I’ve got lots of wonderful healthy recipes to share with you this month, but I’m not about to give up on sweet treat Fridays. It seemed only fitting to start the new year out right with a really fabulous dessert, and so I give to you caramel corn cupcakes. I repeat: Caramel corn. Cupcakes. Two of my very favorite things combined in one dessert. This is a cupcake I’ve been brainstorming about for months. I honestly don’t know what caused me to think of caramel corn cupcakes. One day we were driving in the car talking about something else entirely, and as usual, the undercurrent of my thoughts must have been something like, “Food. Cupcakes. Food. I love food. Especially caramel corn.” And then suddenly, “OMG caramel corn cupcakes!!!” The moment the idea popped into my mind and I knew it had to be so. Given my love for these two things, I’m actually a little surprised I didn’t think to combine them sooner. Then, as I often do, I hemmed and hawed over how exactly to best execute this idea. Here is where we landed: a tender caramel cake base, a rich but not too sweet caramel buttercream, and a generous coating of caramel corn. Oh my.
Most cupcakes can be made and assembled in advance without issue, but in this case the crunchy texture of the caramel corn is key to the finished product. You can still frost the cupcakes in advance of when you plan to serve them, but add the caramel corn coating no more than a couple hours beforehand for the best results. As a bonus, if you make a batch of homemade caramel corn (and I really insist that you do), you’ll have plenty left over for snacking on. Good times.