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The picture above is what the cupcakes should look like. They are totally worth the effort of making them. Yummy! You can read all about my mistakes during my first baking attempt or simply scroll down and print out the recipe.

MY First Try:

What do you get when you add graduation cupcakes and the Wizard of Oz…

“I’m MEL… TING!!!” I goofed again. Twice. Okay maybe three or four times.

I had good intentions. I thought I’d add the graduation cap decoration to Arielle’s favorite cupcake. Easy? Well, I made one mistake after the next and by the end of the evening I was snapping away trying to capture the perfect photo in hopes of making it look like I knew what I was doing. No such luck. Chocolate melts super fast on hot caramel. Dah!

First, I had to go to my own blog to print out the cupcake recipe. Then I realized I hadn’t used GetMeCooking and I couldn’t easily print out the recipe. I had to copy it all down. Ugh! From now on I’m using the GetMeCooking template. Here’s the original post. Notice what I have listed on the ingredients list beside vanilla. T. Translation… teaspoon not tablespoon. See where I’m going with this? Yeah, double dah! Who puts two tablespoons of vanilla in their cupcake batter?

Me! As I’m pouring I’m thinking – wow, this is a lot of vanilla. Maybe it was supposed to be teaspoon. Nah, I would have caught the mistake on my post. I have to be right. It’s tablespoon.

Next, I discovered the cookies I bought for the graduation caps were rectangular not square. Rectangular caps? Not going to work. If I cut them there would be a non chocolate edge. I couldn’t have that. I grabbed my phone and called Eric. “Oh, dear sweet husband will you stop at the grocery store on your way home? I need vanilla extract and square-shaped chocolates.” He lovingly obliged.

Then I placed a miniature peanut butter cup under a square chocolate I had found in the refrigerator. Arielle laughed. The miniature cup was too small. I picked up my phone and texted Eric. I need 18 large Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups too.

The video I watched that showed how to make the graduation caps said to put the Tootsie Rolls in the microwave for a few seconds to make them easier to cut. I figured it would have the same affect on Airheads. I only had one white Airhead left in a half eaten box. Apparently, the white mystery flavor tastes the best. I placed it in the microwave and… it stuck like glue to the plate. I picked up my phone and texted. And I need about five white Airheads.

The cupcake batter smelled more like vanilla than chocolate. I knew. Still, I had to keep going and place the cupcakes into my old failing oven. I have to guestimate on the temperature and time when I place anything in it to bake. It makes baking an interesting game of chance. There’s a chance my ingredients will be fully cooked or a chance the undercooked eggs will give us salmonella. I grabbed my phone. And a new oven.

I took the cupcakes out of the oven to check them no less than eight times. Cooked or uncooked that was the question. I melted the caramel for the topping. By this time Eric was home from work and shopping, teens were about to arrive and everyone was hungry for dinner. Dishes and bags of unused candy bars and rectangular cookies covered the counter. Ollie barked at every sound that resembled a knock because he knew company was coming and my nerves had had enough of cooking.I just wanted to finish and go for a peaceful walk.

I spooned the caramel on the cupcakes, placed the graduation cap on top and went to get my camera. A few final pictures and I could enjoy the post rain shower coolness of the Florida evening. I returned to take my perfect shot and… that’s when the belated thought finally arrived. Chocolate will melt on hot caramel.

HOT CARAMEL with a Reese’s peanut butter cup slowly melting on top equals a kitchen filled with laughter. Mom messed up again. Three words: Epic Fail Cake.

Just as an experiment I decided not to tell my family about all the extra vanilla. Turns out two tablespoons of vanilla won’t destroy the cupcake taste. Although it may prevent it from completely baking. Hard to tell with my mystery oven. The cupcakes fell apart. Was it the oven or all the vanilla? I won’t know until Friday when I give them another try.

Eric still loved the graduation cupcakes and so far so good… he’s not sick! He added a bit of whipped cream to the melting mess because two chocolate bars, a brownie cupcake, caramel and a peanut butter cup are not quite enough sugar.

