Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

These light and fluffy cupcakes are simple to whip up and are topped with a beautifully creamy salted caramel buttercream frosting and mini pretzels. The salted caramel strikes the perfect balance between sweet and salty meaning they’re not going to last very long in any household!

Credit: Baked by Sarah, Salted Caramel Pecan Cupcakes

Salted caramel is one of my absolute favourite ingredients to bake with which explains why you’ll see plenty of salted caramel recipes coming up on the blog over the next few months. If you’re looking for more ideas on what to bake with salted caramel, check out my Salted Caramel Tartlets or my Salted Caramel Pecan Cupcakes.

What equipment do I need for these muffins?

12-hole muffin or cupcake baking tray
12 paper cupcake cases – I prefer a size 3.5cm x 5.5cm to account for any extra rise and to avoid an overspill
Stand mixer or electric hand-held mixer
2 bowls
Piping bag and piping nozzle 1M
Ice-cream scoop (optional)

What ingredients do I need?

Butter – I often use unsalted butter for my recipes but salted is okay too if you leave out the extra salt from the ingredients
Sugar – I use a standard caster sugar
Eggs – Medium free range eggs are best
Gluten free flour – A gluten free flour blend such as Doves Farm Self-raising Flour with added Xanthan gum and baking powder is perfect for this recipe, otherwise a standard flour blend will work fine. I actually used Schär Mix C for Cakes for this recipe which doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum or baking powder and they still turned out perfect
Cocoa Powder – Dutch pressed cocoa powder will render a much richer chocolate flavour than a natural cocoa powder
Xanthan gum – Xanthan gum is essential for most gluten free recipes and there’s no exceptions here. Doves Farm is my preferred choice but you can use any
Baking soda and baking powder – Any will do, just check that it is definitely gluten free
Salted caramel – For this recipe, I use a salted caramel creme, which is slightly creamier than a standard salted caramel. Any can be used, home-made or shop-bought, and the amount put into the buttercream frosting is completely up to personal taste
Icing sugar – Standard sifted icing sugar
Pretzels – Any gluten-free salted pretzels can be used to finish off these beautiful cupcakes. A lot of brands sell these such as Schär or a supermarket own-brand.

Tips & Tricks

Greasing the muffin cases – Some cupcake cases can stick to the cupcake when peeling back, if you grease the inside of the cases lightly with a silicone greasing brush and a small amount of oil, you can prevent this from happening and ruining that magical peel-back moment.
Ice-cream scoop – In order to get perfectly even cupcakes, try using an ice-cream scoop to scoop one large blob of mixture into each case. This helps to get those perfectly sized cupcakes that don’t overspill too much.
Toothpick test – Check on your cupcakes at regular intervals despite the timings given for the recipe as every oven is calibrated at a different temperature. To check if the cupcakes are baked all the way through, insert a clean toothpick into the center and look to see if any wet mixture or crumbs are stuck to it. Ideally, a few crumbs on a toothpick means the cupcakes will be done in a matter of minutes. An inserted toothpick that comes out clean means they’re done.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Author: Sarah

Beautifully rich and decadent chocolate cupcakes with a deliciously creamy salted caramel buttercream.

    Preparation Time: 20 minutes

    Bake Time: 18-20 minutes

Cooling Time: 1 hour

    Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes 

     Servings: 14 cupcakes

    Difficulty: easy


For the cupcakes:
  • 165g gluten free flour blend
  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the buttercream:
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 375g icing sugar, sifted
  • 3-4 tbsp salted caramel
  • 14 mini salted pretzels


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C Fan and line a muffin tray with 12 cases. The recipe can make up to 14 cupcakes, or 12 slightly bigger ones.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk until well combined.
  4. Sift in the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Xanthan Gum and mix on medium speed until no pockets of flour remain.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the cases using an ice-cream scoop.
  6. Bake the cupcakes on the middle shelf for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool for several minutes in the baking tray before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely to room temperature before preparing the buttercream frosting.
  8. For the buttercream, cream the butter on high speed, scraping down the sides at intervals, until paler in colour and light and fluffy in texture.
  9. Add the salted caramel tablespoon at a time and continue to cream on high speed until well combined.
  10. Slowly sift in the icing sugar in small batches and mix until combined. Once combined, whisk on the highest speed setting until the buttercream is well aerated.
  11. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag with a 1M tip attached and pipe onto the cupcakes.
  12. Top with a mini pretzel and drizzle with extra salted caramel if desired.
  13. The cupcakes will save for around 2-3 days in a sealed container.

Happy Baking!

Tried this recipe? Let me know what you think!

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