Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting & Chocolate Rum Ganache Filling

My husband’s side of the family has an interesting tradition for celebrating birthdays…instead of celebrating everyone’s birthday on their “actual birthday” they like to group everyone’s birthday together for a 3-4 month period and celebrate about 10 people’s birthday all together.  Now this arrangement does have its pluses, but it also has its negatives…try being 24 yrs. old and having enough money for 8 birthdays!!! Well, one benefit of being a pastry chef is using my culinary skills to make homemade gifts that make people forget that I didn’t spend the big bucks on them.  I decided to try out a new recipe for the big party extravaganza!  I took a look through my folder full of cupcake recipes that I’ve been wanting to try out and I kept flipping back to Chockylit’s recipe for Salted Caramel Frosting, so I decided to try it out.  


I used one of my favorite recipes for chocolate cake/cupcakes from Ina Garten.  I also had some extra chocolate rum ganache left over from another dessert that I tried out, so I decided to use it as a filling for the cupcakes.  To make this ganache just heat an equal amount of heavy cream until it begins to boil and pour it oven an equal amount of chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate.  Let it sit for a few minutes and then stir in 1 Tablespoon or so of rum (depending on the amount of chocolate and cream you used…it’s all up to you).  Let the chocolate ganache completely cool until it is scoopable and then fill an pastry bag with the ganache and pipe it into the cooled cupcakes.   


Here are a couple photos of me making the salted caramel for the salted caramel frosting.  You can see the stages the caramel has to go through before you add it to the cream cheese frosting base.  First shot is of the amber caramel right after I took it off the stove. 


This next shot is after I added the lemon juice, butter, and heavy cream.


This last photo is of the caramel right before I added it to the cream cheese frosting base.


After I added the caramel to the cream cheese frosting base I made a couple small changes to it.  I added about 1/2 tsp. more salt to the recipe and about 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.  The little amount of caramel I had left, that I didn’t add to the frosting, I spooned over the top of the cupcakes after I frosted them.  I also had some leftover candied pecans from the last dessert I made, so I topped off the cupcakes with them.  As a finishing touch, I sprinkled a little coarse sea salt on top.  These cupcakes turned out fantastic and were a huge hit with the family!  I definitely recommend trying them out…thanks so much Chockylit for the great recipe!


I always think presentation is key when giving someone a gift, so I thought that I would package these cupcakes in clear boxes from Garnish.  I wish I would’ve had some all-brown M&M’s at home, but I didn’t, so I just used the normal M&M’s to add a little barrier around the base of the cupcake and add some edible decoration.  I tied a cute little green ribbon top to tie in all the colors and the gifts were finished.


Well, I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother’s Day today and enjoyed spending time with loved ones.  Hopefully you indulged in a couple yummy bites along the way! 


P.S. I get all my cute cupcake liners from!

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32 Responses to “Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting & Chocolate Rum Ganache Filling”

  1. Jana says:

    Melody – just perfect! it looks good and it must taste good!

  2. grace says:

    first of all, i love a good action shot, and that caramel drippage in the top picture is gorgeous! :)

    secondly, i think caramel may be my favorite thing to pair with chocolate, so these little beauties are right up my alley! if i’m being honest though, i’d be content to just eat that luscious icing with a spoon. :)

  3. WOW, WOW, WOW. That combination of flavours sounds amazing, the cupcakes are stunning. I’d be over the moon with one of those as a birthday present.
    Vicky xxx

  4. These are simply adorable. Adorable!

  5. Stef says:

    I love those cute little cupcake packages you put together. Totally adorable!

  6. That dripping caramel is so mean, Melody! ;)
    These look fantastic.

  7. toontz says:

    I am ashamed to admit this, but I am not sure any would have made it to the party if I had made those! (Well, I am not sure I could make those!) Absolutely gorgeous and look delicious!

  8. Aran says:

    no need to say more… got me at salted caramel and that photo of it dripping down the side of the cupcake. how decadent is that!

