Chocolate Salted-Caramel Mini Cupcakes

I could begin this post by apologizing for my blogging absence and giving you all the reasons that I’ve been on an unplanned hiatus, but after getting a good look at these cupcakes I’m sure you’d rather I get right to the business at hand. Chocolate cupcakes + salted caramel = incredibly good!

Chocolate Salted Caramel Mini Cupcakes feature a dark chocolate cupcake filled with salted caramel and topped with chocolate frosting and a sprinkle of salt.

Salted caramel is one of my favorite discoveries of the last few years. And combined with chocolate? Well, let’s just say it didn’t take a lot of self-convincing to get me to make this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes.

Chocolate Salted-Caramel Mini Cupcakes are a must for fans of chocolate and caramel. A sweet and salty favorite!

As much as I love cupcakes, I don’t make them very often. It’s the frosting thing. I have no patience for it. Luckily, I can usually recruit Quinn to take on that task. He was glad to do it in exchange for some of the scooped out cupcake remnants.

The chocolate cupcakes topped off with that dark chocolate frosting would be enough. Add in the salted caramel filling, and these cupcakes are transformed into something fantastic. They are a bit labor-intensive, but trust me when I say that they are worth every minute.

Chocolate Salted-Caramel Mini Cupcakes

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 56-60 mini cupcakes

Chocolate Salted-Caramel Mini Cupcakes


    For the cupcakes:
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • sea salt, for garnish
  • For the filling:
  • 2 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 & 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 & 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/2 pounds semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled


To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line mini muffin pans with paper liners.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and water. Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix until smooth.

Fill muffin pans about 2/3 full. Bake about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks about 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes to wire racks to let cool completely.

Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature or frozen in an airtight container for up to a month.

To make the filling:

Heat sugar, water, and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over high heat. Stir occasionally until syrup is clear. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pan. Stop stirring, and cook until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush as needed.

Boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is caramelized and temperature just reaches 360°.

Remove from heat. Slowly pour in cream and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in sea salt. Use immediately. If caramel begins to harden, reheat gently until pourable.

Use a paring knife, cut a cone-shaped piece, about 1/2-inch deep, from the center of each cupcake. Spoon 1-2 teaspoons of warm filling into each cupcake. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over filling.

To make the frosting:

Combine cocoa and boiling water. Stir until cocoa has dissolved.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add melted and cooled chocolate. Beat until combined. Beat in cocoa mixture.

Frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days or frozen up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth before using.

Fit a pastry bag with a medium open-star tip (Wilton #18). Fill pastry bag with frosting. Pipe onto cupcakes, swirling tip and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. Garnish with a pinch of sea salt.

Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are filled and frosted. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container until ready to serve.


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes.

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  1. Sugar Duchess September 18, 2009 Reply

    Wow. Gorgeous.
    …I guess I really have nothing else to say. Just, wow.

    • lily June 17, 2014 Reply

      Mmm, those look delicious. Salted caramel is the best.

  2. Stacy B. September 18, 2009 Reply

    Oh these look so yummy. I love the salted caramel, it is a delicious find. Hoping I have time to try this recipe soon. Love your blog!

  3. Dorothy September 18, 2009 Reply

    Welcome back! The cupcakes look delicious…mmmm….salted caramel.

  4. Mimi September 18, 2009 Reply

    Welcome back. The cupcakes look fantastic.

  5. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) September 18, 2009 Reply

    I miss having you around, because you ALWAYS find the best recipes :) :) This one looks like a winner for sure! I’m going to try it soon! Already bookmarked

  6. Lianne September 19, 2009 Reply

    wow. these look AWESOME! Definitely bookmarking this and trying this. Choc-Caramel. nothing can go wrong with this combination.

    thanks for this! love your blog! (: added u to my links!

  7. Barbara September 19, 2009 Reply

    Chocolate and caramel taste just that much better with a little salt. And here you have it all in one recipe! Delicious!

  8. Michelle September 19, 2009 Reply

    Just that picture of the cupcake with all that sea salt sprinkled all over is making me woozy. They are beautiful.

  9. Ginny September 19, 2009 Reply

    Too funny – I was just thinking about you yesterday! Glad to see you back. The cupcakes look awesome.

