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 at

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
  • 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.

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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