Take Me Out to the Ballgame Cupcakes

This recipe for chocolate-chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel sauce and buttercream frosting took first place in the cupcake competition in this year's Westlake Corporate Challenge. Jodi Rodriguez works for the city's Community Services Department.

Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2  tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 sections (1/2 oz. each) Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar, melted
  • 1 small package instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 cup semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips
  1.  Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.
  2.  Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla; beat with whisk or spoon until batter is smooth. Blend in melted chocolate. Once blended, thoroughly gently stir in ½-package of instant pudding followed by chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
  3.  Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.
  4. When cool, fill with Salted Caramel Sauce and frost with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting (recipes follow). To finish, top with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a small handful of Cracker Jacks. ENJOY!

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Yield: Approx. 2 cups

1. Before beginning, make sure you have all of the ingredients ready. Once you start the sauce it is important to pay close attention so it doesn’t burn. To start, heat the sugar over medium high-heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, whisk the sugar. The sugar will clump, this is normal, keep whisking as it continues to melt. When the sugar is completely melted, stop whisking. You may swirl the pan to move the sugar around, but do not stir or whisk (as this will cause the sugar to seize).

2. Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color. Watch the pan very closely, as the color will turn quickly. It is easy at this point to burn the caramel so a watchful eye is best. (If using a candy thermometer the temperature should reach 350 degrees when it is ready.)

3. As soon as the sugar reaches the desired amber color, or 350 degrees, carefully add the butter and stir, using wooden spoon, until melted completely.

4. Remove pan from heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stir until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Stir in kosher salt.

5. Let the caramel sauce cool for approximately 10 minutes, in the pan then pour into a large jar and cool to room temperature. Salted Caramel Sauce can be stored, in a refrigerated and sealed jar for up to a month. (Caramel Sauce is the perfect ice cream topping as well.)

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe above)

1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
2. Add 2-3 cups of the powdered sugar into the butter/cream cheese mixture, a little at a time, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
3. Add 1 cup of the salted caramel and mix on medium speed until combined.
4. Add additional powdered sugar until frosting is the sweetness and consistency you desire.

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Volume 5, Issue 18, Posted 10:51 AM, 09.04.2013