This recipe can seem overwhelming because of all the steps but I guarantee it’s so worth it!
1 stick butter softened
4 oz. cream cheese softened
1 14 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 T. canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 12 oz bottle of Vanilla Porter or Vanilla Stout will work too
In a medium sauce pan heat the Vanilla Porter over medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture is reduced to half. Set the beer aside to cool
Using an electric mixer cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar and oil until light and fluffy. This will take at least 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and be sure to mix well after each addition. Add the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and the salt. Mix until very well combined.
As you measure the butter milk into the 1 cup , leave room for about 2 tablespoons of the reduced Vanilla Porter.
Beginning and ending with flour, add flour alternately with the buttermilk, mixing between each addition.
Line 24 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. Distribute the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake at 350 for 18/20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Times will vary depending on your oven.
Cool completely on a wire rack. When cool take a 1/4 tsp and carve out a hole in the center of each cupcake. but do not go all the way to the bottom.
While the cupcakes are baking and cooling begin making the filling.
Ingredients for the filling
1/2 cup of reduced vanilla porter
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heaving cream
Take 1/2 cup of reduced vanilla porter and place in a saucepan. Add the butter and sugars an warm until all is melted. Be sure to stir frequently. It should take on a dark amber appearance.
Gradually add the cream, stirring constantly and cook until the mixture is smooth – about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool completely When the mixture is cool and so are the cupcakes take the mixture and put in the tops of the cupcakes you carved out. Keep a couple of tablespoons of the mixture for the top of cupcakes later.
Vanilla Salted Caramel Buttercream
1/2 cup of butter softened
3 oz cream cheese softened
2 tsp pure vanilla
1 # of powdered sugar
4 T. of reduced Vanilla Porter
15 Kraft caramels
Using electric mixer beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla unitl light and fluffy ( about 4 minutes) Add 3 T of reduced Vanilla Porter and 1/2 of the powdered sugar. beating the frosting well. I don’t like real sweet frosting so I slowly add a bit of flour into the mixture to get the consistency I want. cover and refrigerate.
In a small sauce pan add 1 T. of the Vanilla Porter along with the unwrapped caramels. Stir constantly until the caramels are melted. Set this mixture aside to cool but still soft and pliable.
Remove the frosting from the frig and with electric mixture combine the caramel with the butter cream. If you are still not happy with the “thickness” of the frosting either add more powdered sugar or flour.
Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle a little sea salt on top. You can also drizzle with the left over filling if you want.