Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

I was inspired to make a cupcake based on my favorite latte. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do enjoy a cappuccino or latte every now and then.

I took my standard chocolate cupcake recipe, and once baked and cooled, I filled each one with a homemade caramel sauce (you can also substitute with a good quality store-bought version). I frosted the cupcakes with my standard vanilla buttercream, and drizzled with more caramel.

The caramel sauce is actually a toffee sauce for Sticky Toffee Pudding. I love, love, love it and it freezes very well. You can also frost the cupcakes with fresh whipped cream to save time.

The recipe may seem overwhelming, but the result is pure decadence!

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

Makes approximately 20 – 24 cupcakes Recipe adapted from

Chocolate Cupcakes


  • 1 cup boiling hot water
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural, not dutch processed)
  • 1-½ tsp instant espresso powder
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar (I reduced the sugar and used 1-3/4 cup)
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare 2 muffin pans with liners
  2. Whisk together hot water, cocoa powder and instant espresso powder in a bowl until smooth, then whisk in milk and vanilla
  3. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt
  4. Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes
  5. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (at least 30 seconds) Reduce speed to low and add flour and cocoa mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture (batter may look curdled)
  6. Divide batter evenly into muffin tins. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean and edges of cupcakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven.  I always use a toothpick to test at the 16 minute mark, then every few minutes after to avoid over baking
  7. Cool completely before frosting

Toffee Sauce

Adapted from


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan
  2. Whisk together and bring to boil, and then simmer gently for a minute or two until thickened and well blended
  3. Add vanilla extract and stir well.  Let cool

Kitchen notes:

  • The sauce will thicken when refrigerated
  • Refrigerate the extra sauce to use on ice cream or other desserts.  It also freezes very well

Recipe for Vanilla Buttercream

To Assemble:

  • I used an apple corer to make a hole in the center of each cupcake.  Do not touch the bottom or the cupcake structure will fall apart when you take a bite of this delicious cupcake
  • Place a small dollop of the cooled caramel sauce in each cupcake
  • Frost cupcakes using a 1M Wilton tip or scoop frosting on top of cupcake with an ice cream scooper to get a round look
  • Take a fork and drizzle caramel lightly over each cupcake.  If you have time and want a more consistent look, you can use a squeeze bottle with a very small tip to drizzle the caramel sauce

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