Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

I have a confession to make. This is kind of embarrassing. I don’t know if I should be revealing this to the world.

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

I’ve never had a caramel macchiato. Not one. Not even a taste. In fact, I didn’t even drink coffee until June. Oh man oh man oh man… I was missing out.

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

I lived in Manhattan for a while this summer. Seven weeks. It was vibrant. It was lively. It was hot. My God, it was hot. 100 something degree weather mixed with 5 million percent humidity does something to a person. Something unimaginable. Something unthinkable… something that Starbucks lives for. That extraordinary heat turned me, a coffee-loathing, religiously devoted tea drinker, into a downright iced coffee fiend. Maybe the three Starbucks that I passed by on my 5 block walk home (yeah.) from dance sent me subliminal messages. Maybe that green mermaid is a spy. (*insert illuminati joke here*) Whatever it was, it worked. Hello my name is Jordana and I am obsessed with coffee.

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

I can now go out for coffee and not be that awkward one drinking tea. I can indulge in cappuccinos and lattes and caffe mochas like sophisticated coffee shop hipsters do. I can drink caramel macchiatos (still haven’t.. but at least I know I can), and more importantly, I can make coffee-inspired baked goods without the whole “well, I don’t actually like coffee” situation going on. Thank you, mystical Starbucks gods. You’ve changed me.

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

These are fancy pants cupcakes. They have a sufficiently snobby name. They’re suitable for a brie cheese, fois gras, and truffle oil dinner. They have really ideal table manners and they’re very haute couture. However! If you were, hypothetically, to eat these while watching the VMA pre-show and several episodes of Jersey Shore… I don’t think anyone would judge.

**ALSO! Does anyone notice my new snazzy header?! Thanks to the awesome Patrice Bedard, Flour Child is all spiced up! Check her out!

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

1/4 cup whole milk

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cupcakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour water over espresso powder; let cool. Combine espresso with milk. Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with espresso-milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour (batter may look broken).

Fill 15 cups (of two 12-cup muffin tins) three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool completely on cooling racks before frosting.

For the coffee glaze: (don’t skip this!)

1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons instant coffee (not espresso)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir all ingredients in a small bowl until sugar is completely dissolved. Poke several small holes in the top of each cupcake, and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of glaze on each. Do not be afraid to over-moisten the cupcakes, they will soak up the liquid perfectly. Also- it is okay to glaze the cupcakes when they are still warm, just let them cool before frosting!

For the frosting:

First, make a caramel sauce:

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (or any other sea salt. even kosher salt will do in a pinch.)
1/4 cup sour cream

Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, mix together cream and salt over a very low heat, stirring often. Be careful not to let the cream burn or boil, but keep it warm.

When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, Carefully add the hot cream to the caramel and stir rapidly. It will bubble frantically. Remove from heat, and whisk in sour cream. Cool completely, and then reserve 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce on the side to drizzle on top of the cupcakes once they are finished.

Then, make the frosting:

1 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 large egg whites

Pinch of kosher

1 pound (4 sticks) butter

Cooled caramel sauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

While the caramel cools, place the sugar, the egg whites and the salt in the metal bowl of a standing mixer. Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water. Whisk continuously until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 160° Fahrenheit. Be sure to stir from the moment that the bowl touches the heat, or else the egg whites will cook onto the bowl. *If this happens, simply strain the cooked egg white mixture through a fine mesh sieve before using in the frosting.

Fit the standing mixer with the whisk attachment and put the bowl in place. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed and beat until stiff peaks have formed

Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and begin adding the butter, a tablespoon or two at a time (it really needs to be room temperature/soft before doing this). Beat until the butter is no longer visible, and add in more, until it is all added. At some point it will look curdled and broken, but just keep on beating and beating until it gets smooth again. This could take a few minutes, but have no fear. It will come together! Just keep beating!

Slowly add in the caramel (still reserving the 1/3 cup that you left out from before) and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-low until combined and smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.

Frost each cupcake, and then drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce. Indulge.

Starbucks is taking over. C’est la vie. 

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38 Comments

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38 responses to “Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

  1. Bita E

    THESE WERE ABSOLUTELY LIFE-CHANGING. THANK YOU FLOUR CHILD FOR LIGHTING UP MY LIFE AND ENHANCING MY TASTEBUDS. PS- I totally had both of them! -b

  2. You’re not the only one! I’ve not had caramel macchiatos too and I work at Starbucks lol.

  3. Heather

    What is fluer de sel? I know it’s salt of some kind or other. Love the pictures of the cupcakes – great presentation!

