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Spiked Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

A spoonful of caramel dripping down onto the salted caramel cupcakes

A soft, moist chocolate cupcake topped with salted caramel buttercream frosting! A drizzle of warm caramel and a sprinkle of flakey salt makes these cupcakes a new favorite of mine!

This post is sponsored by Pennsylvania Dutch Creams and all thoughts and opinions are my own. Please note that this recipe is for 21 and up only! The alcohol does not cook out!

Salted Caramel Liqueur

I’m sure about 99.9% of you have had caramel. 75% have had salted caramel. But how many have tried Salted Caramel Liqueur? Smooth, creamy, caramel liqueur by Pennsylvania Dutch Creams is everything you would want!

Pairing it with a rich, chocolate cupcake and some flakey salt just makes a great ingredient even better! Chocolate and caramel are such a classic pairing!

Buttercream frosting tips

I used to have the worst time with buttercream frosting. Almost hated making cupcakes because the frosting was such a pain. But I figured out the most crucial part to making light, fluffy airy frosting: whipping the heck out of it.

It’s going to feel to leave the mixer on for so long with this frosting, but I promise you, that’s the trick to getting really beautiful frosting! I like to whip my butter for like 5-7 minutes. That seems like a long time, but once I finally started to let the butter whip is when I really got a beatiful, light frosting that you find in the bakeries.

The second tip I have for buttercream is to make sure your butter isn’t too soft. I like to let my butter set at room temperature for about an hour before I make the frosting. The butter will still be pretty firm, but that’s what you want!

After you have your butter whipped, you can add the Salted Caramel Liqueur to turn this plain vanilla buttercream into Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes!

Assembling your cupcakes

For piping, I suggest putting your piping bag into a large glass and then adding the buttercream. The glass acts like a third hand in a way, holding the bag open so you can scoop in the buttercream.

I use a basic star piping tip. This is a really versatile piping tip that can be used in a ton of different ways! I like the classic swirls that make these cupcakes look so fancy!

I love to garnish my cupcakes at the end, typically with an ingredient used in the cupcakes or one to add a contrasting flavor. So for these Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes, I used two: a caramel drizzle and a sprinkle of salt. The caramel reflects what kind of cupcakes these are, while the salt adds a contrasting flavor! If you need another example, for chocolate cupcakes, you could do a drizzle of chocolate or chocolate shavings, or if you wanted to add a contrasting flavor, you can add crushed peanuts to add a crunch.

A spoonful of caramel dripping down onto the salted caramel cupcakes

Spiked Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

A soft, moist chocolate cupcake topped with salted caramel buttercream frosting! A drizzle of warm caramel and a sprinkle of flakey salt makes these cupcakes a new favorite of mine!
Course Dessert, Drinks
Keyword chocolate caramel cupcake recipe, chocolate caramel cupcakes, chocolate cupcake recipe, chocolate cupcakes, easy chocolate caramel cupcakes, easy chocolate cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Frosting: 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes


  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 1/2 cup Hot Water


  • 2 sticks Butter room temperature
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Salted Caramel Liquer


  • Caramel
  • Flakey Salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Whisk together to fully combine the ingredients and break up any lumps.
  • Add in eggs, oil, and buttermilk. Stir until almost combined. There should still be some clumps of flour throughout.
  • Then stir in the cup of boiling water. Gently, stir in the water. Be careful! Some water may splash out on you while stirring!
  • Line a cupcake dish with liners and fill about 2/3’s of the way full.
  • Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Making the Frosting:

  • Add butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip up on a medium-high speed, using the whisk attachment.
  • When the butter looks fluffy and light, about 5-7 minutes, turn down the speed and begin to add in the powdered sugar, followed by a sprinkle of salt.
  • Then, add in salted caramel liqueur. Beat on high speed for about 1-2 minutes to really incorporate some air into the frosting!
  • Place a closed star tip into a piping bag and add in the frosting.
  • I think this works best by holding the piping back more vertical versus at a 45-degree angle. Squeeze enough pressure to make a star in the center of the cupcake. Then using the same amount of pressure continue to pull the frosting around the center part swirling upwards to make a mountain.
  • Drizzle a little bit of caramel and a pinch of flakey salt

Spiked Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes for the win

There’s a reason why caramel and chocolate go together! They are a match made in cupcake heaven!

I love that these have a fun little spiked twist without being too heavy on the alcohol. The Salted Caramel Liqueur by Pennsylvania Dutch Creams has such a delicious caramel flavor without being overwhelming!

A little bit of sweet, a little bit of alcohol, a whole lotta deliciousness!


-Holly Michelle

P.S. Looking for more delicious desserts with alcohol? Check out this spiked Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream.

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