How to Make Caramel Cupcakes

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Bunner's Bake Shop CookbookCaramel is one of the more elusive vegan treats out there, and at the bakery, many a daydream has revolved around the soft, sweet sauce being poured onto various treats. Pulled straight from fantasy to beautiful reality, this is our vanilla cupcake with a soft, creamy caramel filling and a decadent caramel frosting. For an easy salted caramel variation, simply sprinkle the top of each cupcake with a pinch of fleur de sel.

  • Yield: 18 cupcakes


  • 1 batch caramel sauce
  • 1½ cups Bob’s Red Mill garbanzo and fava flour
  • ¾ cup potato starch
  • 0.33 cup + 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • ¾ cup rice milk
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 batch caramel buttercream frosting (2 batches if using a piping bag for big swirls of frosting)
  • Caramel Buttercream Frosting
  • ½ cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (1 stick), at room temperature ½ cup Earth Balance Shortening Sticks (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 3½ cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • Non-dairy milk (if needed)
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 18 muffin cups (you’ll need two 12-cup muffin pans) with paper liners. Prepare the caramel sauce and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. For the cupcakes
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, both starches, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the agave nectar, milk, applesauce, oil, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, thoroughly mix the batter, then let it sit for about 10 minutes to rise.
  5. Pour batter into each liner to about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. The cupcakes will be slightly golden on top. Cool completely at room temperature before frosting.
  6. For the caramel buttercream
  7. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the butter and shortening until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar, mixing well. Add the vanilla and caramel sauce. If needed to achieve a nice, spreadable consistency, add a splash of a non-dairy milk. Whip the frosting for several minutes, until fluffy. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature and give it a good turn with a frosting spatula or butter knife before using.
  8. To fill the cupcakes, use a paring knife to carve out a tunnel in each cupcake about the width of a nickel and about halfway into the cupcake. Using a teaspoon, fill each hole with as much caramel sauce as the cupcake will hold. Frost with caramel buttercream and drizzle each cupcake with about 1 tablespoon caramel sauce.

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