500 Cupcake Challenge #5

February 13, 2008 at 11:34 PM | Posted in 500CC, cupcakes | 43 Comments
Tags: ,

Happy Valentines’ Day! (well… it is on the east coast but not quite on the west coast yet)

To all my readers: No matter what you choose to celebrate on this day, be it Valentines’ Day, Singles’ Awareness Day, whatever… I wanna thank all of you (the lurkers, the ones I know IRL and the ones I hope to meet someday) for your comments and support of my little cuppycakes blog. I love you all. Its been real.

Caramel is one of my favorite sweet indulgences and when I saw my friend Nina‘s adorable turtle cheesecake hearts, I knew I had to see if I could make my own version with chocolate and caramel in the form of a cupcake.

Caramel Turtle Cupcakes

(Recipe adapted from myrecipes.com | photos from me!)

Makes ~24 cupcakes


For cupcakes
1-1/2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For ganache
1 cup bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup whipping cream

For frosting
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
4-5 tablespoons fat-free milk
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

For caramel drizzle
3/4 cup (6 oz) evaporated milk
7oz individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted


To make cupcake–
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cupcake liners.

Combine boiling water and cocoa, stirring well with a whisk. Cool completely.

Place granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

[NOTES: Don’t worry if the batter seems thinnier than you are use to. They will bake up just fine!]

Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

To make ganache–
Place chocolate in bowl. In saucepan bring whipping cream to boil over high heat. Pour hot whipping cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate melted. Spoon ganache over cupcake. (I put it on the cupcake straight out of the oven b/c the warm cupcake keeps the ganache warm and spreadable.) Allow ganache to cool before adding frosting.

To make frosting–
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and 4 tablespoons milk; cook 1 minute or until sugar melts. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Combine butter mixture and vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add last tbsp milk, 1 TEAspoon at a time, beating until spreading consistency. (You might not use all of the last tbsp.)

Use a 1M piping tip to apply frosting on top of ganache.

To make caramel sauce–
Combine evaporated milk and caramels in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring frequently until caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth.

Place caramel sauce in a small zip-top plastic bag. Snip a small hole in 1 corner of bag; drizzle half of caramel dip over frosting. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.

To toast pecans–
(This might be kinda “duh?” to some ppl but I didn’t know how so I thought I’d post what I did for other pecan toasting newbies like me!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 1-2tbsp butter in a microwave safe dish in your microwave or use a small saucepan. Evenly coat the pecans in the melted butter. Spread out the butter-coated pecans out on a non-stick cookie sheet in a single layer. Toss the pecans once or twice while they are toasting. This allows for even toasting.

Toast the pecans until they are crisp and aromatic. This will usually take about 10 to 15 minutes.


Husband rating: A/A+
He loved the chocolate “cake” and ganache. He’s not a huge fan of caramel like me but he really liked the flavors of this cupcake.

Wifey rating: A+
I was kinda nervous b/c I created this cupcake recipe myself. Sometimes the creation in my head doesn’t exactly come together the way I envision. But I have to say that this cupcake was SO yummy. I am quite proud of myself!

Don’t forget! Comments gets you cupcakes…

DEADLINE: Friday, Feb 15 @ 11:34p PST

Are you 500 cupcake challenge clueless? [click here for more info]

Lemontartlet, I’ll be sending out your cupcakes tomorrow! I included the frosting, toasted pecans and caramel sauce with the cupcakes. The caramel sauce might need to be nuked so you get the right consistency though. I think it should be alright… but just fyi! :)



  1. wow, I’m the first one to comment! Well my friend, those look absolutely decadent. The ganache over chocolate cake combo looks sinful. Good job yet again.

  2. OMG CB!! The cupcakes look mouth watering. And the ganache…mmmm…. Hats off to you CB.

  3. Oh my gosh!! these look so good!!! yum!

  4. YAY! They look so tasty, and I’m gonna put up all kinds of pics of these cupcakes getting rampaged upon. The chocolate cakes that are made with cocoa and boiling whatever are some of my favs, and D’s too. Treats for meeeeeeeee, all for meeeeeeeee!

  5. Damn these look good. Chocolate and caramel have always been my favorite combination and it looks like you did it quite well :)

  6. I think your cupcakes look better than my turtle cheesecakes! Looks delish. I can’t wait to taste them. :D

  7. Are you sure you only knew how to use the microwave before? Those cupcakes look so DELICIOUS. It’s making my mouth water, will definitily have to try making them.

  8. Ohhhh lemon tartlet … can we share? I want some.

  9. Those look incredible!!

    I’ve made a few recipes from “500 Cupcakes” and if I remember correctly, I liked them all! If you search “500 cupcakes” at my blog, I’m sure all the recipes I’ve used will come up.

  10. Those looks so freaking yummy!

  11. Yummo! CB, you’ve outdone yourself … again!! IwantIwantIwantIwant …

  12. They look awesome, great job CB!

  13. ANIG#1, w00t w00t! first comment! Seriously decadent is absolutely the right word. You must be a teacher right? ;)

    KRMWV, thanky K! Best cupcake ever. nft.

    APRIL, it took forever but it was well worth it after that first bite. Actually I think there was only 1 bite! haha.

    LEMON, I do believe you are the luckiest 500CC winner so far. Looking forward to pics… LOTS OF PICS!

    ISCSA99, same here! I never turn down a caramel dessert. ps. Nice to “meet” you!

