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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…

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Salted Caramel Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 3 reviews
  • 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.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 506
  • Sugar: 71.9 g
  • Sodium: 338 mg
  • Fat: 19.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 82.2 g
  • Protein: 3.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 80.6 mg

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Find more recipes like this:

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!

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70 comments on “Salted Caramel Cupcakes”

  1. 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 can say is OMG! OMG! OMG! I know my mouth had about 4 mouthgasms, while eating just one of these cupcakes! I followe the recipe to a T, except that I am an American, living in Austria, and can only get ONE kind of brown sugar! lol! Didn’t matter, it tastes absolutely perfect and fabulous and I cannot wait, I repeat cannot wait to serve these to my friends today!! Thank you! Thank you! thank you! 🙂

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. I want to lick the paper, then the spoon and then gobble up a couple of those cupcakes, YUM! Have fun with the re-do!

  6. This made me smile..My hubby gets temporary deafness too sometimes.. I think it is in the hubby handbook. I am drooling over these. I will try the caramel sauce..I was always unwrapping those buggers and it is a royal pain. Soon it will cool down and I will bake up a storm. Hubby is waiting for the oven to heat up all summer,but unless he put in airconditioning in the ktichen, it won’t happen….ha ha..Thanks!

  7. Carla @ Carla's Confections

    I don’t think these could look more beautiful!!! I want some right now! I promise I’ll let you do all the DIY home makeovers you want! 😉

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