Dulce de Leche

For all the linguists out there, dulce de leche is sweet milk… Let’s think about that for a second… milk is HEALTHY, calcium, vitamin D, all that protein… umm yumm?  But in all seriousness, its basically just caramelized sugar, but I’m sure there is still some nutritional value in there somewhere.

The Frosting. (I cheated. I used Nestle's dulce de leche instead of making my own... OOPS!)
The Frosting. (I cheated. I used Nestle’s dulce de leche instead of making my own… OOPS!)

I was trying to come up with a yummy dessert to bring to the department holiday party, one that would live up to it’s the heightened anticipation at this point, zerooo pressure.  To put it gently, it was suggested that I make Dulce de Leche cupcakes by a fellow foodie friend.  The more I thought about it though, it seemed like a perfectly non-demoninational holiday season flavor, plus who hates dulce de leche? It’s basically caramel.  So, just like that, the decision was made. And so were the cupcakes.

Dulce de Leche Holiday Cupcakes
Dulce de Leche Holiday Cupcakes

These turned into another one of those pulling-cupcakes-out-of-the-oven-at-midnight project, but being that it was an incredibly stressful week and I have deadlines looming precariously over my head, however time consuming, it was a welcome distraction.  For those of you who are far removed from the abysmal experiences of finals week and end of semester papers, well lucky you; let’s remember, at 23 I have yet to experience that. But moving right along to the mouth watering photos..

The darker flecks in the cupcakes are chunks of brown sugar!
The darker flecks in the cupcakes are chunks of brown sugar!

The cake batter was DELICIOUS.  I usually don’t make a habit of eating raw dough, mostly to prove to myself that I can have self-control, but also because of the whole raw-eggs-are-kinda-really-bad-for-you deal.  Anyways, I slipped up, and OMG. It tasted like a combination of cookie dough & vanilla cake batter.  Anyway, I found the recipe from Bella Eats and once I saw her mouth watering photos, I KNEW I had to give them a shot.

YUM!
YUM!

They were a huge hit! :) Hope you all enjoyed them as much as I did!

Recipe is below! Enjoy!! Happy Holiday Baking Season!

For the CUPCAKES

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
In the electric mixer bowl and paddle attachment, add butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar.  Beat on medium speed until fluffy and pale brown, around 3 minutes.   Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add one egg.  Beat for one minute, then add remaining eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute between each. Add in vanilla extract.

Add half of the flour mixture to the egg and butter mixture in the electric mixer.  Beat on low, slowly adding the buttermilk, beating until just combined.  Scrape down the bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients, beating until just incorporated.  Try not to over mix.

Filling each liner about 2/3.  Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.  Let rest in the cupcake pans before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Cupcakes should be completely cooled before frosting.

For the Frosting:

  • 1-8 oz package cream cheese, softened (+ 1/2 package to taste)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup dulce de leche (I completely cheated and used canned, Nestle brand, dulce de leche; you can make it!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar (I used 2.5)

Place cream cheese in the bowl of the electric mixer.  Beat on medium for 30 seconds, until soft.  Stop the mixer and add the butter and dulce de leche.  Beat on medium until combined.  Stop the mixer and add the salt and powdered sugar.  Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and lighter in color.

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