The aroma of these easy spice cupcakes with caramel buttercream will take you back to Grandma’s kitchen.
Cupcakes are one of our favorite things! Not only are they hand held, but you can literally make hundreds of different combinations of cake flavors and frosting flavors.
You’ll fall in love with these homemade spice cake cupcakes with a caramel buttercream frosting. They’ll make your home smell amazing while they bake!
How did cupcakes come to be and why are they so popular? People started making cupcakes in the early 1900’s because they didn’t take as long to bake and were less likely to burn in the oven. This was also the time when muffin pans (which you bake cupcakes in) became popular. (source)
Around 2011, cupcakes became all the rage. Cupcake recipes galore, cupcake bakers, and even cupcake ATMs (Have you tried this??? They are fun!).
It’s fun to make a handheld food, they are easy to decorate, and much more portable than an entire cake. It’s also a great way to watch portion control….as long as you don’t eat more than one. (Guilty!)
Spice cake is traditionally made with comforting spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. It is similar to a gingerbread flavor and is very common around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons.
The flavor is deeper, earthier and spicier than traditional white or chocolate cakes.
These spiced cupcakes are 100% from scratch. It may seem intimidating to venture away from a box cake mix, but I’m going to show you just how easy it is. You can do it!
You can allow the cupcakes to cool about 10 minutes in the pan, then remove them to a wire rack to cool more quickly.
This caramel buttercream is super easy.
To make buttercream, beat butter (butter should be room temperature. Not cold, but not softened too much), powdered sugar, and caramel syrup until smooth and fluffy.
The exact texture of the frosting could change with the type of caramel you choose to use. If you find the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time. If you find it too stiff, add a touch more caramel.
**Pro Tip: If the frosting is too sweet, add a dash of salt to cut back the sweetness. Be careful not to add too much!**
Frosting swirls on cupcakes may look complicated, but it is actually fairly easy!
Cut off about an inch of the tip of the frosting bag. Place the frosting tip into the bag and push down so it is nice and tight.
Fill the frosting bag with frosting, then squeeze out any air.
Place the tip perpendicular to the top of the cupcake, then push and swirl in circles, piling up the frosting as high as you’d like it to go. When you are done, stop squeezing the bag and pull quickly up.
This frosting is very soft so it is best if you refrigerate the frosting for 20 minutes or so before piping. Your hands will warm the frosting even more so if you find that is happening, firm it back up in the fridge.
Normally cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. These cupcakes will be ok at room temperature for several hours as long as it is not hot.
The frosting on the spice cupcakes is very soft, so if it is too warm, it will melt. For that reason, we recommend storing the cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow them to come to room temperature in the sealed container before opening it.