  9. the dripping caramel? you’re killing me, i’m drooling all over myself here.

  10. Rosie says:

    WOW these are stunning cupcakes so beautiful :D

  11. Nicisme says:

    Oh that first photo…. stop slobbering Nic!

  12. Oli says:

    Hmmm…. that cupcake looks all melty and oozing moistness and deliciousness…sensational!

  13. Gertrude says:

    What a sinful cupcakes!!! Thanks for your comment at my blog. Your blog is just wonderful. Can’t wait to explore all the pages :)

  14. brandy says:

    Wow. Those cupcakes look wonderful! And an excellent gift idea. I’m …. so hungry now.

  15. admin says:

    Glad I could tempt you all with my drip of caramel! Thanks for all the comments everyone!

  16. YUM!!!! Makes me want to sing!

  17. brozy says:

    Wow! Those are to die for.

  18. Now those are some beautiful cupcakes!

  19. Landa says:

    OMG these look divine.

  20. Holly says:

    I am such a dork! I got all turned around and thought that the comment section for the drink was the section for the cupcakes! Hahaha!!! I want one of THESE for breakfast every morning, though I’m sure that I probably would be a happy person if I had a cocktail for breakfast – but since I don’t drink, really, I was talking about the cupcakes! And I repeat, I’m a total dork!

  21. Holly says:

    Can you tell I’m completely distracted! Anyway, do you have the cupcake recipe? The link above “appears broken” and wouldn’t work. I’m hoping you have it. If so, I would love to see it. Thanks!

  22. Kevin says:

    Those looks so good! I really like the caramel dripping off of them! Nice presentation in the clear boxes.

  23. cakebrain says:

    I just love your presentation. I’m always looking for cool ideas. Right now I’ve been using chinese take-out boxes but you can’t see the cupcakes through them. I like your m&m’s idea; it’s so inspirational!

  24. admin says:

    I want to apologize to everyone for my completely stupid job on linking websites…I guess I keep forgetting to not highlight the “http://” when I copy and paste websites and so I am left with a link that has two “http://” and then of course it doesn’t work. I will try very hard in the future not to have this problem again, but if I do please let me know right away and I will fix it! Thanks everyone for your wonderfully interesting comments! A big thanks to Holly for alerted me to the link problem and for her hilarious comments!

  25. They look delicious – wish we were friends when my birthday comes around!

  26. Lori Crane says:

    Mel, What a Beautiful job, you are so creative

  27. Oh, these look so, so good! the caramel on the top just gives the cupcakes a big UMMY! effect!

  28. Jeananne says:

    Very nice! I did not have any leftover caramel though… :-( it made just one cup… drips left, that was all.
    Other than that it was awesome! I made them for my brother-in-law who is a head chef at a nice restaurant…. he & his very particular wife were highly impressed! He was not even going to eat one… just have a bite of hers… he ended up with his own. I did cut the sugar in the cupcakes in half…. much too sweet for me & my crew otherwise… moist perfectly rich & chocolaty!
    Also, I only used half of the powdered sugar for the frosting… still spreadable & less sweet. Rave reviews from all! Thanks a bunch!

  29. ABowlOfMush says:

    I love anything with salted caramel! I just made salted caramel custard pots and now I want this! Its looks delicious!

  30. Megan says:

    What??!!! No recipe? Oh please you must share!! These look too amazing to not share!

  31. Jennifer says:

    I bookmarked this a year or so ago when I made the salted caramel sauce/frosting the first time, and it was fabulous. But when I went to pull the recipe up again today, the link was broken. Went to Chokylits site and searched it, but that recipe has bourbon in it, don’t think it is the same recipe…? I remember your pic with the caramel drips, so I know this is where I found the first recipe, but I know the recipe I used didn’t contain alcohol…any ideas?


  32. Stephanie says:

    How much heavy cream/chocolate to fill up however amount up cupcakes this yields (24?) Thanks!!!

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