Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting, Dark Chocolate Drizzle & Pretzel Crumble

I tried to come up with a catchy name for these delicious cupcakes, but nothing sounded better than just listing out all of the yummy elements that make up the dessert.

First:  A moist chocolate cake.

Second:  A layer of caramel cream cheese frosting.

Third:  Dark chocolate drizzled in a pretty pattern.

Finally:  Pretzel crumbles sprinkled on top.

If this doesn’t cheer you up, I don’t know what will. Comfort dessert is always the way to go.

Try this as soon as possible…it is quite possibly mandatory to be in good spirits and health.


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Pretzels or Pretzel Crisps, crumbled
  • Dark Chocolate Chips, melted (don’t burn it!)

Cupcake Instructions

  1. Line muffin tin with paper liners.  Heat oven to 350*F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for one minute.
  4. Stir in boiling water.
  5. Fill liners 2/3 full with batter.
  6. Bake cupcakes for aproximately 18-22 minutes
  7. Let cool before frosting.

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 lb confectioners’ sugar, sifted divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Frosting Instructions

  1. Add 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar to a small nonstick skillet. Try to sprinkle in an even layer. Set the pan over medium heat and let the sugar sit untouched until it melts – it’ll seem like it takes forever to start melting, but once it gets going, it goes fast.
  2. Continue cooking until the sugar turns an amber color, stirring occasionally – keep an eye on it, it can burn quickly. Add 1/2 cup of the cream, the vanilla and salt (carefully, the mixture will bubble up!).
  3. Stir until any hardened bits of caramel melt. Add the remaining tablespoon of cream and stir to incorporate. Strain the caramel into a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool.
  4. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the remaining confectioners’ sugar, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Once all the sugar has been added, mix in the cooled caramel. Beat the frosting on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Cover the chill until the frosting is firm enough to pipe.

Cupcake Assembly

  1. After cupcakes cool, pipe cream cheese frosting onto cupcake tops.
  2. “Pipe” the melted chocolate onto the frosting in whatever design you wish.
  3. Sprinkle pretzel crumbs on top.


Sending them off to make others smile! 🙂


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