This recipe looks so good – I could almost taste the cupcakes just looking at them! I love salted caramel anything and will have to try this.
From her site, I’d like to make, “ROASTED STRAWBERRY BUTTERMILK CAKE.”
Amanda Hoffman says
the white and black backed doughnuts looks yummy
I would love to try the apple cinnamon baked donuts with brown butter glaze. Is there any part of that that does not sound delicious!?!!?
Janet M says
Either the Tiny Strawberry Cream Scones or these amazing looking cupcakes.
Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says
ASHLEY! ASHLEYYYY! YOU ARE KILLIN’ ME! That salty caramel-y frosting is like….ridic. and the brownie cupcakes…so chocolatey.
but seriously…I want to marry that frosting.
and there are a ton of Joy’s recipes that I love–including her Bourbon Pecan Pie with Dark Chocolate!
Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel says
ASHLEY! These cupcakes are AMAZING. I’m loving the combination of the fudgy brownie cupcake and that heavenly salted caramel buttercream, and your pictures make me want to reach through my computer screen, through time traveling across the country, and into your kitchen where I can swipe a couple. Love!!
Judy S says
I will be making the pretzel cake with peanut butter icing!
Black and White Baked Doughnuts
Terri C says
Would love to try the Lemon poppyseed poundcake with lemon poppyseed buttercream. Looks so good !
I’m on the quest for a better chocolate chip cookie recipe so I’ll be trying Joy’s recipe for the best brown butter chocolate chip cookies! Can’t wait to try them.
Stacy Philip says
Bourbon pecan pie
Caitlin Scott says
The recipe I can’t wait to try is the Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies! I love sprinkles!
Great recipes. http://joythebaker.com/2015/01/quick-dirty-chocolate-espresso-cinnamon-rolls/
Kelli W. says
All of her recipes sound delicious, but her Pear Spice Cake with Walnut Praline Topping looks decadent and divine!
my mouse couldn’t make it past Extra Nutty Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies *swoon*
Sandy klesel says
I found this site on pinterest and need to make a dessert for my bible study class. I am going to make the carrot cake recipe and can’t wait to serve it. Please enter me in any give ways you may have. Thank you. Sandy
I’m definitely making her toasted marshmallow milkshake!
Suzannah Kolbeck says
Other than this recipe, which is going to be made this weekend, I would stick to the theme and make her salted caramel cheesecake pie. YUM!!
I love your salted caramel enthusiasm 🙂
I like the salted caramel cheesecake pie. Love anything salted caramel, especially if it’s heavy on the caramel.
the buttery chocolate chip cookies!
the doughnuts looks so scrumptious
After checking out her blog for a bit I am most intrigued by the beer brownies. I actually don’t drink beer but have used it in cooking/baking. I’ve made pizza dough and soft pretzels with a German Beer and Cake with a Chocolate Stout.
Probably he Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I also like the nutty brownies.
Marty Musser says
I’m not normally much of a pie person, but Joy’s Salted Caramel Cheesecake Pie looks amazing! I have to try it.
I just went over to Joy’s and the recipe I am absolutly going to make is the Peach Cobbler Cinnamon Rolls-Recipe – they sound just perfect for Easter Breakfast!
ros ri says
Janelle K. says
The caramel cheesecake pie looks divine!
Laura H says
Everything on Joy’s blog looks fantastic! The recipe I would most like to try is the peach cobbler scones 🙂
salted caramel cheesecake pie!!
I love sweet potatoes so that would be the best.
the banana cranberry bread sounds awesome.
It definitely does 😉
Nona Mills says
The Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies sound interesting. I plan to give them a try.
Those do sound great 🙂
Always go for the cheesecake! Joy’s Salted Caramel Cheesecake Pie has long been in my to-bake list c:
That cheesecake pie does look sinfully good 🙂 xo
the pecan pie!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
Beautiful cupcakes & delicious flavour combination. I love salted caramel and chocolate together!
Jen and Emily @ Layers of Happiness says
The first thing I thought when I say that title was OH MY GOSH that girl is GENIUS! All those flavors… girlfriend you are awesome!
The Salted Caramel Cheesecake Pie from Joy looks amazing!! Love salted caramel anything (:
Esther @ Foodie & Fabulous says
I want to make her Breakfast Nachos right now; immediately followed by some of those Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies! : )
Ciaran Lane says
Ok sooooo I just learned from Joy how to create Brown Butter, it’s always been one of those things you just kinda do but now I know the whole reason as to why it’s solo good! I also learned how to not make but nail a good stick all over your teeth caramel….FINALLLY! Oh and the fact that I could eat donuts for the rest of my existence and Joy seems to be a dab hand at making the likes I could possibly propose to her…….If she baked for me. But for real I’m from Ireland and these recipes are what I want to go home and make for my family and friends and say “see not everything is ready made”!!!!
[email protected] says
omg these cupcakes are stunning and I am looking forward to win her cookbook! Love her recipes. I think I will be trying her scones first!!
