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!

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.

Top view of cupcakes with salted caramel drizzle

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.

A collage of two photos of butter and brown sugar melting in a saucepan

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.

Bubbling homemade caramel sauce in a saucepan

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


Butter mixture being beaten in a stand mixer bowl

Fill the liners about 3/4 full.

A collage of two images of cupcakes before and after baking

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.

Caramel sauce being poured into a mixing bowl

Then poke some holes in the tops of your cupcakes.

It’s fun.

A knife sticking into a vanilla cupcake on a cooling rack

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

Caramel sauce being drizzled over vanilla cupcakes on a cooling rack

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

Vanilla cupcakes with caramel drizzle on a cooling rack

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

Could a cupcake be more gorgeous?

Two salted caramel cupcakes on a plate

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

Nutrition Information:

71.9 g
338 mg
19.5 g
82.2 g
3.4 g
80.6 mg

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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Dec 29, 2020 9:42 pm

I am making a 9×13 cake and want to use your icing recipe. In the amounts listed in the recipe, would that be enough icing for a cake?

Feb 28, 2019 3:36 am

I just finished baking these cupcakes and they were absolutely delicious. The only small thing I added was more salt because I love how it enhances the flavour of the caramel.

In all, this recipe is perfection! I halved the recipe and it gave me 10 cupcakes. ??

Jul 7, 2016 7:31 am

Just, WHOA. These cupcakes looks super delicious! Can’t wait to make it! Pinned!!

May 8, 2015 12:57 am

these are so beautiful !

Jan 10, 2015 3:57 pm

After 8 years of wanting a Kitchenaid stand mixer, I FINALLY caved and purchased one – this is the first recipe I decided to try with it. Caramel sauce is made (first time ever making — who knew it was SSSOOO easy and SSSOOOO good?!?!?) and cupcakes are currently in the oven (even before being cooked, the batter is the BEST tasting batter I have tried in a LONG time!) …I’m not even caring that my kids are currently boycotting nap/quiet time, because I’m too excited to get these finished!

Nov 15, 2014 12:29 pm

Im not one to comment much on recipes. I never have actually. I am an experienced self taught cook and now working on some baking. I made these the 2 days ago and they are AWESOME!!!! ^_^ SOOOO GOOD! And so simple! It was unfortunate I only had one brown sugar but it still did the trick! Only things I changed was I used some vanilla sugar in the cakes, a tad more salt, and more vanilla (I like vanilla lol!). Great recipe!!!!

Nov 1, 2013 1:29 am

These look DELICIOUS! I can’t wait to try them. However, I have a question. What happens if I use lowfat milk instead of whole milk? I normally don’t have whole milk at home.


Jun 2, 2013 1:01 am

I have tried this recipe twice now with SUCCESS both times! First I made them for a baby shower and I just got back from a work function where I made them for my boss and a bunch of coworkers- so many compliments. I 1.5’d the recipe and it worked great (I just made 1 1/2 cupcake dough and left the other things the same and it balances out better, i find). Anyway, I am very enthusiastic about these cupcakes. YUM! And they are SO beautiful.

May 21, 2013 12:16 pm

I made these with your really yummy chocolate cupcakes, and Oh. My. Goodness. These are the best thing I have ever made, or eaten. The caramel was so easy to make, and turned out delicious. After I made it, I poured it into a parchment paper lined jelly pan and stuck it in the fridge to cool down. I also added a little cream cheese to the frosting. The frosting itself tastes pretty sweet, but the chocolate cake and the sea salt help to cut the sweetness. Seriously, I want to go try everything on this blog now. If the… Read more »

Mar 2, 2013 12:24 pm

Just made these exactly following your directions and they are to die for!!!

Feb 10, 2013 6:28 am

I decided recently to have a Dessert Party! 😉 Since Valentine’s Day was coming up, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make this party! 🙂 Everyone must bring their own self made dessert, and wear Valentine Colors!! 🙂 Hehe! So I decided to try something new, as I am baking treats all the time, and didn’t want to do one of my norms’ for everyone! I follow your site already, and found these! I made them today for the party! Naturally, I had to try one of the finished product before serving to my guests, and all I… Read more »

Feb 12, 2013 3:43 pm
Reply to  Shelly

My Guests all LOVED THEM! There was none left, and some left of everything else! LOL! 😀 Thanks again! 🙂

Dec 13, 2012 9:32 pm

I made these for a Christmas party and they were a hit! Soooo yummy! My caramel didn’t exactly soak in as much as I would have liked, perhaps it cooled too long? Doesn’t really matter because they were delicious anyway!

Nov 25, 2012 5:00 am

thanks for sharing! i made these yesterday (sans buttercream) and they were delish! initially, i thought the cupcakes would be a flop as they smelt eggy and looked very textured even after baking. however, they came out perfect and we would even eat it on its own.

Oct 3, 2012 1:05 pm

This looks amazing! My sister loves Salted Caramel Cupcakes and I want to make some for her baby shower in a few days. How long will these keep?

Sep 28, 2012 4:23 pm

WOW! These sound delicious and SO easy to make! Thank you for sharing these!!

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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