Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

Prep time:
30 min
Cook time:
20 min
Serves:
makes 12

Ingredients

For the sponge

120 g self-raising flour, sifted
145 g golden caster sugar
40 g butter, at room temperature
120 ml milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the caramel filling

150 g soft toffees
5 tbsp double cream

For the frosting

225 g butter
400 g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp whole milk, or more if necessary

To decorate

caramel popcorn

Method

1. For the sponge: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole tin with cupcake paper cases. Tip the flour, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt into a food processor and blitz on a slow speed for one minute, until you achieve a sandy consistency.

2. Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until just incorporated. Don’t worry if it looks a little messy at this stage – it will come together! In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining milk together with the egg and vanilla essence. Pour into the batter and beat for a couple of minutes until smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl to catch any unmixed ingredients as you go.

3. Divide the mixture between the 12 paper cases, filling each one up two-thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the golden sponge bounces back when prodded with a finger. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

4. For the filling: put the toffees and cream into a small saucepan and heat over a low flame, stirring continuously. When they have melted together, remove from the heat and cool for a couple of minutes.

5. Inject a little of the warm caramel filling into the middle of the cooled cupcakes using a syringe or thin nozzled piper. Add enough filling until it starts to ooze back out of the cake. You should have some – about 6 tbsp – left over.

6. For the frosting: tip the butter and icing sugar into a food processor and beat until well combined. Add the remaining caramel sauce and the milk, then beat again for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy. If the mixture feels too stiff, add a splash more milk to loosen it up.

7. When the sponges have cooled completely, carefully spoon a third of the frosting into a piping bag and use it to decorate the first four cupcakes. Repeat until you have finished them all. Alternatively, just use a palette knife to spread about 2 tbsp of frosting onto each cupcake.

8. Decorate with kernels of caramel popcorn.

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