One of my absolute favorite chocolate and caramel treats is a Turtle. The ooey gooey caramel with the saltiness of the cashews smothered in a rich indulgent milk chocolate makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Mmmm put a box of those in front of me and I’m yours forever! Oh, and expect an empty box in about 5 minutes.
With Cupcake Wars and DC Cupcakes all the rage on the television I thought I’d come up with my own unique creation. Now, I’m not sayin’ there hasn’t been a Turtle cupcake made somewhere out in this big universe before…there’s just never been one that’s been made this delicious.. I can say that cuz I’m biased. Also, to make sure it was unique I didn’t look up any recipes. Save for my usual chocolate cupcake from scratch, I completely came up with the Caramel Butter Cream Icing and ooey gooey caramel cashew surprise on the inside all on my own!
Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients:
Preheat oven to 350
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa (Hershey’s
1 cup canola oil
2 cups hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix the ingredients in the stand mixer on low for a minute or two. Don’t over mix. Typically you want the liner to be filled two-thirds of the way full. Bake at 350 on middle rack for 6 to 12 minutes. Toothpick check. When toothpick comes out clean. They’re ready.
Take out of pan and let cool on racks or counter.
While cupcakes are cooling whip up your caramel butter cream frosting:
10 tablespoons soft salted butter
4 cups powered sugar
6-8 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream (start with 6 add more if needed)
12 oz. jar of Smucker’s Caramel ice cream topping
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Directions: Mix all ingredients in stand mixer with flat beater until smooth and creamy. No worries a hand mixer will do if you don’t have a stand mixer. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to keep cool while coring cupcakes and making center filling.
Caramel Center Filling Ingredients:
One bag of Caramel squares (for 2 dozen cupcakes I used about 30 squares)
2 tablespoons of milk
1 can or jar of Planter’s Cashew pieces
Directions: Put 2 tablespoons of milk on low heat in small sauce pan. Unwrap and add caramel squares. Melt slowly over low heat. If you have a heat disc once caramel is melted leave on low heat so it doesn’t harden. If you don’t have one, just to make sure you stir often and make sure it doesn’t burn.
Core out cupcakes with a small parring knife going in at about a 30 degree angle. This was a simple trick I just discovered after buying a piece-o-crap cupcake corer that I purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond. Works much better and gives you a clean cut and is already a staple in every one’s kitchen.
Now, fill center with 3 to 4 cashew pieces and pour in 1 teaspoon of the ooey gooey caramel over cashews and replace cupcake core.
Time to frost. Remove frosting from fridge and pipe onto top of cupcake. I found some great Wilton disposable piping bags at Bed Bath and Beyond. I used the large star tip. Fill bag about 1/3 full with a spatula. Work icing down with hands and twist tight. Begin at outer edge of cupcake going all the way around and when it almost meets where you began, start a new circle and end up in center. Add just a bit of pressure before completely raising up the tip, it gives it that nice star shape on the tippy top.
Store in airtight containers and place in refrigerator for up to 3 days. But honestly, these won’t last You and your family won’t be able to resist. Word to the wise, pour yourself a nice cold tall glass of milk. Enjoy!