Kayla and I made these babies for Grandmum's 85th birthday and they were, um... interesting. And two or three minor modifications away from sheer greatness. Especially the vanilla bean buttercream frosting from scratch. YUM and SUPER easy. I swiped the recipe from this cute little blog. Mods are at the tail end.
One box German Chocolate cake mix and ingredients to make it
4-5 Heath Bars
Caramel Ice Cream Topping
Vanilla Bean Buttercream (Recipe below)
Bake cupcakes according to package instructions.
When they are just about finished, you'll want to start on the caramel filling. Pour caramel into a measuring cup. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per 8oz. of caramel. Warm in the microwave for one minute. Stir. Pour the warm and salted caramel into the squeeze bottle. As soon as the cupcakes come out of the oven, inject caramel into each one. Then move them to a cooling rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling, smash the Heath bars. Keep them in the wrapper and beat them with the bottom of your measuring cup. It's quite easy. And quite liberating. Fun, actually. Then, when you think they are obliterated beyond all recognition, open the wrapper and pour the pieces into a bowl.
Now on to the heavenly frosting... Sidenote. Scraped vanilla bean is only for high rollers. $10.98 for ONE. Next time I make it, I may leave it out and see if makes a diff. Something tells me it will.
After the cupcakes are cooled, frost them with the vanilla bean buttercream, roll them into the Heath bar, then drizzle a little salted caramel on top.
Modifications as referenced previously (and HIGHLY recommended):
- Be sure NOT to use extra course sea salt. The recipe did not specify so I thought the extra course looked more fun. Huge chunks of salt in back molars. NOT so fun. Use finely ground sea salt. Looking back, this seems like a no-brainer. So, it's also an indication that I have no brain left. Also, add a TEENY dash of sea salt to the top of each cupcake after the Heath topping and caramel drizzle.
- Now, let's talk filling. Next time I make these puppies, I may just leave it out all together as it was quite rich but, then again, that kind of defeats the whole purpose of the cupcake. Also, the extra course salt did not melt correctly within the warm caramel mixture, making it a little on the sweet side. If you do go with the filling, I recommend only injecting a little bit in each cupcake. And if you choose to leave it out, I would add some extra drizzle on top. Lots, actually.
- I am not a fan of German Chocolate cake. Primarily due to its' ever-so-slight coffee after-taste. And I think it kind of conflicts with the caramel in a weird way. Now, I realize that Starbucks has made gazillions off this flavor combo so it's probably just me and my extreme aversion to all things java. Next round, definitely going with regular chocolate cake mix. I love you, Germans, but stick to your Sauerbraten, Sauerkraut, and Bratwurst and stay away from the dessert items. Thanks.