Monday, September 17, 2012

Snickerdoodle Cookie Cupcakes with Caramel Filling

College Cooking Episode #1 has officially begun! I spent this past Saturday night baking these delicious cupcakes for my hall mates as they patiently waited for several hours.  I really missed getting in my "baking zone" and am so grateful that I could finally get back into things.  So be prepared: there is definitely more to come! Suggestions welcome!

So as the title indicates that these are Snickerdoodle cookie cupcakes.  For those of you who don't know what Snickerdoodle is... you have seriously been missing out!  It's basically just a sugar cookie with cinnamon added to it, but this one ingredient makes a world of difference.  

Anyways, the base of the cupcake is actually made of a snickerdoodle cookie dough, and the cake portion as well as the cream cheese frosting is cinnamon spiked.  Last, but certainly not least the cupcake is filled with a freshly made caramel sauce. Mmmmm.

I have to give a shout out to one of my favorite blogs, How Sweet It Is, for inspiring me to create this masterpiece.  Additionally I got my caramel recipe from The Messy Baker.  This was my first time ever attempting to make caramel and I was surprisingly very successful.  

This was also my first time using a hand mixer instead of a standard kitchen aid mixer which took a little getting used to but it wasn't too shabby- just very loud.

Overall, this was a messy project to do in a tiny dorm kitchen but I still had tons of fun so it was worth it in the end. 

They think so too. 


This recipe will make about 15 cupcakes.

For the cookie dough base:
1/4 cup softened unsalted butter (half of a stick) 
1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon

For the cake layer:
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup of milk (I used 1%, but just use whatever you have around)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 heaping tsp. cinnamon 

For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
1/2 cup softened butter
8 oz cream cheese at room temp. (I used 1/3 less fat, but any kind works fine)
2.5 cups powdered sugar
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

For the caramel:
Side note: This is something you can easily buy at the grocery store if you want to save some time. Also, this recipe will make a pretty hefty amount of caramel (I probably used half of it for my cupcakes) but it's always nice to have some left over for sundaes, etc).
1.5 cups of sugar
1 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup tap water

As you can see this recipe has lots of different parts to it but they all come together so nicely!


For the cookie dough base: 
Beat (with electric mixer) butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl until creamy and smooth.  Add the 1 egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. 
In a separate small bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. 
Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix until the dough comes together nicely.  Cover and put in the fridge while you complete the second step.

For the cake layer:
Preheat the oven to 350. 
Beat (with electric mixer) butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl until creamy and smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined. 
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. 
Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients... combine, add milk... combine, and add the second half of the dry ingredients until you reach a smooth and fluffy consistency. 

Assembly of the cupcakes: 
1. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
2. Add about 1 tablespoon of refrigerated cooke dough to the bottom of the liner and flatten as much as possible (pictured at the left)
3. Drop about 2 tbsp's worth of cake batter on top until it is about 75-80% full (pictured at the right). 
4. Bake for about 14-16 minutes at 350 and when they are done baking, allow to cool completely.

For the caramel:
This should probably be done several hours ahead of time so that it is able to cool off and thicken completely.  I made the stupid mistake of not allowing myself enough time but it still ended up working out for the most part! 
Combine sugar and water in a medium sized pot (no heat yet) and stir.  This is the only chance you will have to stir it- resist the urge to stir it while it is caramelizing, trust me!  Place over medium-high heat and it will eventually come to a boil, and then begin to caramelize (this should take about 10 minutes). Don't touch it for the duration of this time. 

Take it off the heat right as it becomes a familiar light brown/caramel color.  You have to be watchful because it can burn in a split second. 
Once you remove it from heat, immediately yet slowly, add the heavy whipping cream and whisk to combine.  The mixture will bubble violently and it may become clumpy but do not fear!
Place back on low heat for 1-2 minutes to melt the remaining clumps until you reach a smooth consistency.  It will become thicker as it cools so don't be alarmed by its thinness. 
Place in a heat safe container, cover, and let it cool down completely.

For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
Cream (with electric mixer) butter and cream cheese together in a medium sized bowl.  Gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla, alternating back and forth.  
Finally, add cinnamon!
Refrigerate from 10-15 minutes to let it firm up a little more before frosting the cupcakes.  I will warn you that this is one of the thinner frostings I have made but it is oh so delicious.  If you are insistent in having a thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar, but I don't think it really needs it. 

Creating the masterpiece:
1. Take any standard piping bag and fill it with the cooled caramel.  Stick the tip as far you can into the cupcake and squeeze the bag while lifting up to fill the center of the cupcake.  Another way you can do it is by cutting out a portion of the cupcake and filling up the hole you created- either way works fine! 

2. Using another piping bag with any kind of decorating tip (I used a star shaped Wilton- per usual) frost your cupcakes with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting!

3.  If you want, sprinkle some cinnamon or drizzle some of the extra caramel on top!

So I finally completed my first in-college baking experience.  Please continue to keep checking in and see what's new! Hope you are all having a great school year! 

Happy baking!


  1. So I was creeping on your wonderful blog and a saw Rtown and me made a cameo. By the way you are so awesome