  10. Sara September 19, 2009 Reply

    Mmm, those look delicious. Salted caramel is the best.

  11. Anna September 19, 2009 Reply

    It’s good to see you back and with such a drool-inducing recipe!

  12. lisa (dandysugar) September 19, 2009 Reply

    These look so delicious. I love the sprinkling if sea salt. I can jus taste that salted caramel.

  13. lisa (dandysugar) September 19, 2009 Reply

    These look delicious. I love the pretty sprinkling of sea salt-I can just taste the salted caramel.

  14. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction September 19, 2009 Reply

    Amazing… The salted caramel and chocolate combo sounds divine. Glad you’re back!

  15. Maria Jose September 19, 2009 Reply

    Me ha encantado la receta, la hare aunque tengo que usar un traductor, me ha parecido maravillosa…besos

  16. deeba September 19, 2009 Reply

    Oh these are gorgeous…just fab! I love the flavour combination! Beautiful pictures too! welcome back…

  17. agneta September 19, 2009 Reply

    oh my… love your virtual image!! amazing mix of pic’s!!

    regards from sweden & agneta

  18. Sophie September 20, 2009 Reply

    They just look georgous!!

    MMMMMMMMM,…true master pieces!!

  19. CaSaundra September 20, 2009 Reply

    If I ate these, I would think I died and went to chocolate heaven–yummy! I would sprinkle some crushed salted pretzels on top for extra crunch/salt!

  20. Victoria September 21, 2009 Reply

    Boy am I glad you’re back! I was almost dying of lack of inspiration! :)

    Cupcakes look ready to bite into! I can almost imagine the sweet rich ganache with crunchy flecks of salt. mmmm.

    Keep baking!=)

  21. Diane Du September 21, 2009 Reply

    Glad you’re back! I have been missing your inspiration.

  22. Eliana September 21, 2009 Reply

    What a great way to come back. These cupcakes look amazing – great eye candy.

  23. The Duo Dishes September 21, 2009 Reply

    Mmm, chocolate. Mmm, caramel. Mmm, salt.

  24. I’ll take your word that the labor on these cupcakes is worth my while. These not only look delicious, but are guaranteed to make my girlfriend happy, as she seems convinced everything tastes better in “tiny” form. I’m sure these will be no exception.

  25. dawn September 22, 2009 Reply

    yep, salt, chocolate & caramel that is about perfect for me.

  26. pity September 23, 2009 Reply

    i love the combination of salt and chocolate, and your and this cupcakes look soooo delicious, very well done!

    cheers from london,


  27. Jennifer Galatioto September 23, 2009 Reply


  28. Errin September 23, 2009 Reply

    Salted caramel chocolate cupcakes? Yes please! Now if only there were a way to keep me from eating them all in one day…

  29. nami-hiiri September 24, 2009 Reply

    Hi! What a wonderful chocolate salted mini cake ! But I do love your nut one!

  30. Danielle September 25, 2009 Reply

    Gorgeous and sounds delicious!

  31. Shandy September 25, 2009 Reply

    I love all things with chocolate and caramel and just found out how delicious the flavors are combined with different types of salt. Gorgeous cupcakes! I have the Martha Stewart cupcake cookbook and will have to dig the recipe out and give these a try.

  32. The Purple Foodie September 26, 2009 Reply

    Oh this looks so fantastic! Salted caramel in the middle of a cake. YUM! I am just like you when it comes to cupcakes.. I too don’t have the patience for icing, but just made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing for my blog anniversary. Lved the cream cheese frosting.

  33. Abby September 26, 2009 Reply

    I think divine just about sums these up.

  34. Chelsey G. September 27, 2009 Reply

    these look heavenly…check out my baking blog at!

  35. The Food Hunter September 28, 2009 Reply

    Cupcakes sound delicious.

  36. Allie September 29, 2009 Reply

    Wow, those look amazing. Definitely going on my to-bake list!

  37. Bunny October 6, 2009 Reply

    These are absolutely fantastic! I have the book,too!

  38. dining sets October 7, 2009 Reply

    I am speechless! haha Got nothing to say! It looks like heaven!

  39. natalie October 8, 2009 Reply

    oh me oh my. those look so incredibly good i wish i could take them right off the screen! YUMMM!! i just found your blog and love it! i am going to make these no doubt!!

