Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

If you are a caramel fan, then you will love these cupcakes. The caramel flavor comes through in the frosting, which is a mixture of butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and of course, dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is a milk caramel sauce made by slowly heating sweetened milk. It is possible to make your own dulce de leche, but I prefer to buy it at the grocery store. (In my store, I find it in the Hispanic foods aisle.) I’ve used dulce de leche before to make these Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares, which you must try if you haven’t already; they are so, so good.

In these Dulce de Leche Cupcakes, the cupcakes themselves get a bit of caramel flavor from brown sugar in the batter. The cupcakes are more dense like a pound cake than light and fluffy like your typical cake, but they go really well with the sweet caramel-y frosting. I’ll definitely be making these again.

The recipe below yields two dozen cupcakes, which is many more than I need unless I am making them for entertaining or sharing with a large group. I halved the recipe to yield 1 dozen cupcakes. The only part that is a little tricky is that when you halve the recipe you need to use 1 1/2 eggs in the batter. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds to get 1 1/2 eggs. Here’s what I did:

  1. Crack one egg into a liquid measuring cup. Beat it slightly with a fork to break the egg apart, and then look to see the liquid volume of that one egg. In my case, it was about 1/4 cup. So, you can figure that 1 1/2 eggs would be halfway between 1/4 and 1/2 cups (which is 3/8 cup if you want to be technical about it).
  2. Crack a second egg into a small bowl and whisk to break it up. Slowly pour part of the second egg into the liquid measuring cup with the first egg until it reaches your needed volume. That wasn’t too hard, was it?

One year ago:  Cobb Salad

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

Printable Recipe

Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup dulce de leche
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar


  1. Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and pale brown, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add one egg. Beat on medium speed for one minute. Add the remaining eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla extract.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture to the egg and butter mixture. Beat on low speed and slowly drizzle in the buttermilk. Beat until just incorporated. Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients. Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and finish incorporating with a spatula. Try not to overmix.
  5. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake pans, filling each liner about 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let rest in the cupcake pans for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds, until very soft and pliable. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the butter and dulce de leche. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Stop the mixer and add the salt and powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and lighter in color. Generously spoon frosting on top of cupcakes, or use a large frosting tip to pipe on frosting. Cupcakes will stay fresh, stored in the refrigerator, for two days. Let come to room temperature before serving.

Recipe from Joy the Baker

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