Salted Caramel Cupcakes for a Virtual Baby Shower

These salted caramel cupcakes are topped with a rich salted dulce de leche caramel frosting and happen to be the perfect virtual baby shower treat for my blogging  friend Jenny of Picky Palate.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes at

There seems to be something running in the blogging water these days, when you consider all the pregnant bellies showing up on blogs, facebook and at events.

Today my friends and I are throwing a surprise virtual shower for Jenny, the creative face behind the Picky Palate a blog full of fun kitchen creations!   Jenny is a wife and mom of two little boys, with number three expected to arrive in September!  Not only has she been cooking up another picky palate to feed, but Jenny has also just finished her very first cookbook, The Picky Palate Cookbook with Wiley Publishing that will be available October 22nd 2012.  What an exciting year for her!!

We all can’t get together with Jenny in person, but we can all share our well wishes and excitement for her and her family by showering her with our virtual sweets, treats and more!

Salted Caramel Cupcake recipe

Earlier last month I visited Sprinkles cupcake shop in New York City with my daughters.  As soon as I opened the door and took in the sweet aroma, I knew I wanted the salted caramel cupcake.  I’ve been dreaming about the wonderful thick, creamy buttery caramel frosting every since, and knew I would need to try and recreate that cupcake at home.  What better time than a virtual baby shower!  I think Jenny would LOVE these as much as we did!

I started with a Duncan Hines Caramel Cake Mix and doctored it up just a bit.  Still using 3 eggs like the box calls for, but I then  used melted butter instead of oil, and only one cup of liquid, using 1/2 cup Coffee-Mate Caramel Macchiato liquid creamer and 1/2 cup water. {full recipe below}

Caramel Cupcakes at

This will yield a nice thick batter, enough for 24 regular size cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes.

The real magic happens with the frosting!  I used Nestle la lechera dulce de leche caramel to make a caramel cream cheese frosting!  If you can’t get a hold of the Dulce de Leche, I’m sure caramel ice cream topping would work well too.

Caramel Cupcake recipe at

With the left over dulce de leche, I drizzled a little over the top of the frosting then a light sprinkling of fleur de sel that I picked up at The Meadow Shop in New York City!  A beautiful and unexpected shop that I fell in love with that specializes in artisan salt and gourmet chocolate and more! A must stop if you ever find your self in NYC’s West Village!

Salted Caramel Cupcakes at

I wish I could give you  a scratch and sniff here!  Even sitting on my table 2 days later, you could just smell the creamy, buttery caramel as you walked by.  These were, dare I say, nearly as good as what we had at Sprinkles.  Although, I’m not comparing them side by side, but they were definitely every bit as dreamy as I had envisioned!

Salted Caramel Cupcake recipe at

There you go! One seriously sensational cupcake! For one seriously sensational blogger and her new baby!

I have to tell you though, my husband wasn’t a fan of the salt, so if you aren’t either, just leave the salt off the top…..but promise me, you will try it on just one!  Be very light, a little fleur de sel goes a long way!

Congrats to your family, Jenny! There are a lot of incredible moments ahead for you.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes + 12 mini cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


For Caramel Cupcakes

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Signature Caramel Cake Mix* (or Butter Cake Mix or Duncan Hines French Vanilla Cake Mix with half a cup of caramel sauce)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Coffee-Mate Caramel Macchiato liquid creamer
  • 1/2 cup water

For Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup dulce de leche caramel
  • 1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
  • 7-8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • fleur de sel


For Cupcakes

  1. Heat oven to 350° and line cupcake pans with cupcake papers.
  2. In a large bowl, using electric mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, butter, cream and water for 1 minute on low. Scrap sides, then mix on high for 1 minute.
  3. Divide batter evenly between cupcake wells and gently shake to smooth batter. Bake 18-20 minutes (10 minutes for mini cupcakes) or until toothpick inserted into the center cupcakes comes out clean.
  4. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
  5. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen in a covered container for 1-2 weeks.

For Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend slightly. Add cream cheese and blend until combined, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the caramel and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar one cup at a time and blend on low speed until combined and desired consistency (you want your frosting pretty thick).
  4. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.(about 1 minute)
  5. Pipe caramel frosting on top of cupcakes with an extra large round pastry tip
  6. Drizzle frosting with dulce de leche caramel
  7. Lightly garnish with fleur de sel

*if you can not find the Duncan Hines Signature Caramel Cake Mix, you can use a Butter Cake Mix Duncan Hines or French Vanilla Cake Mix with half a cup of dulce de leche caramel sauce.

**Making this recipe?  Take a picture and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #TidyMom so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!
Want more great recipes like this? Follow my TidyMom Easy Recipes Pinterest Board

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These CARAMEL CUPCAKES are topped with salted dulce de leche caramel frosting! One seriously sensational cupcake, similar to Sprinkles SALTED CARAMEL CUPCAKE. recipe at

Jenny’s Virtual Baby Shower Tour

Amanda: Kevin and Amanda Cinnamon Blueberry Biscoff Breakfast Cookies | Angie: Bakerella Baby Faces | Averie: Averie Cooks Chocolate Banana and Biscoff Graham Bars | Bev: Bev Cooks Horseradish Deviled Eggs | Bridget: Bake at 350 Cute as a Button Cupcakes | Cheryl: TidyMom Salted Caramel Cupcakes | Gaby: Whats Gaby Cooking Blueberry Buttermilk Cake | Heather: Heather’s Dish Perfect Pancake Bites | Julie: The Little Kitchen Mixed Berry Mint Slushies | Kathy: Panini Happy Baby Oreo Ice Cream Pies | Kristan: Confessions of a Cookbook Queen Homemade Animal Crackers | Lauren: Lauren’s Latest Mini Chocolate Lava Cakes | Lori: Recipe Girl Oreo and Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars | Maria: Two Peas and Their Pod Cookies ‘n Cream Sheet Cake | Marion: Sweetopia Baby Shower Cookie Favors | Marla: Family Fresh Cooking Blueberry Mint Agua Fresca | Michelle: Brown Eyed BakeShrimp Nacho Bites | Naomi: Bakers RoyaleChocolate and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Trifles | Recipe BoyChocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Oreos | Robyn: Add a Pinch Blue Velvet Cake | Shaina: Food For My Family Ginger Plum Preserves | Shelly: Cookies and CupsOreo Pop Baby Rattles 


more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog,, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+


  1. Uhhhh omg, I need these. That picture with the caramel being drizzled over the cupcake? I. Die. Amazing, Cheryl!

  2. Ooooh, my kind of cupcake – lots of drizzle! Yum!

  3. omg, the salty caramel is my favorite cupcake from Sprinkles! 😀

  4. Swoon…dulce de leche…I could eat the stuff by the spoonful.

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  6. Sea salt and caramel are a glorious combo. I think my mouth is pretty much drooling on my keyboard. I’ll have to make these for my fiance because he LOVES caramel.

  7. I adore salted caramel. These look amazing!

  8. Cheryl these look so yummy!
    Love that special salt.
    Also love it that you used Caramel Creamer in the cake batter.
    Your pictures are amazing!

  9. Mmm… salted caramel, sounds like perfection, especially for miss Jenny!

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  11. Mmmm…I’m drooling looking at this picture. These look amazing!

  12. These look AMAZING, Cheryl! Love all things salted caramel. And a happy baby shower to Jenny!! 🙂

  13. Oh these look amazing!

  14. These look so good, I can almost smell the caramel as you’re dripping it from the spoon to the cupcake! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Wow! These cupcakes look great! Oh and I am all for the salt girl! Cupcakes are just perfect for baby showers! Love this post!!

  16. I’m in LOVE with salted caramel and could really go for about a dozen or so of these yummies!!!

  17. I love the doctored up cake mix recipe – I need to try that! These cupcakes look amazing! Thanks for the great ideas!

