Tender brown sugar cupcakes frosted with a dulce de leche buttercream frosting decorated with popped caramel corn, peanuts and sea salt.
3 cups cake flour (or 1 cup all purpose flour and 2 cups cake)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1– 3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1– 3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites + 1 yolk- room temperature
1 –1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature ( 2–1/2 sticks)
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
15 ounce jar N’dulce, dulce de leche -milk caramel spread
1–2 teaspoons half n half or heavy cream
1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
2–3 cups caramel popcorn with peanuts- tested crunch n munch
3/4 cup dulce de leche for drizzle
1 teaspoon half n half or heavy cream
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts or honey roasted
In large mixing bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, combine butter and confectioner’s sugar. Beat on low speed, then scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl. On low speed add 4 tablespoons of dulce de leche, whip to combine, then add 4 additional tablespoons, beat in cream 1 tablespoon at a time until spreadable consistency. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Cover bowl with tea towel until ready to frost cupcakes.
Place cake on 6″ round cake board, Add a touch of frosting on the board to keep the cake from slipping. Top with 1 cup frosting, spread evenly. Add next cake layer. Then frost entire cake in thin coat (crumb coating) of frosting.
Smooth sides and top of cake with off set spatula until smooth. A bench scraper or cake smooth will help smooth sides.
Place remaining frosting in piping bag, pipe swirls on top of cake-at 12, 3, 6 and 9 positions on top of cake.
Melt dulce de leche in microwave a few seconds to thin, drizzle sauce between swirls and on top of the cake allowing to drip slightly down the sides of cake.
Fill center of cake with caramel corn and peanuts, drizzle with more caramel sauce if desired. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Keywords: brown sugar cupcakes, caramel popcorn, sea salt, dulce de leche, buttercream frosting, butter