The Decadent Birthday Cupcakes



I’ve had to rename these cupcakes because I had named them ‘Chocolate Cupcake, Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Drizzle’ which obviously is wayyyyyy too long! So as they were birthday cupcakes I renamed them!

Originally meant to be a 4 layer cake, cupcakes were requested instead! And I was kinda glad because I just love cupcakes! There is 4 parts to this recipe and it makes about 28 cupcakes in total.

The cupcake part is quite wet and was supposed to take up to an hour to bake but they took just 10-15 minutes per tray. You could make the caramel and ganache in advance but i did these whilst the cupcakes were cooling down. This swiss meringue buttercream recipe is AMAZING! It’s simple and if you follow my instructions it’ll turn out just perfect! I’ve always avoided this buttercream because I was afraid of the part where you add the butter!

Buying the best quality ingredients really helps too! As some of you may know I’ve recently moved to New Zealand. So in Christchurch I’ve found that good quality butters and creams are really expensive so I rarely splash out! This time I did and the difference in quality of the cupcakes was crazy! I was reluctant to spend $8 on butter BUT it was a really creamy awesome butter!

I ran out of double cream so topped up with normal cream when I needed to.

Keep tasting when adding fleur de sel/ salt and the caramel to the caramel/ buttercream.

Take your time, enjoy making these and get ready to eat the best cupcakes ever!!


I had far too much caramel and chocolate ganache for drizzling so if you’re not a regular baker and will not use it I’d recommend halving the recipes for those. However both keep for quite some time in the fridge and are useful for just about anything from fruit to a decadent hot chocolate! 

Cupcake Ingredients

2 cups plain flour

1 + 3/4 cups caster sugar

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1.5 tsp baking powder

1.5 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 cup sunflower oil

3 tsp madagascan vanilla extract

1/2 cup coffee

1/2 cup boiling water


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and prep the cupcake trays with liners. You’ll definitely need 2+ trays!

Mix 1/2 cup hot water and instant coffee to prep the 1/2 cup coffee needed and set aside. 

Mix the cocoa into the 1/2 cup of  hot water and also set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients ( except cocoa as you’ve just used it).

Whisk your eggs, milk, vinegar, oil and vanilla together in a jug.

Beat this into dry ingredients.

Now add the wet coffee and cocoa alternating between mixes. Ass maybe a third at a time.

When it is thoroughly mixed add approx 1/4 cup of batter to each cupcake case. If you think it needs a little more then add about 1tbsp at a time!

Pop into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

When all cooked set them aside on a wire rack to cool.

*cupcake assembly is last point*

The Salted Caramel

1.5 cups caster sugar

1/4 cup water

1 cup double cream

3 tbsps cream

2 tbsp unsalted butter

fleur de sel (to taste)


Pop the sugar and water into a good quality heavy bottomed pan.

On medium heat.

Do not stir, you can shake the pan a little though.

Bring to the boil.

Leave on the heat until the sugar has dissolved and the sugar  turns amber.

Remove from the hot ring and add the cream carefully. 

When it stops bubbling you can add the butter.

Whisk until smooth.

If you end up with large lumps of sugar pop back on the heat and just let it melt out.

Cook on a medium heat, whisking until it is smooth.

Add a little fleur de sel at a time, taste as you go, keep whisking until all salt is combined.

Set aside to cool. When cooled pop into a jar and keep in fridge until needed.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

1 cup caster sugar

4 egg whites

250g block unsalted butter (cut into 1 tbsp cubes)

1-3 tsps madagascan vanilla extract

Salted caramel (to taste)


Pop egg whites and sugar into a clean glass or aluminium bowl over a Bain Marie. (About 5 minutes)

Whisk until sugar has dissolved. (Test this with a finger) 

Mixture should be warm!

Remove bowl from heat and use an electric mixer to beat.

Beat for 10+ minutes nail you get a white meringuey mixture.

The bowl and mixture should now be cold.

Put mixer on slowest speed and add butter 1 cube at a time.

Do not add the next until the previous has been fully combined.

Keep mixing until you have a beautiful, thick but airy, tasty buttercream. 

Now it’s time to add the vanilla and salted caramel! 

I added probably 6-10 spoons of caramel, but I recommend adding 5 and then tasting from there! 

Set aside until you are ready to use. ( cool, dry area)

Chocolate Ganache

200g creamy milk chocolate

200ml double cream


Break up chocolate into its squares!

Pop cream into a saucepan and onto heat until it simmers.

Take off heat and pour over the chocolate and stir until combined.

Set aside until needed. 

Put leftovers in a jug or jar! It makes amazing hot chocolate later on! 

*cupcake assembly*

I filled each cupcake with caramel.😍😍😍

So using a large icing tip, I made a hole in each one.

Then using a pastry bag (no tip), I piped a little caramel into the centre of each one.

Next I put about half my buttercream into another pastry bag with one of my favourite tips and piped buttercream on top of each one. 

Next I just got a fork and drizzled both caramel and chocolate on top of each one!

Then lastly I sprinkled a little Fleur de sel on top of each.


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