I’m going to list this post as inspirational because my failure should inspire you to do better:) I’ve even entered everything into GetMeCooking so the recipe is easy to print. Remember sometimes T. means teaspoon and not tablespoon. Measure cautiously. For the record. From now on I’m going to list Teas. and Tab. My web of a brain needs it.

Graduation Cupcakes

Serves 18
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 23 minutes
Total time 43 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Occasion Casual Party
Website Kd Rausin's Parenting with a dash of inspiration.



  • 5 Candy Bars
  • 4oz Unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/2 stick Unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt


  • 30 Caramel Candies
  • 1 tablespoon Heavy Cream

Graduation Cap

  • 18 Square Chocolate
  • 18 Peanut Butter Cups
  • 6-8 White and Red Air Heads
  • 18 Mini M&M's

Graduation Cap (Optional)

  • 1 can Chocolate Frosting


Step 1
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cupcake pan. You may want to use different color liners for each candy bar filling. Place the butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.
Step 2
Melt the butter and chocolate for 90 seconds. Stir.
Step 3
Add the sugar. Stir.
Step 4
Add one egg at a time - stirring in between.
Step 5
Finally add the vanilla, flour, and salt and stir some more.
Step 6
Cut the candy bars into bite size pieces.
Step 7
Place a tablespoon of batter in each cupcake liner and then add a piece of candy bar.
Step 8
Cover the candy bar with more batter. Bake the cupcakes for 23 minutes.
Step 9
During this time prepare the graduation caps. Place a dab of chocolate icing or melted chocolate onto the peanut butter cup. Then secure the square chocolate on top of the peanut butter cup. Add the mini M&M on top of the square chocolate also using the frosting to keep it in place. Cut the Airheads to look like a scroll and a tassle for the cap. My student's school colors are black and red so that's why I chose red. Use any color Airhead you like.
Step 10
Melt the caramels and cream.
Step 11
Drip the caramel topping on each cupcake and let it COOL. (You can see from my picture what happens when you add a chocolate cap to warm caramel.) Dab some frostng onto the caramel and place the peanut butter cup cap onto the frosting. Do the same for the scroll.

My Second Try:

I had to add a picture of what they look like when the caramel cools before you add the cap. I did it! And those who were brave enough for all that chocolate said they were awesome. Yipee!




I found this recipe in a magazine at the supermarket called PIL Cookbooks, Irish Favorites. My original idea was to make brownie bowls and use yellow cake balls for the gold. Then I figured I better stick to the recipe, otherwise I may be up all night baking. Turns out that was a good decision as these pots of gold were super easy and delicious. Teachers – they would be a great treat to go along with a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day story.

Mini Pot of Gold for St. Patrick’s Day

Serves 36
Cook time 1 hour
Meal type Dessert
From magazine PIL Cookbooks


  • 1 package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 package Caramel
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 bag of yellow and orange candy coated chocolate pieces


  • Yellow decorating sugar


Step 1
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.Grease a mini muffin tin. This recipe makes 36 pots of gold.
Step 2
Mix together the cookie dough and the cocoa.
Step 3
Divide the dough into 36 mini balls.
Step 4
Place one ball in each muffin cup and press it down the center and up the sides of the cup. Don't let the bottom dough get too thin otherwise the cookie will break. Place the pans in the refrigerater for 15 minutes.
Step 5
Bake for 9 minutes and remove the pan from the oven. Gently press down the center of every pot. (cookie) Work fast. Place the pan back in the oven for 1 minute. Then let it cool in the pan for five minutes before putting the pots on a wire rack. If they don't come out easily use a knife along the edge and pop them out.
Step 6
While the pots are cooling add the milk to the caramel and heat it in a saucepan on low. Stir constantly. Spoon the caramel into the cookie pots and decorate with the chocolate candy and yellow sugar. Enjoy!

Popcorn, M&M’s, caramel and pretzels … all it needs is a side of vanilla ice cream and a Richard Gere movie.

Most of the recipes I post are easy. This one is super duper easy.

I found a recipe for popcorn cake on Pinterest. The recipe called for marshmallows which are not vegetarian. Yeah, I was crushed when I found out how gelatin is made. No more smores for me unless I can find vegetarian marshmallows.

Anyway, I took the recipe for the popcorn cake and made one with caramel and another with chocolate. If I hadn’t run out of caramel, I would have used them both on the second cake. I’m crazy that way. They both turned out super duper yummy.

By the way, did you notice the Valentine’s Day card in the picture? It was made for me by my favorite three year-old.

Valentine’s Day Popcorn Cake

Cook time 15 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly


  • 1 bag Popcorn
  • 1 bag M&M's
  • 1 bag Caramel
  • 2 tablespoons Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups Pretzel sticks (May want to break the pretzel sticks in half.)


Step 1
Microwave the popcorn according to the package directions.
Step 2
Pour the popcorn, M&M's and pretzel sticks into a bowl.
Step 3
Melt the caramels and cream in a saucepan. Pour the caramel over the popcorn mixture.
Step 4
Spray the cake pan and your hands with cooking spray. Spread the popcorn mixture into the heart shaped pan and press down.
Step 5
I also made this recipe and added chocolate instead of the caramel. Just as delicious!

I mentioned in the last post that I spent one evening experimenting with cupcakes. I found Bake it in a Cake and wanted to give one of her recipes a try and add a little creativity of my own. Arielle highly suggested I begin with the Watchamacallit candy bar in the brownie cupcake.

It looked like a winner to me. Later that day while I was at the gym I happened to mention to someone that I was planning on making brownie candy bar cupcakes after my rigorous workout. He insisted I try Pay Day candy bars. Nothing quite like discussing chocolate peanut butter awesomeness while on the stairmaster.

I went home and got to work. Glad I did because they are both Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious delicious!

Who knew there was such a thing as brownie cupcakes? I’m so glad they’re a part of my life now.

Brownie Cupcake with Whatchamacallit inside Recipe (Compliments of Bake it in a Cake)

  1. 5 Whatchamacallits or Pay Days (Cut into four or five pieces each)
  2. 4 Oz. of Unsweetened chocolate
  3. 1-1/2 Sticks of unsalted butter
  4. 2 Cups Sugar
  5. 1 Cup Flour
  6. 3 Eggs
  7. 2 t. Vanilla
  8. 1/4 t. Salt

Caramel Topping:

  1. 25-30 Unwrapped caramel candies
  2. 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  3. 1/2 Cup of chopped peanuts or candy bar

Turn your oven to 350 degrees.

Melt these two together in the microwave for 90 seconds.

Unsalted butter and unsweetened chocolate. Mmmmmm

Add the sugar and then one egg at a time. (Stir in between)


Mix in the vanilla, salt and flour and stir,stir, stir! Then take lots of pictures of the candy bars you decide to place in the brownie cupcakes.



If you’re super organized like me (cough,cough) line your cupcake pan with certain colors for certain candy bars. For instance I used pink liners for Watchamacallits and yellow for Pay Days. Scoop a tablespoon of batter in the bottom of each liner and then add the candy bar piece.

Cover with batter until each line is about 3/4 full and bake for 23 minutes. I was super impressed because the brownie cupcakes were perfect after 23 minutes. How did Bake it in a Cake get it so exact? Amazing! Not 21 not 25… 23

Let them cool while you make the caramel topping. I could have filled them with a little more batter.

Unwrap all of those caramels. You wouldn’t want plastic mixed in with all that gooey goodness. That would be a mouthful! Imagine having to pull little bits of plastic from  the grooves of your teeth. Ewww.

Pour the heavy cream over the caramel and melt in the microwave for 20 or so seconds, stirring in between.

Spoon the caramel mixture over the cooled cupcakes and top with peanuts or leftover candy bars. Yum!!

Take a peek inside!



Pay Day


Hungry yet?

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