It's Cupcake Hero time again! I missed out on last month's contest, so I'm eager to get back in the game. This month's ingredient is caramel, and I've decided to do a two-fer by combining the theme ingredient with something in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Caramel Irish Cream, anyone?
Pot of Gold Cupcakes:
Dark chocolate cupcakes flavored with caramel Irish cream, filled with caramel cream cheese and topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Be sure to visit I ♥ Cuppycakes in a few days to check out all the delicious entries and cast your vote! Please vote for mine? *bats eyelashes*
Novelty candy = Instant rainbow! (Each strip in the pack makes 2 rainbows)
Pot of Gold Cupcakes (Makes 12)
⅔ cup milk
⅓ cup caramel flavored Irish Cream liqueur (such as Bailey's®)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
¾ cup sugar
⅓ cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup Hershey's Special Dark® cocoa
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup caramel apple dip
¼ cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 pack Airheads Xtremes rainbow candy belts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with 12 liners.
Whisk milk, Caramel Irish Cream, and vinegar together in a large bowl or 4-cup measuring cup; set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add sugar, oil, and vanilla extract; beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients in two batches, whisking until mixture is nearly smooth (small lumps are okay).
Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about ¾ full. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to rack to cool before proceeding.
Assemble the filling: Mix the caramel dip and softened cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. With a small paring knife, carve out a cone from the top of each cupcake (don't throw away those cake scraps; you'll need them to cap off the cupcake). Fill each cupcake with about 2 teaspoons caramel cream cheese. Trim a bit off the points of the reserved cupcake cones and replace them on top of filling.
Prepare topping: Beat heavy cream and powdered sugar until medium-to-stiff peaks form. Divide whipped cream among cupcakes. Cut 6 rainbow candy belts in half crosswise to form 12 pieces. Form each piece into an arc and place atop those whipped cream clouds! Keep assembled cupcakes chilled, and serve within a few hours (cream will begin to break down if left too long).