Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Cupcakes

A chocolate cupcake with a bite taken out of the side to show the salted caramel filling dripping out from the center of the cupcake.

These rich and decadent Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel cupcakes are sure to be a crowd favorite! They are filled with an easy homemade salted caramel filling and topped with a heavenly caramel buttercream, perfect for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion!



Chocolate Cupcakes

Salted Caramel

Salted Caramel Buttercream

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark


Caramel Sauce

  1. Start by making the caramel sauce. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until completely dissolved.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the butter and whisk to combine with the sugar mixture until the butter is fully melted and incorporated (another 2-3 minutes).
  3. Add the heavy whipping cream in a steady stream while whisking. Once the cream is incorporated, let it boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, or until it has reached a nice caramel color and aroma.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the pure vanilla extract and fine sea salt.
  5. Let caramel cool at room temperature before using in the buttercream, chocolate bark or cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk till combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl or an electric mixer, whisk the sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla extract together till combined and smooth.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the mixer, and beat till combined. Add the remaining wet ingredients and all of the buttermilk to the bowl and continue to mix just until combined.
  5. Add in the very hot water to the bowl and again, mix just until combined. The batter will be thin.
  6. Pour or spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Fill just barely over half way.
  7. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool completely before filling with the salted caramel.
  9. To fill, simply cut a small hole in the top center of the cupcake going straight down, pull out the portion you cut out, fill the hole with caramel and then top with just the top layer of part of the cake you took out.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  1. Add the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and milk to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until combined and smooth. Add the caramel sauce to taste and beat till combined.
  2. If you want your frosting thinner you can add more caramel sauce or milk, if you need it thicker just add a little powdered sugar.
  3. Frost the cupcakes once cooled using a piping bag and 1M or 2D piping tip.

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

  1. Melt 3/4 of the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave on short 30 second intervals, stirring vigorously in between.
  2. Once completely melted, add in the remaining 1/4 of the chocolate and stir till melted. If you need to, you can microwave for another 15-30 seconds if the chocolate does not melt all the way.
  3. Pour the chocolate onto a parchment lined (not wax paper!) cookie sheet and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Let it cool for just a minute or two, and then drizzle the salted caramel over the top in very thin ribbons and sprinkle pretzel pieces on top.
  4. Let the chocolate bar cool completely before breaking apart into pieces and topping the cupcakes. So yummy!

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