Monday, November 7, 2011

Rolo Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting

In mourning/celebration (however you may want to look at it) of the end of Daylight Savings Time and the fact that it's only Monday and I kind of want to put my kids in a sled (I guess we're supposed to get snow tonight?) and just give them a hearty shove and see how far down the street they make it (oh, my goodness, that's terrible!), I think this is going to be a sweet-filled week.

Starting us off: Rolo Cupcakes

The famed chocolate covered caramel candy, Rolos, hidden inside chocolate cupcakes topped with a salty-sweet and lighter than air Caramel Buttercream Frosting then haloed by a rich chocolate ganache and finally, crowned with an additional Rolo candy.  These made some pretty fun Birthday cupcakes for a sweet friend last week and since making them, I am thinking of a reason to make them again (or, try them with a different kind of candy...).

The Buttercream is especially a triumph for me because I think it is one of the only frosting recipes I've ever liked.  Growing up, my mom was a professional cake decorator and so us kids grew up on cake scraps and licking out the leftover frosting out of the bowl.  Suffice it to say, I both OD'd and became pretty discerning when it came to cake and frosting.  My mom introduced me to this buttercream frosting recipe (traditionally my least favorite of frosting offerings) and it's amazing.  It's almost more of a whipped cream consistency and even better, is almost completely hands off in the technique.  Sweet!

Rolo Cupcakes
makes about 18 cupcakes
1 box Devil's food chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup warm water
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 small package instant chocolate pudding
unwrapped Rolos candies, 2 per cupcake (one for inside, one for garnish on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except Rolos. With an electric mixer on low speed, mix to combine. Raise speed to medium and blend for about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl.  Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pans, filling almost to the top of the liner.  Press one Rolo into each cup of batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-23 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.  Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes.  Remove from pans and allow to fully cool on wire racks.   

Caramel Butter Cream Frosting:
(Makes about 2 cups of frosting.  I doubled the batch so that I wouldn't have to worry about running out of frosting and ended up having about a cup of frosting leftover)

3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons chilled Heavy Whipping Cream
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of Kosher salt
3 tablespoons caramel flavored syrup (Hershey's makes a bottled one--or use caramel ice cream topping)

In a combine all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment.  Run the food processor continuously for 5 minutes.  The mixture will be smooth but thick and kind of funky looking  

Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer.  With whisk or paddle attachment (I prefer the whisk), allow the mixer to run continuously for 15 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides, until frosting is light and fluffy and the consistency of whipped cream.  Transfer frosting to a pastry bag with desired tip (or in my case, the only--quite wonky-shaped--one you can find after rifling through all your drawers). 

Chocolate Ganache:
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a microwave safe dish, heat cream just until simmering (likely 30 seconds or less on high power, watch it closely!).  Stir in chocolate chips.  Allow to sit a couple minutes to allow chocolate to fully melt.  Stir mixture until smooth.  Stir in honey and vanilla.  Allow to cool until almost room temperature.

To assemble:
Pipe frosting in a mound on top of each cupcake.  I find it helps to start on the outside edge of the cupcake and work inward and upward (although I am certainly no cupcake frosting expert!).  Frost all the cupcakes and allow to chill so frosting hardens enough so that it won't melt under the ganache topping.  Once frosting has chilled, spoon a couple teaspoons of ganache over top of frosting being careful not to use too much so that it doesn't drip over the sides of the paper.  Press an unwrapped Rolo into the top of the cupcake.  Return to the fridge and chill.  Remove from fridge one hour before serving.

Some overall concepts adapted from
Cupcake recipe adapted from Ann Byrn's "The Cake Mix Doctor"
Frosting adapted from Rosie's Bakery Buttercream recipe


  1. just reading this recipe makes my mouth feel excited and my tummy expand...can we come have some at your house? :) miss you, friend!

    love, ang

  2. I would make these for you, anytime, my Friend! Love you and miss you too!

  3. Yum! Those look delicious! I'm stopping by from the Chic & Crafty link up. Thanks for sharing!

  4. These look amazing!!! Rolos are one of my all time favorite candies:-)

  5. I don't have a food processor. Is there an alternate way to make the buttercream icing?

  6. Yes I was wondering the samething about mixing it for 15 minutes. I have a hand held i have to do that for 15 minutes? Also I never use all the oil in cake. If it asks for 1/2 c. oil I do a 1/2 c. applesauce and a pinch of oil. It makes the cupcakes very very moist. I do this in all of my baking. Let me know if this would help. THanks

  7. I haven't tried making this recipe without the food processor so I can't say for certain how it would turn out if you just mixed it in either a stand mixer or with a hand held. I am thinking that the food processor does a better job emulsifying the heavy cream and butter together than a mixer alone. I do know is that this buttercream recipe has a significantly lighter and fluffier texture than any buttercream I've made mixing for a few minutes with just my hand held mixer. I would think it would be worth a try with just a mixer. I would mix it on low until the cream and butter are smooth and there is no liquid cream and then mix it on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy (could be as long as the 15 minutes indicated in the recipe).

    Also, I LOVE my food processor for a whole lot of uses and highly recommend one if you do a lot of cooking and are able!

    Thanks for checking my site out and please let me know how it turns out if you do try the frosting without the food processor!

  8. sounds super yummy! does the rolo completly melt during the baking process?

  9. The Rolo loses its shape but definitely stays intact enough to be a little surprise in the middle. If you freeze the Rolos for at least 2 hours before baking, they'll stay even more intact. Good question!

  10. I made these and sent them to work with my husband. He came home telling me that a co-worker sent word of a marriage proposal through him....guess they were that good since none were left and I have a back-up marriage plan!

  11. I made this without a food processor and it was a hit! Just watch very closely, 15 minutes was much too long and I ruined it the first time around. Other than that great recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  12. it sounds so good , I'll have to try it.

  13. I just made apple cupakes and used your caramel buttercream recipe and I only used my stand mixer. It worked!

  14. I'm truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It's a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more
    often. Did you hire out a designer to create your
    theme? Great work!

    Feel free to surf to my website :: Toenail scissors