Friday, June 15, 2012

Vegan Caramel Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting (Twix Cupcakes)

"Twix Cupcakes"
Last week one of our best friends, Daren, and his little brother, Jeff celebrated their birthdays. We got Daren a two year subscription to Motor Trend magazine and we got Jeff a Chicago Bears candy dispenser (I know.....a Bears fan).
Chicago Bears Candy Dispenser

To celebrate we tagged along on their birthday dinner to Daren's favorite restaurant, Buca Di Beppo, where we had fettucine alfredo, pepperoni pizza, chicken parmigana, etc. The next night, we went out to Benihana, which is ALWAYS a good time. But more about that in another post...

Whenever a birthday comes around, I use it as a perfect opportunity to do some baking. My favorite thing to bake is cupcakes. I don't know why, they make me happy. And knowing that Jeff's favorite candy bar was Twix I decided to attempt to make Twix cupcakes. Then I got ambitious and decided to come up with my own recipe for caramel Twix cupcakes.

Attempting to write my own recipe scared and excited me. I am pretty confident when it comes to cooking my own dishes, usually they come out at least ok. But baking... I am a step by step recipe follower.

I knew how to make a quick caramel sauce because I had done it before, and I knew the basic ingredients of a standard cupcake, so the question was how much caramel would I need to make the flavor shine through.
Tester Cupcake
This took a couple tries, and I still don't have the exact cupcake I was going for. But I am pretty impressed with the cupcake I did create that I am going to post the recipe and work off of it in the future. The cupcake recipe itself is vegan, however, the frosting isn't.

Trial and Error 

Vegan Caramel Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Serves 6

Ingredients for Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 cup water

1/4 cup water (to stop the cooking process)


*Make sure your arms and neck are covered before you begin. When you add the water the caramel will splash!

Combine sugar and 1/8 cup of water in a pot with tall sides. Place on stove over high heat.

Cook until the mixture turns a dark amber color, stirring occasionally.

Once amber color is achieved remove from heat and pour in 1/4 cup water and stir, being careful not to let caramel sauce touch your skin.

Return pot to stove top over low heat and stir until caramel sauce becomes sticky.

Allow to cool, then store in a glass jar.

Ingredients for Cupcakes:

1/2 cup milk (I used almond)

1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons oil (I used coconut)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

caramel sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together milk, oil, sugar, and vanilla.

Sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into milk mixture and stir until there are no clumps.

Pour batter into muffin tin lined with 6 baking cups.

Spoon desired amount of caramel sauce onto each cupcake.

With a skewer or the back of a spoon, swirl caramel around just a little.

Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on a baking rack.

Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

2 ounces of desired chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli's bittersweet chocolate chips)

1/4 cup heavy cream


Pour chocolate chips into a heat proof bowl.

Heat heavy cream in a sauce pan just until it begins to boil.

Remove heavy cream from heat and pour into bowl with chocolate.

Stir until chocolate is melted.

Allow frosting to cool for about 5 minutes.

Dip the dome of the cooled cupcakes into frosting.



** I made these "twix" cupcakes by freezing some crushed fun size twix bars and adding them to the cupcake batter.

** As for the chocolate cupcake with caramel buttercream frosting, I used this recipe. Its my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe!

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