I feel like it has been so long since I last posted one of my own desserts. Eek! So sorry to be MIA! I have been so busy with numerous projects that I can hardly wait to share with you soon!
A couple of weeks back, I had the pleasure of making cupcakes for my sister in-law’s baby shower. Her baby shower theme was pink, so I wanted to create a cupcake that would tie in nicely with her party. Anything pink and glittery is right up my alley.
Over the past few years, I have gotten really comfortable with baking vanilla cupcakes topped with vanilla frosting. One of my goals for 2012 is to start taking more flavor risks. So, I asked our Facebook & Twitter friends what their favorite go-to frosting recipe was. We received a lot of great responses- thanks guys! Luckily I came across Gimme Some Oven’s recipe for Vanilla Almond Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting. After I read all 69 comments, this recipe had me sold. I took some of their reader’s suggestions and customized her Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting to my own liking.
I am so glad that I decided to make this recipe. First and foremost, thank you Gimme Some Oven for sharing this recipe and encouraging me to make my own homemade caramel. If I knew how easy it was to make caramel myself, I would have made it a long time ago. This is one of my favorite cupcake recipes. Believe it or not, the Vanilla Almond Cupcake ingredients were based off of a boxed cake mix. Rich ingredients such as fresh buttermilk, almond extract, and vanilla extract change this recipe to be more than just a boxed cake mix. I would definitely refer to this recipe as a gourmet boxed cake mix recipe. I loved this recipe so much that I made it twice in one month!
For Christmas I got the new iPhone 4S. I actually took all the photos of the cupcakes with my new phone. Along with my new iPhone, my mom and mother in-law both got me this adorable wooden sign that reads “Mom’s Place…Where All Her Little Cupcakes Get Sprinkled With Love.” I thought it would make for the perfect photo shoot for these cupcakes. Even though I am stoked about my new iPhone, this will probably be my last dessert feature using it. For my birthday, I got a Canon Rebel 2Ti and I can hardly wait to put it to work. I am one lucky girl! Do you have a favorite boxed cake mix recipe that includes adding additional ingredients to it?
Vanilla Almond Cupcakes w/ Salted Caramel Buttercream Recipe
(Recipe from: Gimme Some Oven + Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting recipe Customized by Best Friends For Frosting)
- 1 (18.25 oz.) white cake mix
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 Tbsp. water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tsp. vanilla
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) salted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
To Make Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
Add the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, almond extract, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Add eggs one at a time, until the batter is well-mixed. Increase speed to high and beat until thick and fluffy, 2 minutes longer.
Pour or scoop the batter into paper liners until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cupcakes cool on a wire rack.
To Make Frosting (pics above and below):
Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla (just start with a tablespoon or two), stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. (Be careful, as the mixture will definitely bubble up and possibly splatter a bit as you add in the cream). Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.
To achieve the soft pink frosting color, add 4 drops of pink gel paste food coloring. Mix only until incorporated.
Turn off the mixer, and then add caramel. Beat frosting on low to combine, and then increase to medium-high and beat until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate if not using immediately or refrigerate to harden the frosting a bit.
***To frost 24 cupcakes as Gimme Some Oven & I both did, it is recommended to make a double batch of the frosting. But if you’re just spreading it on with a knife, one batch should be plenty!