I think I have a problem naming things. After all, there should really be a shorter name for these cupcakes besides “Dulce de Leche Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting.” (they are drizzled with dulce de leche on top, but I decided that it was superfluous.)
I could not come up with a shorter title for my thesis, so it had all five variables in the title. But you almost know exactly what it is about when I say the title.
Anyways. Cupcake Project is one of my go to places when I am searching for new cupcake recipes. I knew I wanted something different, and I had a few extra cans of sweetened condensed milk laying around. So, the cupcake recipe, and brown sugar frosting are from that website, and the dulce de leche is something that I am sure I got from a website a while ago, but have no idea where I got it.
Dulce de Leche Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting
(Adapted from Cupcake Project)
Part One: Dulce de Leche
Note: This method can be extremely dangerous. Borden recommends NEVER boiling the can in this way, as the can could explode, causing major injury to anyone nearby. I choose to take this risk, but, please educate yourself about the risks before choosing this method. There are alternate methods of making this wonderful sauce.
One can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated.)
Take the label off the can. (Or not, but you will have label paper floating in your water). Put can into crock pot, and cover with water. (A few websites say that the water should cover the can to prevent it from exploding. One can fits into my mini 1.5-Quart Slow Cooker, with the water covering the top (barely)).
Heat in slow cooker on high for a few hours. I usually do about four hours, which results in a very thick dulce de leche. You can go as short as an hour (I have heard) to make a more syrup consistency, or longer for a more firm caramel type consistency. After time is up, remove the can from the hot water, and let cool. DO NOT open the hot can, as it might explode.
Part Two: Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cupcake Recipe
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used homemade!)
1 cup, (or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c dulce de leche (I used slightly over half the can)
Whisk boiling water and cocoa together, until smooth. Whisk in milk and vanilla extract, and put to side.
Cream the butter and sugar together for about 3-5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, adding the next only after the first has disappeared.
Mix dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, and salt). Add the dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry. (Note: This is why I tend to not make this type of cake, as the more you beat the flour into the mixture, the tougher the cupcakes can be. So, only mix until the ingredients are mostly incorporated, and do not overmix. In addition, I do not think that my cocoa mixture had cooled enough, as part of the butter melted in this step. The cupcakes were a bit dry because of it, so make sure to let it cool.)
Stir in Dulce de Leche. Im not sure how it was in the original ingredient, but I put mine in cold, and it created clumps of dulce de leche in some of the cupcakes. Next time, I might heat up the dulce de leche to see if it becomes more incorporated into the cupcake.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup milk
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Note: This is Candy Making, so things can and will burn easily, so stir constantly, and with a heat proof implement like silicone or wood.
Melt butter over low heat. Add Brown Sugar, and cook for two minutes. Add milk, and cook for another two minutes. Let cool. (At this point, it is an acceptable caramel replacement, and you can use it as such.)
Gradual beat in 2 cups of powdered sugar. Pipe onto cupcakes. (I tend to pipe things on cupcakes, it seems easier than attempting to spread it.)
If desired, drizzle heated dulce de leche onto cupcakes.