  18. I must have these. I simply, must!

  19. Mmmm.. love salted caramel on everything!!

  20. These look awesome! Love that caramel drizzle on top 🙂

  21. Mmm, I can’t get enough of salted caramel, these have my name all over them!

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  23. These turned out so nice, Cheryl. Absolutely gorgeous, and salted caramel is my favorite. I can’t wait to try these.

  24. what a SWEET idea:) your cupcakes look insanely amazing!

  25. Oh my! Your photographs make these cupcakes come to life!

  26. Yum, yum and yum! I would gladly eat a dozen of these in one sitting. Just saying.

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  29. Does regular salted caramel taste the same as the french sea salt that you used?

  30. luv it thankx alot

  31. So apparently the Carmel cake mix doesn’t exist where I live. I am really disappointed I couldn’t find it anywhere, went to at least 6 different stores looking for it. I did, however, find the Duncan Hines Decadent Apple Caramel cake mix, think it would taste just as good? Or should I wait till I can find the regular caramel cake mix?

    • Darn! I’m so sorry. I don’t know why they don’t make things available everywhere!
      I think the Duncan Hines Decadent Apple Caramel cake mix would maybe work – but I would follow the direction on the box for mixing the cake – because I think that’s a smaller cake

      Here’s what I would try on of 2 ways

      get a good butter cake mix or even the Duncan Hines French Vanilla (if you can find it) and
      • use 1 cup caramel creamer and no water (and follow my recipe)
      • Follow my recipe + add ½ cup caramel sauce/syrup to the cake mix

      Hope that helps!

      • I am trying the Butter cake mix with 1 cup of the creamer…hoping it turns out as good as yours look! Thanks for the help!

      • I just called Duncan Hines (3/1/13) and they have discontinued their caramel cake mix!!! I’m going to try a plain white or butter cake mix instead and use creamer instead of water…and perhaps a spoon or two of caramel sauce.

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  34. i have a question about the salted caramel cupcakes – i can’t find the cake mix but did find butter pecan – how do you think that would work or should i stick to the suggestion you mentioned above about the french vanilla?
    Thanks in advance for your reply 🙂

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  37. I was drooling over this recipe and then was asked to make cupcakes for a (non-virtual) baby shower and finally, had an excuse to make them. I couldn’t find the Caramel cake mix either and freaked out a little bit, but then I saw your modifications for a French Vanilla mix… I added 1/2 c. caramel like recommended and they tasted amazing! Thank you for this fabulous recipe!! A huge hit!

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  39. Hey! Just wanted to let you know I made these and they are DELISH! I actually posted the recipe on my blog as well! Thank you so much for the lovely recipe!

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  45. These look so good I want to make them right now!

  46. Hi, I’m planning on trying these. My question is…sorry, maybe it’s me….but I have a question about the coffee-mate creamer. In one link it shows a link to amazon, for the powdered version and the other (recipe) shows the liquid version. Which is it? It says 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of creamer…could go either way….

    • Hi Jo Ann, sorry for the confusion – but I just double checked and all the links go to the liquid creamer – and the liquid cream is what I used.

      Hope this helps

  47. I love this recipe however along with some of the other ladies I wasn’t able to get a hold of the Duncan Hines Signature Caramel Cake Mix so I used Duncan Hines French Vanilla Cake Mix with half a cup of caramel sauce. They were a hit at my friends baby shower, a few of the ladies asked for the recipe. I also really like the look of your blog as soon as I saw those pictures I knew it was a recipe I had to try.

  48. I found the Duncan hines signature caramel cake mix and the Nestles carmel dulce de leche on Amazon so I just ordered it. I’m so excited to try your recipe that I decided to pay the extra and order on Amazon.
    A question, the picture you have posted looks like it has swirls in the cupcake. Does it have swirls? I didn’t see any instructions on mixing something into the mix itself. Thanks, can’t wait to try this.

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