Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Last week, my MomsLA colleagues and I had an event at the Venice Grind. One of our blogger friends jokingly said she would only come if I made cupcakes. 

Well, I know she was joking, but I’ve been obsessed with cupcakes lately after A Food Affair catered my 40th birthday party. They made the most unbelievable mini cupcakes I’ve ever had. Even guests who don’t like cake ate 5. My favorite was the salted caramel cupcake. It was infused with salted caramel and it had a little caramel-filled chocolate on top.

I looked online to find out how to replicate the recipe. I pretty much knew I didn’t have time to make caramel, but I wanted to see what people came up with. My Baking Addiction had gorgeous pictures of cupcakes with a homemade caramel on top. One of these days I’m going to try it, but I had to frost and fill the cupcakes before I took my kids to school that Monday, so I went with a less-labor-intensive plan.

On Sunday night, I used my Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate cake recipe to make the cupcakes. I got up early Monday morning to fill and frost them. There was no time to make homemade caramel so I used Trader Joe’s Fleur De Sel Caramel Sauce. My cupcakes weren’t the same as as Food Affair’s (they were gluten-free for one reason), but they were excellent, I thought. Here’s how I did it.

Follow the Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe except instead of 2 8-inch cake pans use 18 to 20 cupcake liners. Fill liners 3/4 full. Cook cupcakes for about 18 minutes. Let them cool for at least 2 hours (or store them overnight, like I did).

Once they are cool. Inject about a half teaspoon of caramel into the cupcake. I used a previously unopened baby medicine syringe to inject the caramel, but if you don’t happen to have that around you can use a pastry bag with a small round tip. Make a hole and squeeze a little bit of the caramel into the cupcake.

I topped with the following vanilla frosting:

Vanilla Frosting
¼ cup (half stick) Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
About 1 teaspoon sea salt
About ¼ cup Half and Half

Beat vegan butter, sugar, vanilla, salt. Add Half and Half until frosting is fluffy. The frosting is supposed to be slightly salty, but be sure not to over salt.