    NINA, thanks love! But I wouldn’t say “better”. Cheesecake and caramel is always a perfect combination!

    LIZ, Is this jknottie Liz? Definitely give them a try! I bet you can’t eat just one…

    NIKKI, wait your turn like a good little blogger. ;)

    HOWTOEAT, thanky! See…? All the 500 cupcakes I’ve tried tasted like butt. I think self-rising flour is my enemy! Do you use a substitute or self-rising flour?

    BB, oh take my word for it. They were YUUUUMMMMYYY!

    LORENA, these cupcakes did take a while to make but it probably doesn’t help that my kitchen is tinier than a closet but it was definitely worth it.

    SLUSH, thanky! Now if only I could get you to pick caramel for the next CH ingredient. I’d be set! haha.

  14. These look great. I’m very impressed by the fact that you created your own recipe! I haven’t taken on that challenge quite yet. I’m too cheap to risk wasting the ingredients if they are gross. Turtle is my favorite!

  15. ZEBE, me too. I get ideas and I hope they turn out ok but I feel the same as you. I hate wasting ingredients if the end result tastes like butt. LOL. I think this one turned out pretty darn close to what I had in my head so I am stoked!

  16. These look SO delicious! You DEFINITELY have a cupcake talent that I am lacking!!! Great job… Yum! :)

  17. Nikki is trying to steal my cupcakes! She threatened me! *whine* There where whatnots involved and everything!

  18. Sorry, I already know the next theme, and it will not be caramel. But, I will put it on the list for future CH.

  19. ALANNA, thanks Anig#2 or #3? I can’t remember… haha. Don’t even tell me you don’t have talent. I saw your charger cupcakes. ;)

    LEMON, eep! She’s a cupcake bully! haha.

    SLUSH, You already know the theme? Way to be on the ball! well… can’t blame a girl for trying right? LOL

  20. Don’t give me too much credit. It’s going to be Easter baby, only a couple choices seem “right”.

  21. SLUSH, major brain fart. All I can come up with is carrot! oh wait. chocolate? hehe.

  22. These look as though they would melt in my mouth quite happily. Such a shame you can’t employ taste testers from this side of the Atlantic… ;)


  23. JB, well…I have a feeling by the time they reached you they wouldn’t exactly “melt-in-your-mouth” anymore. But if the postal service ever thinks of a teleportation method I’ll be sure to contact you for the job! ;)

  24. Anig#3, at your service! (Cupcake tasting service, that is!) I’m still waiting for those vanilla bean cuppy’s with mascarpone frosting…mmm….mouth watering…

  25. ANIG#3, oh yes. Thats definitely on the “must make list”. I hope you win the next challenge ;)

  26. ::wiping drool from the computer screen!::

  27. BETH, oh trust me! There was lots of drooling on my end too. hehe.

  28. That is the sweetest Valentine’s Day message!!! The one up top, not the drooling.

  29. LEMON, ruh oh! drooling’s not sweet? I better make sure I give my hubs the 411 on that then. LOL. But seriously its readers like you that make blogging so fun! Just wanted to make sure all my readers know how much I appreciate. ::cheese::

  30. Wow, those look amazing….I’ll have to try my hand at them soon!

  31. LD, definitely! If you make them, come back with a review, k? ps. Nice to “meet” you!

  32. Great job on your adaptation! I love it when something turns out like I hope! xoxo

  33. RACHEYPOO, thankywanky! me too. I took my first bite and breathe a sigh of a relief before I inhaled the rest of the cupcake. haha.

  34. Either you made me blush CB, or this red frosting colouring got everywhere. It really did, it’s all over my fingers and it won’t wash off! Gah!

  35. Those look so yummy (and pretty)! I’m suddenly in a serious mood for chocolate.
    Also, I love how you bake them in those little cups, it’s a great idea for people without a mini muffin pan. My poor mini muffin pan disappeared during the last move :( I’ve been trying to think of an alternative, this would be great, but I don’t want to steal your idea!

  36. Steal her idea Kristina, she stole it from someone else anyway. ;) Wub you CB! :D

  37. Yes, this is jknottie Liz. I’m definitely going to try to make them. Don’t want to show my hubby yet because if I do he’s going to want me to make them tonight :)

  38. LEMON, haha. I can just see it now and it aint pretty. I hate food coloring. it ALWAYS gets on my face (dont ask me how), fingers, clothes etc…

    KRISTINA, steal away! I got the idea from another cupcake-er and I love it! Do a search on my blog for “PNC”. I wrote a whole entry about it.

    NINA, shut it! haha.

    LIZ, hey there! If your hubs is like me, then he’ll LOVE it!

  39. (This 500CC drawing is now closed. Any comments here after will not be entered to win. Sorry, try again on 500CC #6!)

  40. wow those look soo freakin good!!!! So gonna have to try makin them =)

  41. TINA, oh trust me! they were sinfully good. Definitely try to make them. Come back with a review, k? :)

  42. […] Heart Cuppycakes!  Ooooh, these must be the delicious Turtle Cuppycakes that were inspired by my Turtle Cheesecakes!  As, I read the cute letter she wrote, she also […]

  43. I’ve been searching for a good Turtle Cupcake recipe for my dad’s birthday and I’m so glad to have found these!!!! I can’t wait to make them tomorrow! We usually get him a Turtle Pie for his b-day cake and this year he is trusting me to make cupcakes. I’m an excellent cook but not such a great baker! hahaha! Thanks for sharing!
    Shanna :-)

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