The pumpkin pie look scrumptious
I would love to make BAKED BROWN BUTTER AND PISTACHIO DOUGHNUTS 🙂
D Schmidt says
Her recipe for cheddar croissant donuts is intriguing.
Nancy Hilton says
Oh, my gosh! How can you pick just one!! The peanut butter bacon dark chocolate cookie recipe made my mouth water. Also interesting was the article about Muriel Hemingway and another about Tripadvisor. And, I guess I need to order an oven thermometer!
I love the blog. I would go with strawberry cookies and cream cake.. Looks so good!
Donna Calhoun says
Honestly, I would love the Beef and Olive and Raisin Enchilada’s in Joy’s Blog of recipes, only with corn tortilla’s!! I am making the Salted Caramel Brownies now…..
Hi! I made this frosting today, but after beating it for the amount of time listed in the recipe, it was rather gooey. I then put it in the fridge to firm up so that I could use it in a piping bag, but then it became too firm and couldn’t be pushed through the icing tip. Any idea what went wrong?
Hi Rachel. Next time I would either just add a little more confectiners’ sugar (1/4 cup at a time) or let the frosting rest at room temperature for a few minutes. It does firm up quite a bit in the moments after it’s done beating. I hope that helps!
Cynthia Robinson says
BEEF ENCHILADAS WITH GREEN OLIVES AND RAISINS look just amazing. I have been wanting to try Enchiladas and have never gotten around to it and these look really yummy.
Cynthia Robinson says
and then either your One-Bowl Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes OR THE Dark Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting.
HARD TO CHOOSE… LOVE LEMON AND RICOTTA combo and I am a chocoholic…
Ingrid De Maeyer says
As I promised my son to make some waffles this week and blueberries are my favourites, am definitely going to make the blueberries waffles and the potatoes and chives galette looks very easy and tasty too!
Donna Keel says
I believe I’ll try the VANILLA ALMOND ORANGE CLOUD COOKIES. Love anything with orange flavor. Also must try out these salted caramel cupcakes.
Anissia Halstead Dias says
Hi, I am a home baker (from Mumbai City, India). I run a home based cake business. I absolutely loved the DARK CHOCOLATE BROWNIE CUPCAKES WITH SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING recipe and I will be trying it out for the New Year!! HopeI can take part in the Giveaway.
I cannot access the website “http://joythebaker.com” as it says Joy the Baker is getting a snazzy new update and will return on 12/31 so fresh and so clean clean.
Here’s wishing you A Happy New Year 2016!
Happy New Year, Anissia!
Did anyone actually make these? Because I did, and they were awful! Cupcakes and frosting were both hard as a rock. Huge waste of time and money.
Hi Alison. I’m so sorry your cupcakes didn’t turn out. Sounds like the cupcakes may have been over baked and the frosting needed a little extra cream. I would love to help you troubleshoot what went wrong if you decide to make these again in the future.
Is the caramel frosting firm enough to use as a filling for a dense, 3-layer banana cake?
Hi Ruth. While I’ve never tried icing a layer cake with this frosting, I think it should work. However I would double the frosting recipe so you have enough.
I just found this on your site and I cannot wait to try them! If I make the as mini cupcakes, how long should I bake them?
I made these dark chocolate brownie cupcakes for a dinner party (with white frosting for child decorating) and they were a HUGE hit! I really want to use this recipe again for my daughter’s upcoming birthday. How do you think this would do as a double layer circular cake? Could I just double the recipe? What about baking time and temp? Any help would be most appreciated !!
Suzanne Hales says
I can’t wait to try the dark chocolate Brownie cupcakes with salted caramel frosting! ooooeeeemmmggg! If it wasn’t so late I would be at the grocery store buying the ingredients to make them asap! I will probably dream about them when I go to sleep tonight. The lemon ricotta comes almost a toss up but, Dark Chocolate brownie cupcakes trump lemon every time for me. YummY 🙂 😛
Cupcakes turned out great! A few things…I ended up with 18 cupcakes and even so I had a ton of icing left over. Not sure if the excess icing was because it never “fluffed”? Regardless, super tasty!
Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sweet Rolls! These sound delicious!
The dark chocolate brownie cupcakes with salted caramel frosting are DELECTABLE! However, I think you should edit your recipe or add a note to say you should also let the frosting cool before decorating. Even though I let the caramel sauce cool for about 3 minutes before making the frosting, the frosting was still a little warm when it was done. I put it in the freezer for a few minutes and began frosting, but the frosting immediately melted off the cupcake! 🙁 I strongly recommend putting the bagged frosting in the freezer for 10-15 min before frosting to prevent this from happening.
I have always wanted to make chocolate waffles, so that is the firs5, but there so many things that look divine I will be trying lots more..
fish steak restaurant says
This recipe is a favorite at may house.
Would the consistency of this frosting work to frost a moist, crumbly cake or is it too thick? I was thinking of using this to frost the black magic cake below, which will fall apart if the frost is very thick.