  40. joan trueblood October 9, 2009 Reply

    I made these today. They were unspeakably delicious. I had some left over salted caramel from the “Sweet and Salty” cake that I made from the “Baked” cookbook. I used Rosie’s chocolate fudge icing from Rosie’s Baking Book. Super easy and excellent recipe: Melt 4 oz unsweetened chocolate ( I use the microwave on 50% power to melt chocolate). Let cool slightly. Put a small can (5 oz, or 3/4 cup) evaporated milk + 1 cup of granulated sugar in a blender. Blend for 2 secs. Add the melted chocolate & blend on high for about 1-2 minutes. Pour into a bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes. Use for frosting. It wasn’t quite enough frosting for the whole batch of cupcakes, so you might want to multiply the recipe by 1.25.

  41. Jane October 11, 2009 Reply

    These do look and sound utterly fantastic! I’ve never tried the salted caramel thing, but I think I’m going to have to give these a whirl. I might have to breakdown and get that MS cupcake book too!

  42. Bethany October 11, 2009 Reply

    I made these cupcakes today, and they were pure deliciousness. The guests we made them for claimed that they were the best cupcakes they had ever tasted! I only have two cautions for people who make them in the future:
    1) I put 1 1/2 tsp. salt in the caramel instead of the 2 1/2 tsp. instructed in the recipe, and it was still very, very salty. I would recommend adding the salt incrementally and tasting in between.
    2) When I added the cocoa/water mixture to the frosting as directed, it changed the frosting consistency to liquid; maybe I did something wrong, but the frosting would have been plenty rich and chocolatey without it.

  43. Karen October 15, 2009 Reply

    These look scrumptious! I just found your website but I will be visiting often. Your pics are stunning and the recipes look amazing! I can’t wait to try these cupcakes out!

  44. LoveFeast Table November 4, 2009 Reply

    I had cupcakes on the brain today. My daughter’s birthday is coming up! These look wonderful and a little bit more grown up to celebrate 13 with!! Yum!

  45. Claire November 10, 2009 Reply

    Those look amazing! Such great pictures too. I will definitely try to make these soon :)

  46. Deborah November 15, 2009 Reply

    Had these last weekend and they were amazing. Salt and chocolate is a perfect marriage!

  47. jasmine December 5, 2009 Reply

    Lovely cupcakes. The chocolate cake part looks so moist and mouthwatering! Nice images.

  48. Primary Work at Home December 18, 2009 Reply

    Wow looks so yummy! I love it! Thanks for sharing this one.

  49. Elie's Papel January 14, 2010 Reply

    I wish I could bake them more often but I don’t have the time for all the prep-work… and thank God there’s no bakery who makes good ones close to my house… i would be addicted to them!!!

  50. princess golem February 10, 2010 Reply

    Nice nice !

  51. Katie January 26, 2011 Reply

    Any way to cut the work down by converting this into a 13 x 9 cake version?

    • jennifer January 27, 2011 Reply

      Hey, Katie, I sent you a message about this. Enjoy!

  52. Danielle - Sauga the Saga February 4, 2011 Reply

    I tried this recipe (and I have even images to prove it!) and they are amazing. Worth a try for sure, they were a huge hit in my house! Takes a loooot of time and patience though…

  53. Jess Wakasugi June 6, 2011 Reply

    Just wanted to let you know I posted about these cupcakes! Me (along with EVERY person who tried them) are obsessed! They are absolutely divine, thanks for the recipe!

  54. Nisha February 17, 2012 Reply

    I don’t have a mini muffin pan–can I make these as regular sized cupcakes? If so, how long should they bake for and how much caramel filling should I put in each cupcake?

    Thanks very much!!

    • jennifer February 18, 2012 Reply

      Nisha, you can certainly use a standard muffin pan. You’ll need to add a few minutes to the baking time. I’d probably test them for doneness after 18 minutes. The caramel filling needs to fill the hollowed-out cupcake pretty much to the top. The amount you’ll need will depend on how much cake you remove from each one. I’ve never made them in standard pans, but I would guess you’d need at least a tablespoon of caramel filling for each one. In any case, you’ll need the same total amount the recipe makes.

  55. michelle July 15, 2012 Reply

    Where is the recipe? I don’t see it. they look delicious!!

