I've said before that brown butter makes everything better and these cupcakes are proof of that. These are truly my greatest creation! A tender brown butter cupcake topped with nutty brown butter salted caramel buttercream and then drizzled with even more homemade salted caramel. All of the flavors pair so perfectly to contribute to the amazing rich depth of flavor. I could honestly rave about these all day, so you should just go make them right now!
You just need a few simple ingredients (and a little patience) to make these delicious brown butter cupcakes with salted caramel!
Tip: I highly recommend making both the brown butter and salted caramel the night before so that they have plenty of time to cool!
Brown butter is one of my favorite ingredients to use in baking! It has the most delicious nutty flavor that pairs beautifully with the salted caramel!
If you've never made brown butter before, I have a whole post all about it with all my tips and tricks! It also includes step by step photos so you can see exactly what the butter should look like. Click here to learn how to make brown butter!
Since both the cupcakes and the buttercream call for brown butter, I find it easier to just make one large batch and then weigh out the difference using a kitchen scale (½ cup of butter weighs about 113 grams).
However, if you don't have a scale you can just make two separate batches of brown butter!
Honestly, I never used to be the biggest fan of caramel (except in a caramel macchiato) but homemade salted caramel is on a whole other level! It’s so good! It’s also super easy to make and only requires 4 ingredients.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt (add more to taste)
How to Make Brown Butter Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Whisk the cake flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the brown butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract together until combined.
Stir in about half of the flour mixture.
Then stir in the milk and the rest of the flour mixture and mix until fully combined. The batter will be thin.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Cupcake Decorating Tips
- To decorate all of my cakes and cupcakes, I use this Wilton Decorating Kit and I love it! It’s super easy to use and has a ton of tips in different sizes. For these cupcakes, I used the 1M tip.
- Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!! After frosting, garnish with homemade salted caramel (make sure the caramel is also fully cooled before topping) and an extra sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
Of course not! You can absolutely substitute regular unsalted butter. I just love the flavor that brown butter adds.
I personally much prefer homemade salted caramel, but you can use your favorite store-bought caramel if you prefer!
Your homemade caramel will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month!
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Recipes You Might Like!
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Brown Butter Cupcakes with Salted Caramel
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt, more to taste
- I highly recommend making the salted caramel and the brown butter for the buttercream the night before so that they both have time to fully cool!
- Warning: do not walk away from your caramel because it will probably burn the second you walk away from it (trust me).
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and stir every 1-2 minutes or so until it begins to melt (the sugar will start to clump up before melting).
- Once the sugar is completely melted and smooth (it should be an amber color), immediately remove from the heat and stir in the butter until combined (don’t be scared if it bubbles a lot).
- Add in the heavy cream and salt and mix until fully combined and smooth. It won't want to combine at first, but just keep stirring and it will come together.
- Pour the caramel into a heavy glass jar to cool to room temperature. Can be stored in the fridge for up to a month!
- If you make the caramel the night before, it can sit covered at room temperature overnight so that it's a nice pourable consistency.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Whisk the cake flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the brown butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract together until combined.
- Stir in about half of the flour mixture. Then stir in the milk and the rest of the flour mixture and mix until fully combined. The batter will be thin.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
- Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
- Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Salted Caramel Buttercream
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until fully combined and smooth.
- Set the mixer to low speed and slowly drizzle in the salted caramel until it's fully incorporated into the buttercream. Then beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until the buttercream is super light and fluffy.
- If needed, add in milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Frost cooled cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M tip for these photos. Then drizzle with extra salted caramel.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.