Ultimate Salted Cupcakes With Caramel Recipe


This is not your average ho hum cupcake recipe. This one has been labeled ULTIMATE on purpose. These Ultimate Salted Cupcakes with Caramel will be sure to have your guests raving about the visual beauty as well as the delicious flavors.

I wanted to create an easy recipe for salted cupcakes with a subtle hint of caramel. Knowing that sea salt and caramel flavors go hand in hand, the goal was to accommodate the caramel flavoring, but I also knew that my eaters are not overly fond of a strong caramel flavor. So, if you’re also a person who prefers a more subtle caramel flavor with sea salt, then this recipe is one you’re going to like!

Salted Cupcakes With Caramel. Photo by CookThink.
Salted Cupcakes With Caramel. Photo by CookThink.


muffin tin
mixing bowl
electric mixer with paddle attachment
piping bag (optional)
parchment paper

Shopping List

cupcake papers
1 yellow cake mix
eggs salted butter
brown sugar
powdered sugar
granulated sugar
hardening shell chocolate
sea salt
vanilla extract
heavy cream

What Cake Mix Should I Use?

In our recipe testing we used Baker’s Corner Yellow Cake Mix from Aldi. But any brand of yellow cake mix should work well. In essence what we’ve done with this recipe is replaced the oil with butter and brown sugar heated and melded together to give the cake its delicious but not too strong caramel flavor.

Can I Make a Half of a Cake Mix?

Yes. You sure can make a half of a cake mix. If you’re wanting to make a batch of cupcakes but you don’t need two dozen like the box makes, you can just use half of the mix. You’ll also want to reduce the other ingredients that are added to the cake portion to half as well. And you’ll have the perfect little batch of salted cupcakes in the portion you need.

How To Store Salted Cupcakes

The best way to store salted cupcakes with caramel is to keep them in the refrigerator if you plan to use them in the next 3 days. Just enclose them in an airtight container to help maintain their freshness.

Salted cupcakes can also be stored in the freezer for a longer storage solution. Keep them in an airtight container to keep them from becoming freezer burnt. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When thawing them, simply place them on the counter at room temperature for about an hour, or place them in the refrigerator overnight.

The Importance of Using Room Temperature Butter for Buttercream

If you’re planning to make salted cupcakes with caramel, the best practice is to place two sticks of salted butter on the kitchen counter the night before. This will allow your butter to heat to room temperature by the time you’re ready to use it.

Believe me, I’ve made oodles of buttercream over the years. I’ve tried cutting corners before and the results were disastrous. Once the butter is heated to room temperature you will be able to indent it when gently touching the wrapper with your finger. Using room temperature butter is very important and will give you the best results for your buttercream.

Salted Cupcakes With Caramel. Photo by CookThink.
Salted Cupcakes With Caramel. Photo by CookThink.

Can Salted Cupcakes Be Made In Advance?

Yes. Salted cupcakes can be made up to three days in advance if you store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and up to a few months in advance if you are able to store them in an airtight container in the freezer. Like most any foods however, they are best when served fresh.

What Kind of Caramel Should I Use?

You don’t need to purchase any caramel to make these cupcakes.  This recipe uses all the ingredients that are typically already on hand in your kitchen, to make these deliciously wonderful, salted cupcakes with a hint of caramel.

Ultimate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

This recipe is not your average day to day cupcake recipe. I have kicked it up a notch and made it an ultimate recipe, while keeping it simple and using a cake mix as the base. When you pull these out to serve your guests they are sure to be impressed by the ultimate visual aspects as well as the delicious flavors they will enjoy.

Salted Triple Caramel Cupcakes

Some refer to this recipe as salted triple caramel cupcakes. Caramel is used in each of the three components, the cake, the buttercream frosting and in the candy garnish. They are salted triple caramel cupcakes!

Salted Pecan Cupcakes

If your eaters are nut lovers then perhaps you might want to use a variation of this recipe making a salted pecan cupcake. Roasted, salted pecans can be added in the cake batter itself and crushed and sprinkled on top of the buttercream frosting. If you like this recipe, then you can surely change it up and add a new interest by incorporating pecans as well.

Salted Cupcakes With Caramel. Photo by CookThink.
Salted Cupcakes With Caramel. Photo by CookThink.

How to Make Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Making salted cupcakes with caramel are a three-part process. We use a yellow cake mix and adapt it to have a slight salted caramel flavor, make homemade salted caramel buttercream frosting and finish with an easy but impressive candied salted caramel garnish. Your guests will rave about these cupcakes!


Salted Cupcakes

1 yellow cake mix
3 eggs
½ cup butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup water

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

2 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp heavy cream

Candied Salted Caramel Garnish

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
¾ cups water
¼ tsp sea salt


Salted Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers.

2. Melt ½ cup butter and brown sugar on the stovetop until well combined.

3. Combine yellow cake mix, 3 eggs, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 cup water and warm butter and brown sugar mixture with an electric mixer. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix.

4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

1. Cream together 1 cup room temperature salted butter, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 3 tbsp heavy cream until mixed thoroughly.

2. Add 2 ½ cups powdered sugar and mix on low until well combined. Then increase speed to high and whip the buttercream about 3 minutes.

3. Assure the cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting. Frost with a knife or piping bag and tip.

Candied Salted Caramel Garnish

1. Lay out a large piece of parchment paper on a flat surface.
2. Whisk together ¾ cups water, 1 ¼ cups sugar and ¼ tsp sea salt in a medium saucepan over low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved.3. Increase heat to high, bringing the syrup mixture to a boil. Boil until the syrup turns a dark amber color. Do not stir. Remove from heat and dip pan into an ice bath to stop cooking.

4. Working very quickly, drizzle syrup in thin streams over parchment paper. Move the spoon in a zig zag pattern or circular motion for your desired shape or pattern.  Repeat until all the syrup has been used.

5. Once the candy has cooled, break it apart or simply remove it from the parchment paper and garnish cupcakes. If desired, drizzle with hardening shell chocolate and then place in the refrigerator.

Serve and enjoy!

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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