  4. Ive never had one either so share your shame! :) I do enjoy coffee though, vanilla latte fan here! These cupcakes look SO SO good, like heavenly good, absolutely delicious little recipe that I am getting rather tempted by… :)

  5. These are gorgeous. Love how you presented them in the little coffee cups, too. I’ve been a coffee lover for decades and these have me swooning.

  6. CJ

    They look delicious! How much butter in the frosting?

  7. Brian Autenrieth

    This is so great!! The coffee/cupcake cup is just genius. You are amazing D!

  8. Can we have these for Thanksgivig? Love, Nana

  9. NYC summers will turn anyone into an iced coffee fiend. Iced caramel macchiatos happen to be my favorite go to summer drink and now living in Israel where there is no Starbucks really puts a damper on that. So, I will just have to try these wonderful little cupcakes instead!

  10. I’ve ever had a caramel macchiato, either. And I’ve been drinking Starbucks for years. So there you go.

    I’m happy to have found your blog and am now going to stalk you. Just an FYI. Hope you don’t mind.

  11. Judy Olson

    They look delicious. I was wondering about the coffee cup, cupcake holders. Where can I get them? Thank you for posting such delicious recipes and beautiful photos. You are very talented.

  12. deborah

    wow!! these look amazing! I might need a baking tutor to help me try these, I’ve been strictly box cake mix up until now!! I’ll let you know the outcome. hope you are well you baking goddess!!!! :)

  13. Awww this makes me think of Starbucks Skinny caramel macchiato, it looks so good :)

  14. Bridget

    Two questions. Firstly, do you think the taste of the cupcakes would turn out okay if I only had instant coffee on hand and swapped out the instant espresso for the regular instant coffee? Also, since I’m awful at making buttercreams with melted sugar, could I just swap that recipe out for a more basic buttercream? thanks.

    • Yes, I think that instant coffee would work just fine. I’d use a little more than 2 tbsp in the milk mixture, though. And of course you could use whatever frosting you like, but I do really encourage you to give this kind a shot! There are plenty of regular caramel buttercreams around if you’d rather that, though.

  15. Sandy

    This recipe looks fabulous! I am a little hesitant about the cooked buttercream as well but am going to give it a try! Going to make them for my mom for her birthday! She was wanting a caramel and coffee flavored cake and these are perfect!

  16. annecalista

    Cute post, cute cupcakes.

  17. These look delicious! I don’t drink coffee either (still vainly trying to grow a few more inches… :D) but I love coffee-flavoured desserts.

  18. Love your site! I’ve been snooping around a bit and everything is gorgeous!
    I brought over to the coffee side too because of the iced coffee deliciousness. It’s the gateway drink ;)

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  21. These were super amazing… thanks for sharing such an awesome recipe!!

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  23. Can not wait to make these!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!! I just have to tell you, I’m a new blogger and I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading HUNDREDS of them before I jumped in and yours is one of the most funny, well written, comforting, and all around engaging I read thus far. And your photos are to die for. Keep up the great work!!! (found you on Stumble Upon)

  24. I just made these, and I’m a little disappointed.. I don’t know if it’s the recipe or something I did wrong, but the cupcakes were very dense and broken looking when baked..much more like muffins than cupcakes. The glaze did moisten them a bit, but they weren’t the cakey-texture I was looking for. I’m not knocking your recipe, but for people looking for a typical textured cupcake, you should mention that in the recipe..

    • Hmmm.. that is definitely not what happened for me! It could be oven temp or baking time… or just some strange kitchen happening. They were a tiny bit dry for me, which is why I added the glaze, but definitely normal cupcake consistency. Strange!

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  26. These were DELICIOUS!!! Very involved to make but totally worth it. I’m kind of new to baking this was definitely the most difficult cupcake I’ve attempted so far – but they came out perfectly and everyone loved them. Next time I make the recipe I’m going to make it in a cake pan rather than individual cupcakes. They were TO DIE FOR and the frosting was sooooo good!!!

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  28. These look Devine! My husband is not a coffee drinker at all. In fact I think he may be the only person from Seattle that does not like it, but I am sure he’d love this.

  29. Dee

    Caramel macchiatos are heaven in a mug! They are the only coffee drink I have. I can’t wait to try these! I am a budding Couture cupcake maker, mainly I just love to bake! Lol! I like to create fabulous and original recipes with amazing presentation. Although this won’t be my recipe it will dazzle my friends and family. Of course I will give you and your blog the credit, Haha! Thank you so much!

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  31. A couple questions: Do you have to have a special kind of instant espresso powder and instant coffee? And would they sell it at Walmart or Dillon’s? And is the pinch of Kosher Kosher sea salt or something else? I realize this recipe was posted a long time ago…

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