Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Vanilla Bean & Sea Salted Caramel Cupcakes

As a Raley's Something Extra Try It member, I was sent a box of Raley's Vanilla Bean cake mix, a custom recipe for Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting, cupcake wrappers, some coupons, and a handy whisk to help me put this concoction together!

As a huge fan of vanilla, especially vanilla bean, I was really excited to try this recipe. I mean, who doesn't like cupcakes, vanilla, cream cheese, and caramel?!

The cake mix was easy enough, just add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 1 cup milk, and whisk together. Then add to baking cups, 2/3 full, bake at 400 deg for 14-16 min. I used my convection bake setting and they were done in 12 min.

Making the caramel was much easier than I thought it would be. Just add the heavy whipping cream, brown sugar, and butter, bring to a boil, then simmer at a low boil for 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt, stir, then put in the fridge to chill.

The frosting was the most difficult (for my arms at least - that's right, I use a hand mixer. I haven't been able to get my hands on a stand mixer yet. They're so expensive!). Using some of the caramel you made, cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar, mix them all together until they're well mixed and fluffy.

There was tons of frosting leftover so I put it in a container in the fridge. Not sure what I might use it on yet, but you never know! It might come in handy. Using the remaining caramel, drizzle it over the cupcakes and add a pinch of salt to each. Man these are so good! My husband and I can't eat 22 cupcakes between the 2 of us, so I ended up taking these to work to share the deliciousness. They were a hit!

The finished product!

Have you made caramel sauce from scratch before? Or frosting? This took me about an hour and  a half to complete from start to finish, which I don't think is too bad considering the results! 


  • 1 (16oz) box of Raley's Vanilla Bean Cake Mix

Salted Caramel
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Generous pinch sea salt
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  1. Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Let cool when done baking.
  2. To Prepare Caramel: bring cream brown sugar and butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and keep at a low boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla and salt and transfer to a small bowl; cover and chill.
  3. To Prepare Frosting: beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and 3/4 of caramel together until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until smooth.
  4. Spread over cupcakes and drizzle with remaining caramel, warming for a few seconds in the microwave if too thick. Add a small sprinkle of sea salt to each cupcake.

Disclosure: I received this product free from the Something Extra Try-It program but all the opinions are my own.

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