Salted Caramel Cupcakes

These Salted Caramel Cupcakes are a dream come true for salted caramel lovers! Light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes are topped with homemade caramel buttercream, caramel sauce and a dash of sea salt!

Image of Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Perfect Salted Caramel Cupcakes

So, hey.

We’re still redoing our kitchen.

There is an end in sight, at this point…however…sometimes projects lead to more projects.

So while the kitchen cabinets are just about finished and our counter will be installed this week, our kitchen project has lead to a “paint the entire living area project” as well as a “lay all new floors in the house project” and also a “buy new curtains project”.

Then I decided that with all the new floor and new wall and new kitchen business, we might need a new dining room table.  Because you can’t really enjoy the newness of everything else while staring at a kitchen table that has kool-aid rings and Sharpie doodles on it.  It kinda ruins everything.

And really, if we get a new kitchen table, we kind of need a new coffee table in the family room.  But with a new coffee table, you need new end tables.  And seriously, you can’t have new end tables without new couches.

But my husband doesn’t feel the same way.  He doesn’t understand how bad our couches will feel.  They’ll miss the kool-aid rings and Sharpie doodles.  I don’t want my couches to feel abandoned.  And I certainly don’t want my kool-aid rings pulling a Toy Story  on me and trying to find a way back to the house.


So basically I made cupcakes to soften the husband up to the idea of Extreme Home Makeover: DIY edition.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes, actually.

While he loved the cupcakes, he pretended he went deaf during the whole “buy new everything” conversation.

Temporary deafness apparently is a thing.

We’re going to the doctor next week.



So let’s talk.

Are you going to miss seeing my sweet plywood counter tops in pictures?

I’m not.


Here’s the deal with these cupcakes. It starts with caramel sauce.

Homemade caramel sauce.

Wait, come back!  Don’t run scared…you can do it, I promise.

This is the world’s most foolproof caramel sauce ever.

No candy thermometer necessary.

And it’s for-sure easier than unwrapping all those pre-made caramels, I swear it.

How to Make The Best Salted Caramel Dessert

Just melt some butter, milk,and  dark and light brown sugar together.


Then boil it.  For just 3 minutes.  That’s totally it.

It will seem too runny, but I promise you, as it cools off it will thicken.  Patience, grasshopper.


While you’re waiting to prove me wrong, bake your cupcakes.



Fill the liners about 3/4 full.


While they are cooling you’ll need to make your frosting.  This is where you’ll need some of the cooled caramel you made…just butter, powdered sugar, caramel and milk.


Then poke some holes in the tops of your cupcakes.

It’s fun.


Then drizzle some caramel on top of those and let it soak all in…


You could stop there, really, but you made frosting, remember?


Just frost them a little, sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with more caramel.

Could a cupcake be more gorgeous?


You will have about 3/4 cup of  caramel left…which is only a problem if you’re an alien.

Save that and use it on ice cream, cake, hot dogs, whatever…



Salted Caramel Cupcakes

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 18 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These Salted Caramel Cupcakes are a dream come true for salted caramel lovers! Light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes are topped with homemade caramel buttercream, caramel sauce and a dash of sea salt!


Caramel Sauce:

  • 12 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole milk


  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup whole milk

Caramel Buttercream:

  • 3/4 cup reserved caramel sauce
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • Sea Salt for topping


Caramel Sauce:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and light and dark brown sugars, and milk together. Bring to a boil.
  2. Let mixture boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together.
  4. In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar over medium speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  5. Add the flour and the milk, beating on low speed until ingredients are just combined.
  6. Fill each liner about 3/4 full, about 1/4 cup batter.
  7. Bake approx 20 minutes until centers are set.
  8. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.

Caramel Buttercream:

  1. While cupcakes are cooling make your frosting. Combine butter, powdered sugar 3/4 cup prepared (and cooled) caramel sauce and milk in a mixing bowl. Beat ingredients together about 2 minutes until creamy.

Constructing Cupcakes:

  1. After cupcakes have cooled for about 10 minutes, pierce tops of cupcakes with a sharp knife or skewer about 10 times. Pour about 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce on top of each cupcake, allowing it to absorb into the holes.
  2. Let the cupcakes finish cooling completely and then frost with about 2 tablespoons of frosting on each. Lightly sprinkle your cupcakes with (coarse or flaked) sea salt.

