Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes with Brown Butter Icing and Filigree Hearts


Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, so I wanted to make some cupcakes that were ‘lovey’ but a bit more manly, because let’s face it, how many of our husbands and partners bake cupcakes for US!?

So with that in mind, I came up with these.  My husband is a caramel lover so I’ve filled them with caramel sauce, and after making brown butter cookies recently I definitely wanted to give brown butter buttercream a go!



For the Cupcakes
115g Butter
1 1/2 C Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 C Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 C Cocoa
3/4 C Warm Milk
Premade (or homemade) caramel sauce – I used Homebrand Toffee Sauce

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time and vanilla.

Sift in flour, baking powder and cocoa, then stir while adding in the warm milk until just mixed

Put mixture into cupcake cases (approx 15 standard size), then bake at 180C for about 12-15 minutes or until baked.

After baking, I used my handy dandy cupcake corer to cut out a center hole and filled with the caramel sauce.  Someone said to me when these first arrived that they’re amazing, and they are so quick, easy and leave a satisfyingly clean hole.  It doesn’t hurt that you get to eat the frashly baked cupcake holes too!


For the Brown Butter Icing:
250g Butter
4 Cups Icing Sugar
2 Tsp Vanilla

Take about half of your butter, and melt in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Continue cooking the butter, stiring gently, as it foams and changes colour, until it turns are dark brown colour (approx 5-10mins).
If you are unsure if you’re there yet, smell it.  Browned butter smells amazing, if it doesn’t have a glorious nutty smell, keep cooking!  It will have small floaty brown bits, that’s normal (you can see the specks in my icing)

Pour the butter into a mixer (with a whisk attachment if you have one), and set on a low speed until cool.  Once cool (feel the outside of the bowl), add the remaining butter and other ingredients and mix until light and fluffy.

If you add the rest of your butter too early, don’t fret!  Continue mixing and it will firm up as it cools.

Pipe onto your cooled cupcakes using a tip of your choice – I used a Wilton 4B tip, then drizzled some more caramel over the top!

Filigree Hearts

50g Melted chocolate chips, or Candy Melts if you want coloured hearts!

Take a sheet of baking paper, and using a heart cutter and pencil, trace the heart onto the paper.  I used the middle sized heart from the Wilton Heart Cut Outs.  Flip your baking paper over.

Put your melted chocolate into a baking paper cone, snip the end off, then pipe the chocolate heart using the pencil outline as a guide.  After you have done your outline, go make and do a swirly pattern inside, making sure to go to the edges so it’s one piece when it dries!  This is the easy part!  Allow to dry then place on the finished cupcakes.


Happy early Valentine’s Day to you, and if you don’t have a caramel lover husband, or need and excuse to make these another time, I’ll forgive you for leaving the heart off.


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