I made these Snicker cupcakes for my coworkers a couple of months ago and everyone raved about them! One person commented on how gourmet and professional-looking they were (that's always fun to hear).
They are a little labor intensive, but totally worth it if you have the time. If you wanted to make a quicker version of these you could omit the filling and just make the cupcake/ frosting/ garnish combo.
Makes about 20 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup hot water
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. coarse salt
16 Tbsp. unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
For the caramel sauce:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup light cream
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the filling:
24 fun-sized Snickers bars, chopped
For the frosting:
16 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 lb. confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup caramel sauce
Pinch of coarse salt
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
For the garnish:
8 fun-sized Snicker bars, chopped
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled. Mix in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.
Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the caramel sauce, in a heavy saucepan mix sugar and cornstarch. Stir in 1/4 cup water. Stir in cream and corn syrup. Cook and stir until bubbly (mixture may appear curdled). Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Let cool slightly.
To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake with a paring knife. Prepare the filling by combining the chopped Snickers bars in a bowl with 1/3 - 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce, and mix to coat. Drop a spoonful of the filling mixture into each cupcake.
To make the frosting, add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed 1 minute until smooth. Blend in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla, caramel sauce, and salt until incorporated.
Note: the caramel sauce should be just warm enough that it is workable, but not warm enough to melt the butter in the frosting.
Add the heavy cream and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Drizzle the frosted cupcakes with additional caramel sauce and garnish with chopped Snickers bars.
Source: adapted from Annie's Eats, caramel sauce from Better Homes New Cookbook