Toffee Crunch Cupcake with Caramel Frosting ~ Grab your toffee crunch in a cupcake crumb with a little caramel frosting dipped in some chocolate and rimmed with chocolate covered toffee bits. Its decadence meets gluttony-but should a cupcake be anything else but that?
If you haven’t noticed by now, I don’t have a subtle hand when it comes to cupcake decorating. I like my cupcakes loud, obnoxious, over stuffed, overfilled, and over frosted-basically over the top. Which is funny because that is totally the opposite of me?
When I say opposite, I’m not a loud a person, I’m about as a loud as 5 foot tall person and cat pieced together can be. I’m definitely not obnoxious, unless I’m playing Scrabble, then yes; I’m obnoxious and hate to lose to a word like qi. (And, Matt, if you’re reading, I still have never heard you or anyone for that matter use it or reference it unless it is to rack in some tiling points).
As for the over frosted-WAY not me. I’m so simplistic. My wardrobe consists of two pairs of beloved holey jeans, tank tops and flip flops, and a skirt here and there. For work it’s an unissued uniform. You will find me in a black dress, black cardigan and black heels. Really it’s not so bad; it’s a bit awkward at first that is until you explain to your boss, “Yes, I did go home. I just prefer to not to burn through my time worrying about things like whether or not my blouse matches my pants or if I just wore this outfit a week ago”. Aside from that I find shopping incredibly overrated. That is unless it’s for kitchen tools or food props . . . then by all means, Sur la Table and eBay are my money tossing addiction.
About the only thing I have in common with my loud cupcake is not being able to get enough of them. Seriously. I went a bit crazy this weekend baking after a full week of no-bake desserts.
So get ready for a serious week of eats!
Toffee Crunch Cupcakes
Yield: Makes 12 cupcakes
- 1 cup (4.5 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7.3 ounces) sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) SCHARFFEN BERGER Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon instant coffee granules (recommended: Starbucks Via)
- 1/2 cup hot coffee
- 1/2 cup chocolate covered toffee bits
- 5 large egg whites
- 11/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup caramel sauce (click here for a homemade caramel recipe)
Chocolate Dipping Sauce
- 2/3 cups dark chocolate
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
- 5-8 tablespoons water, warm
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine and mix together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add in butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat for one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the instant coffee granules and hot coffee, beat until batter is smooth, about 20-30 seconds. The batter will be thin enough to pour. Divide it evenly among the lined cups. Bake 18-22 minutes just until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool. Store and serve at room temperature.
TIP: For light tender cupcakes, spoon flour and cocoa lightly into measuring cups (instead of dipping the cups into the flour or cocoa) and then sweep the measures level without tapping or shaking them.
- Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.
- Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume.
- Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking-this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add caramel sauce and mix to combine.
Chocolate Dipping Sauce
Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add water one tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Set aside and let sauce cool to warm.
To assemble cupcake
To frost the cupcakes: Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and start piping from the outside working in to the center to create one even layer. Freeze cupcakes for 20 minutes before dipping in warm chocolate sauce, so that the frosting does not melt. Remove cupcakes and dip in warm chocolate sauce, and then rim with chocolate covered toffee bits. Return cupcakes to freezer for five minutes for chocolate to set. Remove from freezer and finish piping frosting on top.
A few notes:
- The cupcake can be made a day in advance. For the frosting, use homemade caramel for a deeper flavor. For a quick and simple tutorial to making homemade caramel sauce click here. The frosting can be made seven days in advance and then brought to room temperature for piping consistency. The cupcake can be fully assembled the night before and refrigerated.
- The cupcake flavor pairing and combination is mine. The chocolate cupcake portion is an Alice Medrich recipe. The adaptations I made: I added a half cup of hot coffee in place of the hot water portions. (Side note: last time I made this recipe I added Starbucks Via coffee to it. This time I wanted just a hint of the coffee something a little less strong that espresso granules). I also added a ½ cup of chocolate covered toffee bits (found in the baking section of the grocery store) into the batter.
- As always, I highly recommend Scharffen Berger’s Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder. It’s the best on the market and will make a huge difference in your baking results in terms of flavor.
Chocolate Cupcake portion adapted from Alice Medrich for Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker