Well hey there, Tuesday.

You know what you need?  A cupcake.  {Isn't my friend Missy's handwriting super cute?  I always wished I had super cute girl handwriting, but instead I have my mother's cursive/print/too loopy for anyone else to comprehend writing.  Sigh. At least I know how to make cupcakes!  That makes up for the friends I can't get by being crafty}

And by the way, the answer to "what do you need?" is always "a cupcake."  Do you have a Gigi's cupcakes where you live?  Because OH.MY.GOSH.  I could bury myself in one of those and happily never be seen again.  JOY.  {I had one from their very first shop in Nashville when my awesome sorority bigbig brought me one.  Love at first drool.}  If I could eat one every day and not weigh 542 pounds, I would.  Because let's face it, the reason I work out at all is to counteract all the cupcakes and pasta I eat.

PLUS, these cupcakes are moist chocolate cake and CARAMEL buttercream frosting!  Remember the homemade caramel sauce I told you about on Friday?  We're putting it to good use today, people.  Confession: I don't even like caramel.  But this caramel buttercream is just bee-yond {is that from a movie?  Or did my weirdo brain invent it and try to convince me its from a movie?}  Ok, pretty much anything that has 2.5 sticks of butter in it is probably going to be a winner.  And a heart attack.  Excuse me while I go do some guilt-squats.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting
Makes 24 cupcakes and way more frosting than you need for 24 cupcakes, feel free to halve frosting.  Adapted from Cooking Classy and Brown Eyed Baker

For the cupcakes:
2/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the frosting:
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 cup caramel sauce

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a large heatproof bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda and stir in boiling water.  Stir until combined, then allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a stand mixer mixing on low, blend together butter, canola oil, sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined.  Mix in eggs and egg yolks, mixing well after each addition.  Blend in cocoa mixture, then heavy cream.  Slowly and carefully mix in flour.  Divide batter among 2 12-count muffin tins and bake 18 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, beat the butter with a whisk attachment on a stand or handheld mixer until butter is smooth.  Add powdered sugar and salt and beat for about 1 minute, until most of sugar is moistened.  Add vanilla, heavy cream, and caramel and beat mixture on high for about 4 minutes, until the whole thing is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed.  Then frost the cupcakes!

I'm so glad I don't have pictures of when I tried to pipe these.  Amateur hour.

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