A few weeks ago, after making a caramel latte cheesecake for my aunt and uncle's silver wedding anniversary I had extra dulce de leche leftover and wanted to use it up. I decided on making mini cupcakes and use the dulce de leche in the filling as well as the icing. I found a good recipe for a chocolate cupcake and then improvised with the filling quantities.
In order to fill the cupcakes I had to cut little cone shapes out of the baked cakes, fill them, and then put the top back on with a little bit sliced off the bottom to compensate for the space taken up by the filling. My brother was watching me during the filling process and I offered for him to eat the extra bits I was cutting off.
Rather than fill them all with dulce de leche I decided to fill half with peanut butter and as I went to get the second filling I came back to discover that instead of eating my extra "bits" he had actually eaten the entire cone I had cut out. By the time I discovered this he had already eaten half of the tops! Luckily I was able to pipe the cream cheese frosting in a way that hid the missing tops and no one was the wiser.
As for the taste I think it was fun to have a filling inside the cupcake, something I have never done before. It created a little surprise when biting into them. Personally I liked both the peanut butter and dulce de leche fillings but I noticed that the majority of my family members preferred the caramel-like taste of the dulce de leche.
Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
Note: I halved the original recipe and even so was able to make 44 mini cupcakes. The recipe below reflects the quantities I used which would most likely be enough to make 24 regularly sized cupcakes.
For the chocolate cupcake:
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup hot water
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking poder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup (12 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup sour cream
- Whisk the cocoa powder with the hot water in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir the butter and sugar together until the butter is melted.
- Once melted, pour the mixture into a large bowl and beat on medium-low speed for 4-5 minutes or until it has cooled.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the vanilla, then the hot cocoa mixture and beat to incorporate.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, then the sour cream, and then the remainder of the flour.
- Divide the batter evenly amongst a pre-greased or paper-lined cupcake pan, filling each well about ¾ full.
- If making mini cupcakes, bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. If making regular sized cupcakes, bake for 18-21 minutes.
- Cool the cupcakes for about 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dulce de leche
- Peanut butter
- 8 oz (250 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Use a small knife to cut a cone-shaped piece from the center of each cupcake.
- For the peanut butter filling: add a few tablespoons of milk to about three heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter. Mix well and then use your hands to tear off chunks and roll into balls. Place the balls into the center of the cupcake then put on the tops.
- For the dulce de leche filling: add a few tablespoons of milk to about three heaping spoonfuls of the dulce de leche until it becomes more runny. Use a small plastic bag to pipe the filling into the center of the cupcake then put on the tops.
- For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar and about two or three tablespoons (depending on how strong you want the flavor) of dulce de leche. Continue to beat until completely smooth and the sugar is well incorporated. Transfer to a plastic or piping bag fitted with a tip to pipe on top of cupcakes.