    • jennifer July 16, 2012 Reply

      michelle, I’m currently changing how recipes are displayed here at Bake or Break. It’s a work in progress! Previously, there was a link to the recipe above the top photograph. I’ve now added the recipe on this page, and it is printable from here. Enjoy!

  56. Sue July 28, 2012 Reply

    I will definitely be making these. I’ll probably end up making chocolate butter cream for the topping though. These are beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  57. Kristy August 26, 2012 Reply

    No cupcake liners and under a time crunch I made cake recipe in a 9 x 13 pan. Poked holes in the cake with a wooden spoon right when it came out of the oven and poured warm salted caramel over the top. Frosted the cake once it was cooled! It was great!

  58. Andy Pein September 13, 2012 Reply

    Very good I think really

  59. Marie B. February 28, 2013 Reply

    Im making this right now and super confused about the frosting as I see one of the other comment-ers was. It is really liquid. I followed the recipe exactly and was surprised to see how little powered sugar is in it before I started. Can you help, did I do something wrong? Thanks!

    • jennifer February 28, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Marie. I have double-checked the recipe, and it’s correct. If you didn’t make any changes, I’m not sure what the problem is. Maybe your butter was too soft?

  60. Kayla March 3, 2013 Reply

    These were a hit at my office – I love these (and your site). However, I thought they were plenty rich without the icing. Granted, I made it, and it was delicious. However, I wanted to eat more than one mini cupcake, and with the icing, I would have only been able to handle one. Still DELICIOUS, nevertheless.

    As for the frosting, mine was liquid at first. I think that’s because I didn’t let the melted chocolate chips cool enough. Within 15 minutes of sitting, though, it hardened into frosting.

    Thanks for yet another hit recipe!

  61. Carol April 25, 2013 Reply

    I see where you sent someone a message as to how to make these in a 9 x 13 pan. Could I possibly have a copy? These look fabulous and I would love to make a cake version.

    • jennifer April 26, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Carol. I think the cake itself is fine for a 9″x 13″x 2″ pan. The assembly will have to be different. I would either pour the caramel over the baked cake and let it set, or poke some holes in the cake and then pour the caramel over it in the hopes that some of it would soak into the cake. Then, just use the frosting on top. You could also make this Sweet and Salty Cake instead. The flavors are similar and it’s designed to be made as a layer cake.

  62. Alicia May 4, 2013 Reply

    I’m not sure if I am missing something and i never made a salted caramel recipe, but i dont see any caramel in the recipe. is there supposed to be?

  63. jennifer May 4, 2013 Reply

    Hi, Alicia. You make your own caramel for this recipe. It’s the filling portion of the recipe.

  64. Lisa June 11, 2013 Reply

    Ooh these look awesome! They would be perfect for my son’s birthday. Thank you for sharing:)

  65. Yup, just like clockwork, 3pm rolls around and I crave chocolate. Though I usually almost always crave it, I always find I need it most in the afternoon. This recipe just caught my eye and I’m adding it to my list of things to make. They look incredible! Thanks for the share! -Rebecca

  66. Dina August 23, 2013 Reply

    oh wow, that hidden caramel is amazing!

  67. Jason September 2, 2013 Reply

    These look amazing. Have you ever tried to use invert sugar in baked goods? I keep reading recipes online that use it and they say that it makes cakes much more moist and decadent. I’ve made the invert sugar at this point, but haven’t been brave enough to try it in any recipes.

  68. Sarah December 7, 2013 Reply

    Could I use a store bought chocolate cake mix? Thanks!

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry December 10, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Sarah. The cupcakes are just chocolate cake, so you can use any kind of chocolate cake you like.

  69. Arjun March 18, 2014 Reply

    The cross section picture of cake looks so mouth watering. Going to try this the coming weekend.

  70. Aqiyl Aniys March 18, 2014 Reply

    This cupcake will satisfy and chocolate craving.

  71. Jenn July 18, 2014 Reply

    Wow, that looks amazingly delicious! Can’t say I’ve had a caramel filled cupcake before, but I will definitely try one now, that’s for sure!

    By the way, I really like your photos and the nice touch with the coarse salt on the table. :)

  72. Kathy October 27, 2014 Reply

    Wow wow wow….The cupcakes look fantastic.
    I’m going to try it soon.

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