If you are getting set to tailgate, go on a picnic, or take something to a potluck, this is the cupcake for you. The cake is made with a bit of beer, and the frosting is made from a caramel sauce that has just a bit of whiskey. The result in insanely delicious. As soon as you take a bite, something assails your taste buds with the most wonderful flavor but you just can’t quite peg it. It’s the whiskey! There is not even 2 tablespoons in all of the frosting so not to worry about the amount. Even if you ate each and every cupcake in the batch, it is still a tiny bit of whiskey! If you don’t want to use alcohol in your foods, you can substitute for non-alcoholic beer and whiskey flavoring. You can purchase one of those cute, little bottles of whiskey that holds about 2 ounces. You don’t need an entire large bottle of whiskey, though it probably would not go to waste! The cake is easy, the frosting easy, and the caramel sauce is easy too. The homemade caramel sauce is the secret to the success of this cupcake. Personally, I have never been a cupcake, or even a cake enthusiast, but this cupcake I love. It is that good.
Prepare a caramel cake mix as directed on the box. If you can’t find caramel or butterscotch, use a spice cake mix. Instead of using the required amount of water, substitute one cup of water for one cup of beer. Use any remaining water to meet the needed amount. Don’t use anything too dark or heavy, just regular old beer. I used a ‘lite’ beer. Use the eggs and oil as directed on the box. Divide evenly into cupcake pans lined with paper cupcake liners. Bake as directed. Remove to cooling rack when baking is completed.
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon whiskey
In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, place 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Do not stir, but swirl entire pan over burner continuously until you reach a nice, dark, amber color. Be patient, this takes 15 – 18 minutes. Turn off burner and remove pan from heat. Add 1 tablespoon heavy cream and wisk in completely. Continue adding a few tablespoons of cream one at a time. This too needs a bit of patience. Don’t worry, it will be worth it. After you have added about 1/3 of a cup of the cream a tablespoon at a time and the cream is mixing in readily, slowly add remainder of cream at once, stirring continuously to blend. Return to warm burner that is off and add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon whiskey. Stir. Place in glass jar and cover tightly. Chill until mixture is completely cooled.You may need to set the container in warm water if the caramel is too thick to spoon into frosting.
Caramel Whiskey Frosting
1 1/2 stick room temperature butter
2 cups powdered sugar
prepared caramel sauce
Cream butter to soften. Beat in powdered sugar and whiskey. Frosting will be very, very, thick. Slowly add your prepared caramel sauce a tablespoon at a time until you reach desired thickness. This can take anywhere from 2 to 6 tablespoons, depending on weather, room temperature, etc. If your frosting is too thick, add more caramel sauce. If too thin, add more powdered sugar a bit at a time.You can’t mess this up!
Generously spread frosting on cupcakes that have cooled completely. Garnish with grated chocolate chips and almonds. Prior to serving, drizzle a teaspoon of remaining caramel sauce over cupcake. It works well to chill the frosted cupcakes and then drizzle with caramel sauce.