Well, the answer to the first is easy - I haven't made Tim's cupcakes yet (and I think they will probably look suspiciously like whoopie pies this year), my nephew Ryan never returned my phone call on what kind he wanted, and my brother sticks with the classics and wanted the same thing as last year.
The answer to the second, however, is even easier - never. I can't imagine not loving this stuff. I do have good news for you, though. You can make it in a crock pot. I tried it for this recipe, and it came out perfectly. I used a small crock pot, and kept the heat on low, but it came out wonderfully. This is not set it and forget it food, though. You do have to stir it a few times, but it tasted as good as when I made it on the stove top.
Now, on to the cupcakes. I didn't really know what kind to make for Fawn's birthday. I had a few ideas, but since she likes coconut milk caramel as much as I do, I thought she would love these. And, she did.
I've only made this recipe a few times, but I do want to share it. I searched for dulce de leche cupcakes before I made these, thinking I could substitute the coconut milk caramel in, but I couldn't find a recipe for dulce de leche cupcakes where there was actually caramel in the cake batter. Filled - check. Frosted - check. Actually caramel baked into the cupcakes - couldn't find. I'm convinced this recipe can be easily adapted for dulce de leche cupcakes, so let me know if you do it! I think 1 cup of dulce de leche and 1/2 cup of milk would be a great substitute, by the way!
After tasting these cupcakes, I decided they were pretty sweet and needed cream cheese frosting. So, that's what I used. And, it was the perfect frosting for these cupcakes. They were gone quickly and received rave reviews!
For a .pdf, click here!
Coconut Milk Caramel Cupcakes
Makes 12-15 cupcakes
1 batch coconut milk caramel – about 1 ½ cups
1 ½ cups flour
½ c. vegetable oil
½ t. vanilla
1 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut milk caramel, oil, egg, salt, and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Add flour and baking powder, and stir until just combined.
Bake at 350 for 10-17 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.
Coconut Milk Caramel (crock pot version)
1 15 oz can coconut milk
1 ½ c. brown sugar
1” ginger, peeled and cut into planks
½ t. salt
In a small crockpot, stir all ingredients and set on low. Let cook for 4-5 hours (uncovered), stirring every hour. When mixture has turned deep caramel, turn crockpot off.
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 c. butter
2-4 tablespoons cream
1 t. vanilla
In a large mixing bowl, beat all ingredients except cream until light and fluffy. Add cream, one tablespoon at a time, beating the mixture 1-2 minutes after each addition.