Keywords:: salted caramel cupcakes, caramel buttercream, caramel dessert, caramel recipe, easy caramel recipe, caramel frosting recipe, homemade caramel, homemade caramel recipe

Want To Save This Recipe?


Here are some other fun Salted Caramel yumminess I am dying to try:

Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes from Sprinkle Bakes

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes from Bakingdom

Salted Caramel Bundt Cake from Eats Well With Others

and these Salted Caramel Cupcakes from Tidy Mom made with Caramel Macchiato Coffee Creamer…such a great idea!

Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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68 Responses
  1. These didn’t do the trick at getting the whole house makeover??? That surprises me because those are insanely good looking. And poke holes in the top for more drippy caramel to go inside…I am so there!!! Salted caramel gets me every single time!!!

  2. I am soooo in love with these cupcakes. You cannot beat homemade caramel sauce. It’s the best! Love that you let it soak into the cupcakes–divine!

    PS: Are we going to see finished kitchen pictures when it is done?

  3. My mom has temporary deafness as well!! But it always seems to wear off once I say that I’m leaving to go shopping with her credit card. I’m betting the husband will be the same way. 😛

  4. Dallas

    Did anyone elses cupcake fall down? We used the fallen cupakes as a crumble cake instead and it still was awesome. Probably will use a sturdier cupcake next time tho.

    1. shelly

      How odd that your cupcake fell? I have never had that problem..but glad to hear that you were able to make the best of the situation!

  5. Hot dogs with leftover caramel – now that is new 🙂 I always love your cupcakes!
    I hear ya’ on needing all new stuff – we just moved and it is the perfect excuse to get new furniture. Got office furniture and a new kitchen table and chairs this weekend. Already thinking of new furniture for the basement.

  6. Oh wow. Salted caramel never gets old. I was already with you, and then I saw the whole poke-the-cupcake-and-let-the-caramel-soak-in thing. Oh my.

    And the plywood counters are kind of cute. Rustic! But I can understand why you’re ready to retire them. 😉

  7. oh Shelley your cupcakes sound incredible !!!

    so I’m right there with you on wanting the whole house makeover! we are getting all new appliances, and family room flooring, and it’s making me want all new everything else!

  8. I totally get what you mean about once you start a project other projects are just sitting there smirking at ya. Or at least they smirk at our house. 🙂

    These salted caramel cupcakes are killer gorgeous, Shelly. And I’m drooling!

  9. salted caramel is one of my weaknesses! I made salted caramel krispie treats this weekend. I can’t get enough of the stuff!

    My favorite part about these cupcakes is that you poked holes so that the caramel could soak right in. I can imagine how incredible each bite much have been with the drippy caramel inside!

  10. You’ve swooned me again, Shelly. Probably more times than my own boyfriend has, but that’s besides the point. I’m OB.SESSED with caramel sauce and sweet + salty is my jam. Homemade caramel? Now that is something I see myself face-dunking in again and again.

  11. Ooh, I like the poking a hole in the cupcake to let the caramel soak in part!

    And I know exactly what you mean! We are renovating the main bathroom since a huge leak sprung and we had to rip a wall to fix the piping. Now that the bathroom is almost done (Only need to grout and sealant, put the vanity/sink and odds and ends back in), the rest of the house looks a bit…dingy in comparison. HEHEHE I’ve got PLANS for the rest of the house, but he’s a bit hesitant on spending so much (time and money) right now. Good thing we girls know how to convince men to do things they don’t really want to do right? =P

  12. I don’t understand how these cupcakes don’t win over someone into the idea of an entire house makeover. Has he eaten more than 1 cupcake? That could be the problem. Give him 3 or 4 😉

  13. Marije

    Gosh, I’m hungry now! Really want to make those.
    But do you really need two kinds of different sugar for the caramel sauce? (:

    1. shelly

      You probably don’t NEED the different sugars, but I love dark brown sugar, but wanted to balance it out slightly with the white.

Leave a Reply

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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