Recipe: Caramel and Cocoa Cupcakes


It’s Valentine’s Day and the sweetest cakes that I saw whilst out and about this morning were simple chocolate cupcakes with a single gold-sprayed Rolo on top. I didn’t have time to make anything fancy and I haven’t baked cupcakes in a little while now, so I’m a little out of practice. However, baking always relaxes me and I am reminded of  how quick and fun it can be to make a quick batch at a fraction of the cost. Sometimes, simple best. You don’t have to get all fiddly and pipe the frosting, just take a reasonably flat knife and spread your topping over the top. If you fancy something a little different, try my Raspberry Ripple and Basil cupcakes instead.


This is a recipe adapted from a lovely new baking book in my collection, Peggy Porschen’s Boutique Baking. I imagine her cupcake boutique was filled to the brim with pretty and intricately decorated Valentine’s Day cakes today. It is definitely on my list of places to visit when London-bound. Since receiving the book for Christmas, I’ve had my eye on Peggy’s triple layer Creamy Caramel Cake, but in the end, I wondered if I’d be the only one left eating it. So, I decided to halve the cake mix to make 12 individual cupcakes instead. I added some My Secret Kitchen Vanilla Pudding Spices (cinnamon would work well, too) and used a toffee sauce, since that’s what I had, in place of dulce de leche. Peggy suggests making a sugar syrup to soak into the cakes once baked, but as these were small cupcakes with plenty of sweet frosting on top I didn’t think it was necessary.

Caramel and Cocoa Cupcakes

Adapted from Peggy Porschen’s Boutique Baking (Creamy Caramel Cake)


12 servings


  • 100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100 g vanilla sugar or golden caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100 g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Pudding Spices or Cinnamon
  • For the Buttercream Frosting
  • 100 g unsatled butter
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 60 g toffee or caramel sauce
  • Two tablespoons cocoa powder to dust


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/gas mark 5. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases.
  2. Beat the butter and vanilla sugar together for at least five minutes until pale and creamy.
  3. Slowly add the beaten eggs and gently whisk together.
  4. Sift in the flour and pudding spices or cinnamon and gently mix together with a metal spoon until all the flour is folded in.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into the 12 cupcake cases, or use an ice-cream scoop. The cases should be just over half full.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Take the cakes out of the oven and leave them to cool.
  7. To make the buttercream frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the toffee sauce and mix well.
  8. Using a small palette knife or a flat knife, spread a little frosting onto each cake. Twist the cake round as you spread to create a swirl effect.
  9. Dust the cakes lightly with cocoa power and eat!

With all the pretty flowers around too, I am also reminded that it’s almost spring and that warmer weather and a little bit of sunshine is just around the corner.

spring flowers

Since I had bookmarked Peggy’s Caramel Cake, but ended up with cupcakes, I’m sending this to Bookmarked Recipes at Tinned Tomatoes hosted by Jac.

I’m also sending these to Credit Crunch Munch hosted jointly by Fuss Free Helen and Camilla. The Valentine’s Day cupcakes I saw in town were £2.50 each! Since I had all the ingredients in the cupboard to make these myself, I saved myself a fair few pennies.

Credit Crunch Munch

I hope you’ve had a lovely day whether you’ve been romanced, or not.

There’s still a little time to enter my Hotel Chocolat Love Notes giveaway, too…

Love Notes Hotel Chocolat


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  3. says

    As I have just said on another blog there is nothing like expressing your love in a home made gift.
    Lovely cupcakes! Thank you so much for sending to Credit Crunch Munch!

  4. says

    Have heard a lot about the Peggy book although I don’t do fancy baking much these days. Bookmarked for the teens to bake – they like to take cupcakes into school. They become very popular and aren’t tempted to eat too many themselves.

    • Ren says

      I don’t think I had baked anything since before Christmas! And sadly I felt much better for it. These was quite dainty. There are quite a lot of lovely recipes in the book and I just got a new one too, called Annie Bell’s Baking Bible which looks rather lovely!

  5. says

    wow these look amazing ren! I had an awful valentine’s day, stuck at hoem working on my projects.. wish I had a cupcake or two to cheer me up. oh well, tis all over! hope you had a wonderful day x

    • Ren says

      Yep all done for another year. I was posting this recipe at 8.30pm or whenever, home too with a poorly husband. It was a very good job I had these cupcakes!

  6. says

    I’m a sucker for cupcakes….these look lovely Ren I may have to try these!
    Have to say while I’m here that I love love your photography too,very professional :)

    • Ren says

      Thank you Camilla, yes really mine should be toffee and cocoa cupcakes but dulce de leche is the best thing to use which will make them caramel! There isn’t much difference. Looking forward to the round-up x