A few weeks ago I was at a Halloween bake sale and there was this one type of cup cake that hardly anyone had purchased. I learned that the man selling them was also the baker of this quasi-untouched treat. I consequently purchased his cup cakes out of sympathy, so that he wouldn’t feel badly that his prized treats remained on the nearly empty table. I mistakenly never caught his name.
Upon returning home, having one of my usual Saturday chocolate cravings, I decided to give this treat a whirl on my palate. Much to my surprise, it was amongst the best cup cakes I have had to date. At my first bite, I realized I had found my new obsession. Chocolate cup cakes with caramel frosting….and obsess is exactly what I did over the next two weeks. I read at least 12 books and countless blogs to see if somehow I could recreate this delectable morsel which seemed like the perfect treasure to bestow upon a friend. I am happy to report success! While it may not be this mystery person’s recipe, I think it is a wonderful blend of flavors and I can divulge that I ate two while they were still warm out of the oven and- *just* frosted!
(Note: Be sure to read over the entire recipe as there are two ingredients lists and two sets of directions.)
Cocoa Fudge Cup Cakes topped with Classic Carmel Frosting
Makes 22-24 cup cakes
Cocoa Cup Cake
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup soft shortening
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt.
Using a hand held mixer, stir in shortening, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat for two minutes at medium speed. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times to ensure that the dry ingredients are well mixed.
Add in eggs and beat for two minutes more, scraping bottom and sides of bowl often.
You can either coat the cup cake pan with cooking spray or use cup cake liners. Pour 2/3 of the way up the cup cake pan. Cook for 20-22 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out dry.
Classic Caramel Frosting
2 cups light brown sugar, tightly packed
4 TBS butter
4 TBS water
2 tsps vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
22 miniature marshmallows- optional
In a medium-size heavy-bottomed sauce pan, on medium-high heat melt the brown sugar, water and butter together, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue boiling for one minute before removing it from the heat.
While the mixture is still warm, add the vanilla and then stir in the powdered sugar under it reaches the frosting consistency you desire. Frost while mixture is warm for a smooth finish. Top with a miniature marshmallow.