Making homemade churros can be a bit intimidating, as there's frying involved. A much simpler idea is to transform that flavor profile into cupcake form with this Caramel-filled Churro Cupcakes recipe.
These are moist cupcakes filled with caramel. One of the best parts? The top of the cupcakes have a rich cinnamon cream cheese frosting. These are next level!
Love Churros? Try my Crispy Cinnamon Sugar Oven-Baked Churros.
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What Makes These Caramel-filled Churro Cupcakes so Delightful?
If you don’t already know, I am a huge fan of caramel. And cupcakes. So, turning churros into cupcakes stuffed with caramel seemed only logical. I had to bake these a couple of times to get them exactly right.
The first time the frosting was way too loose and didn’t pipe well. I nailed it the second time and these have become an absolute favorite!
I decided to make a cinnamon cream cheese version that holds up well when piped and complements the cinnamon cake and caramel filling perfectly.
Why Stuff Your Churro Cupcakes with Caramel
Why not, is the question! This is the fun part of making a delicious dessert. I started filling and stuffing my cupcakes just recently and have yet to turn back.
I find it adds a sweet surprise to the cupcake and captures a complementary texture.
This provides for more interesting flavor combos as well as very happy cupcake eaters! Filling your cupcakes is super easy, too. See below in my tips section for a how-to.
Ingredients Needed to Make Churro Cupcakes:
For the Caramel Filling:
For the Cupcakes:
- Unsalted Butter
- Vanilla Extract
- Whole Milk
For the Cinnamon Frosting recipe:
Tools You'll Need to Make this recipe:
- Medium bowl
- Electric mixer
- Paddle attachment
- Bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl
- Cupcake tin or muffin pan
- Cupcake liners
- Pastry bag, piping bag or ziplock bag with the corner snipped off
- Cupcake Corer, sharp knife, or spoon to dig out the center of each cupcake
Tips for Making This Recipe
- I highly recommend preparing the caramel filling first in this recipe. This is the reason I listed it first in the recipe instructions! The caramel needs time to cool and set up before stuffing into your cupcakes. Otherwise the caramel will be way too loose and will absorb into your cupcakes instead of filling them. If the caramel is still a bit too loose when it comes time to fill the cupcakes, stick it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to solidify it a bit more, then carefully spoon it into your cupcakes until the caramel reaches the top but doesn’t overflow
- To fill your cupcakes, you can use a fancy schmancy cupcake corer, an apple corer that you probably have in the back of your kitchen drawer somewhere, or a regular ol’ knife. I use an apple corer. Wait patiently until your cupcakes have cooled. Then take your corer and push it straight down into the center of the cupcake to create a tunnel. If you are using a knife, carefully cut a small ½ inch circular tunnel down to the bottom or near bottom of your cupcake. I like to keep these little pieces of cupcake to nibble on while I’m frosting the cupcakes, but feel free to toss them or give your dog a little treat!
- When making the frosting, refrain from adding the milk until you have thoroughly mixed all ingredients. You want to be able to test the consistency of the frosting before adding the milk. Once you add it and if becomes too loose, it’s difficult to get it back to where it needs to be. So, my recommendation is to first see how thick the frosting is then add in half of the milk at first, then add in a bit more if needed. I like mine on the thicker side as it holds up better for piping onto the top of each cupcake
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- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese brick-style, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk optional
Make the Caramel:
- In medium saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Don’t worry when you see the sugar becoming clumpy. It will begin to melt into an amber-colored liquid as you continue to heat and stir it. Keep an eye on it, as you don’t want it to burn.
- Once sugar is completely melted, add in butter (be careful, it may splatter!) and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Slowly drizzle in the heavy cream and vanilla while stirring the mixture.
- Boil for one minute then remove from the heat.
- Allow to cool while you make the cupcakes. I usually stick it in the fridge to firm up slightly.
Make the Cupcakes:
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- Reduce the mixing speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk. Beat until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Make the Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add in cinnamon and vanilla.
- With the mixer on low, add in powdered sugar one cup at a time. If frosting gets too thick, add in milk to thin it out, 1 teaspoon at a time (I did not use any milk).
- Store leftover frosted cupcakes in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days
- Unfrosted cupcakes may be made in advance, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days
- Refrigerate leftover caramel and frosting in separate airtight containers for up to 1 week
- Recipe adapted from Food Network and Macheesmo
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