If I had to describe these dulce de leche cupcakes in a single word, I’d have to go with, “excessive.” Excessively sweet. Excessively named. (No really, look at the recipe title below. That’s 11 words.) Excessively indulgent. Excessively delicious, if there were such a thing.
We’ve been on a toothache-inducing dulce de leche kick lately, putting it into ice cream and frosting, and on fresh peaches and cake… and on a spoon. We couldn’t stop there, though. None of that really qualified as excessive. (Okay, maybe licking it from a spoon does.)
What did qualify? A moist, perfectly domed dulce de leche cupcake with caramel & vanilla notes, topped with a dulce de leche swiss meringue buttercream frosting. And to make sure there wasn’t a drop left in the can, we filled the cupcakes with the dulce de leche that was leftover after making the cake and frosting. Excessive. And efficient!
For the cupcake recipe, I started with the classic 1234 cake. It’s reliable, domes beautifully, and is convertible to just about any flavor. The frosting is one of our favorites, adapted from Martha Stewart’s Classic Swiss Meringue, it’s the same dulce de leche swiss meringue buttercream that we used on the Peach Queen Cake.
Note: If you’re a liberal froster, doubling the recipe will yield a couple cups of leftovers, even after generously frosting your cupcakes. If you don’t want leftover frosting hanging around in your fridge, consider making 1 1/2 recipes instead of doubling or possibly frosting them with a lighter hand than I use
Having problems with your swiss meringue buttercream? Read how to fix it here.
Dulce de Leche Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Moist dulce de leche cupcake filled with dulce de leche and topped with dulce de leche swiss meringue buttercream frosting.
- 1 can homemade dulce de leche (14 oz, if buying ready-made)
- 2 sticks butter, at room temp
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 recipes of Dulce de Leche Swiss Meringue Buttercream (see note above)
- Make the dulce de leche and let cool to room temperature (this can be done well in advance, just store tightly covered in the fridge).
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line two muffin pans with paper liners.
- Cream butter and sugar on med-high for 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times, until light, fluffy, and no longer grainy.
- Scrape down the bowl and add 1/2 cup dulce de leche, mixing on medium for another 1-2 minutes, until thoroughly incorporated.
- Add the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt together, in three additions, alternating with two additions of the buttermilk, mixing until just incorporated.
- Scoop batter into the lined cups, filling 2/3 - 3/4 full.
- Bake 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned and a skewer in the center cupcake comes out clean.
- Let cool 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
- To fill the cupcakes using the leftover dulce de leche after making the frosting, take a serrated knife and cut a cone out of the top of the cupcake, drop ~1 1/2 tsp into the cupcake, cut the bottom of the cone off and place the flattened top back onto the cupcake, lightly pressing down.
- Frost and store covered for up to 4 days.
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes