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Baking with Caramel (1 Viewer)


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So I made a nice salted caramel sauce which I used to make cupcakes. I made a vanilla cake mix and I wanted to do a marble effect with the caramel however when they finished baking, the caramel sunk to the bottom making the bottom of the cupcake all mushy. Although still tasted good, it was not the affect I was hoping for and it was messy.
Did I add too much caramel for it to sink like that? Am I supposed to mix the caramel with the batter first or bake the cupcakes first and then add the caramel? Any suggestions.
Someone suggested I bake first then cut a hole out and fill with caramel but that's not really what I was aiming for.
Hi @Snowball

Welcome to the site. 😊

I'm not sure how you added the caramel to the cupcakes, but it sounds like you placed a blob on the top or centre, and it literally sank to the bottom.

One way to incorporate it into your batter is to add a small amount to the top of the batter (in each case) but swirl it through with a knife or cocktail stick, which would then spread it evenly around your mix and incorporate the flavour into the cupcake. Or an easier way to do it would be like I make my marble cake.

When I make a chocolate marble cake, I mix cocoa and water in a cup, make a paste, then add some of the original batter to it and mix together; I then pour (my new choc mixture) back into the vanilla batter and then swirl it about. So you get the chocolate and original batter flavours.

If you are adding the caramel, you would probably want the consistency not too thick when mixed with your batter, which would give you the undertones of the caramel throughout the cupcake and hopefully a nice swirl.

I get the person who suggested you core the cupcake and have it as a filling, but you want the cake to be caramel and not just filled.

I hope this helps you out and if you need anything else, just let me know.
Thank you for your response. What I did was I filled the cup half way, place some caramel (maybe 1 Tsp) and swirled it, then added more batter to fill then added another Tsp of caramel and swirled that with a knife as well. So I did swirl it but it all just seemed to sink to the bottom.
Should my caramel sauce be thicker? Should I mix some cake batter into the sauce first and then add and swirl?
Hi Snowball,

I think the consistency may be a little heavy and your batter a little light which is why it's sinking down. I know if I add strawberry jam to the centre of some of my cupcake batter, it just sinks to the bottom.

You could either just try adding a small swirl to the top of the cupcake so it's spread across, has a bigger surface area and has further to drop when baking thus meaning less weight because you'll only have one tsp of caramel rather than two. Or mix the caramel with some of the batter like I do for the choc marble cake.

If you mix a portion of the caramel with some of the batter you can mix it to a good consistency and then add it back in. I think you would probably have more chance of it remaining a swirl and undertone throughout the cupcakes as you've incorporated it as part of the batter so it would have less chance of sinking.

Denser cakes such a madeira and pound cake hold additions to batter much better than lighter sponges so you could either try the above or change your batter to a thicker, sturdier mix which also may hold the caramel blobs in place.

If I use victoria sponge, it is a light batter, whereas if I baked a pound cake/madeira it is a denser sponge and would hold whatever I incorporate into it much better.

If you're doing the cupcakes you could split the mix and try and see which one works for you either just one blob/swirl on the top of each cupcake or adding some caramel-infused batter back into the batter.
Hi @Snowball

I got my cake on this morning and used a salted caramel sauce I had in the cupboard. I paired it with two different cupcake batches. One made with brown sugar and the other with granulated sugar.

After a bit of taste testing, visualising, and a bit more tasting, myself and my husband have found the following results. With both batches, I split the mix, mixed some directly with caramel, and the other couple of cupcakes just drizzled over the top, or dragged it with a cocktail stick.

I don't know whether when you make your cake batter if it's runny or not? Mine isn't, so the caramel sits better on the mixture. If yours is runny and your sauce is runny, you could pipe the batter into the cupcake cases along with a little caramel in stages to probably give you a better swirl if they are both runny.

White sugar mix:-​

In my white sugar mix, I got subtle tones of caramel through the batter but not really prevalent, as I did with the chocolate marble cake. I think because the caramel is a light tone, it blends with the batter. I didn't want to add too much caramel sauce to the batter either, so that may also have been a factor.

Caramel Cupcakes by Help Me Bake (Medium).jpg

With this, there are two options, add two small caramel layers, as in plain batter, then a small blob of caramel swirled with a cocktail stick like below and then another layer of batter and then a top swirl but run the risk of it possibly pooling or if you don't mind adding coffee, add a touch of coffee or chocolate to the mix to give you a more prominent colour. Either way, this should darken the caramel and give you a more visual swirl.

Caramel Cupcakes by Help Me Bake 2 (Medium).jpg

Another thing you could do is poke a few holes in the top of the cupcake when it comes out of the oven and add some caramel. With the cupcake being hot, it will absorb in but may also seep into the cake, possibly giving you a touch of colour. The caramel would have to be hot and runny for this, though.

This was my before and after shot of white sugar - batter vs cake. The top four have caramel mixed into the batter. The bottom two have just batter and a swirl of caramel.

Caramel Cupcakes Batter White Sugar Batch by Help Me Bake (Medium).jpg

Caramel Cupcakes White Sugar Batch by Help Me Bake (Medium).jpg

You can see after baking them the middle two are brown, but the bottom two have a dark swirl on the top of each cupcake. This wasn't throughout the cake, although I did get light and dark areas in the cake.

Getting the correct ratio of caramel to cupcake mix seems to be a sticking point.

These were the brown sugar batch:-​

The top four again were mixed directly with caramel and the bottom two were one drizzled with caramel and the other slightly mixed with a touch of batter.

Caramel Cupcakes Brown Sugar Batch (Medium).jpg

For this one, I dragged caramel off the spoon with a cocktail stick to help thin and space it out.

Caramel Cupcakes brown sugar drizzle by Help Me Bake (Medium).jpg

For the other one, I added a touch of batter to the caramel to thin it out slightly.

Caramel Cupcakes Mix by Help Me Bake (Medium).jpg

When the cupcakes baked the bottom two still had the swirl of the caramel on top but you can't see it unless you zoom in.

Caramel Cupcakes Brown Sugar Batch 2 (Medium).jpg

I think if you drizzle like this on your vanilla mix (if it's thick enough to hold it) you may get the swirl you want.

In terms of flavour, these were amazing! The brown sugar adds hints of caramel undertones then mixed with the caramel just lifted the whole thing.


White Sugar Batch:

Cupcake 3 - Crunchy top, no pools of caramel on the bottom, not flavoured as much as I'd like. 4th Favourite
Cupcake 5 - More flavour, hints of a swirl throughout the cupcake but not enough. 3rd Favourite

Brown Sugar Batch:

Cupcake 3 - Slightly crunchy, amazing rich caramel flavour throughout, very soft fluffy consistency, a little bit of caramel on the base just to one side. Swirl on top if you zoom in and see the dark line. Hard to see as all the cupcake is a caramel colour. 1st Favourite (If this was done on a lighter mix would probably see it much better).

Cupcake 5 - Tiny pool of caramel, crunchy top, crumb slightly tighter consistency. Caramel shiny on the top would show swirl if cupcake, not a rich caramel colour. 2nd Favourite


White Sugar Batch:
  • 75 grams Flora Buttery
  • 75 grams Granulated Sugar
  • 1 and a half Medium Eggs
  • 75 grams Self Raise Flour
  • Couple of teaspoons of Salted Caramel Sauce (Joe & Seph's)

Brown Sugar Batch:
  • Same recipe as above, but swap out the granulated sugar for 75 grams of light brown sugar instead.

Each recipe makes 6 cupcakes.
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