3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chilled strong coffee (I brewed French roast)
12 chocolate-covered espresso beans (garnish)
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce + enough to drizzle over the top
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the softened butter and granulated sugar until thoroughly combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each until mixed. Add the vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/8 of the chilled coffee to the liquid mixture, mixing well. Continue alternating the flour and the coffee, until everything is mixed well. Taste the batter and add more coffee, depending on how strong you would like your cupcakes to taste.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full of the batter. Place them in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove and let cool.
For the Frosting:
Cream the softened butter for 3 to 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, mixing well between additions. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the salted caramel and thoroughly blend. The frosting should be thick, but light and airy.
Place the frosting in a piping bag, and pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Place the remaining salted caramel sauce in a piping bag with a small circle tip, and drizzle slowly over the frosting. Top each with a chocolate-covered espresso bean.