Vanilla Cupcakes with Caramel Icing

A classic flavor combo for when you need to celebrate someone special, or for when you just want some really good cupcakes.
By Chris Scheuer
Vanilla Cupcakes with Caramel Icing

Vanilla Cupcakes with Caramel Icing
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
A classic flavor combo for when you need to celebrate someone special, or for when you just want some really good cupcakes.
Recipe Type: Dessert
Serves: 30 cupcakes
  • 1 ¾ cup cake flour
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, not softened but remove from refridg and allow to warm for about 15 minutes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract , or 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
  • Caramel Butter Cream, recipe below
Caramel Buttercream
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, melted
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 6-8 tablespoons whole milk or half and half cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean split in half and beans scraped out
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 2-pound bag powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with 30 cupcake liners.
  2. Place the first five ingredients in the bowl of stand mixer and stir together for one minute using paddle attachment.
  3. With mixer on low, drop in butter, a few cubes at a time continuing until all butter is in and mixer resembles coarse sand.
  4. Add eggs one at a time on low speed. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in milk and vanilla. Turn mixer to medium and beat for 2 minutes until batter is smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
  5. Scoop batter into cupcake liners filling cups ½ to ⅔ full. Do not be tempted to overfill. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until centers are set and toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Caramel Buttercream
  1. Combine melted butter, brown sugar and 4 tablespoons half and half in a large microwave-safe bowl. Stir well to combine.
  2. Place in microwave and cook on high power for 2-3 mintues or until mixture is furiously bubbling. Watch carefully to make sure it does not boil over.
  3. Remove from microwave and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, place softened butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Start with mixer on low speed and mix for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and mix for another minute or two. Add vanilla and cooled brown sugar/butter mixture and mix for 5 minutes. Add more half and half, as needed to make a smooth, creamy frosting.
1 Comment
  1. I love baking this recipe. I’ve been searching for a recipe that reminds me of my grandmother’s cupcakes and these do it for me. The cupcakes are so delicate and the batter was light and fluffy. I knew they would be great before putting them into the oven. They are now my go to cupcakes. The first time I made them for my son’s 2nd birthday party. I colored the icing turquoise and added shark inserts for his shark party. I just made them again with a light yellow frosting for a baby party at work. Now i just need to practice decorating like the ones pictured in this recipe.

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