Up here in Wisconsin, where the temps are currently -12 (-35 with the windchill), we’re stuck inside with nothing to do but bake! So I made homemade chicken soup and my favorite kind of cupcakes: Salted chocolate caramel pretzel cupcakes.
These are easy to throw together and look nice for parties or events. The recipe is below:
Salted Caramel Pretzel Cupcakes/ Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- 2 sticks UNSALTED butter softened (but not melted!) The ideal texture should feel like ice cream. I can’t stress this enough: perfect frosting is almost 100% the right consistency of the butter. I microwave mine on 1/2 power and watch it very carefully for about a minute.
- 3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- 3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 cup caramel topping from Starbucks. I bought a whole bottle (they sell it seasonally) but if that’s not available, order a drink and ask for the caramel syrup on the side (any excuse to run to Starbucks!)
- Snyder’s or any brand square-shaped pretzels
- Beat the butter for a few minutes with a mixer on medium speed.
- Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar is incorporated with the butter.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium again and add vanilla extract, salt, and 4 tablespoons of cream and beat for 3 minutes.
- Add the Starbucks caramel (note: if you don’t want the caramel to be strong, I recommend adding a small amount at a time and taste testing!)
- Pipe on the frosting and top with a pretzel and crushed pretzel pieces (I do this by putting them in a baggy and letting my son “smash” them)