Web Toolbar by Wibiya Blue Ribbon Dulche de Leche Glazed Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream ~ Dozen Flours
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Sincere Acts of Sweetness

February 5, 2009

Blue Ribbon Dulche de Leche Glazed Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream

Boy last Friday was fun. What a rush! You would think with a week long binge of cake making madness, I'd run way from my kitchen crying at the sight of my mixer. I'll admit, I wasn't super excited about making cupcakes for Groundhogs Day, but it was worth all the "omg-those-are-the-cutest-things-ever!" comments!

Because I was a bit tired from all the craziness of the week before, I decided to cut a few corners and base my cupcakes on a box mix. As shameful as that may be, I don't think there's anyone that could tell that these came from a box. They were so incredibly moist! I heard from a few of my coworkers that this cupcake was one of the best they've ever had.

The cupcake by itself was wonderful (I finally caved and had one), but when it was combined with the dulche de leche and the cream cheese buttercream, it evolved into something truly phenomenal.

So what makes these a "Blue Ribbon" cupcake? Well, that distinction comes from the little blue ribbon that appears on every container of Hellman's and Best Foods mayonnaise. I know the idea of using mayonnaise in a cake sounds a little revolting, but if you think about, it makes perfect sense. Mayonnaise is essentially eggs and oil (fat) which in some form or another is in just about every cake I've made. Please, though, I beg of you, if you decided to make this cupcake do not use Miracle Whip or any other salad dressing type of mayonnaise since those products are full of non-baking friendly ingredients like modified food starch, mustard flour, paprika, and dried garlic. If you're unsure, check the label.

The dulche de leche layer is completely optional. I decided to use because I had a bit left over after making the Nacho Cheese Dispenser cake and couldn't bear to throw it away. It's important not to spread too much of it on top of the cupcakes, it's just there to add a subtle flavor and shouldn't overwhelm the little cake.

When it came to the frosting, I wanted to add the tang of cream cheese to the mix but wanted to do something a little different. Personally, I'm not a fan of cream cheese frosting. Most recipes that I've had just taste like a slightly less thick, blob of cream cheese with a little sugar mixed in. I started tweaking the recipe just by creaming the cream cheese, shortening (for a little structural support), and butter together for several minutes, allowing plenty of time for the ingredients to mix together thoroughly and get proper aerated. This left me with the best of both frosting worlds -- a slightly thicker buttercream than I would normally make but that finishes with a tangy cream cheese flavor.

As for the little groundhogs, they are more time consuming to make than anything. Believe it or not, they are just Tootsie Rolls and chocolate chips. It takes a little practice to do it but after a few tries, I think you'll find it easy to make. You can find more details about how to make them here.

Blue Ribbon Dulche de Leche Glazed Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream
Yield: Approximately 28-30 cupcakes

To make these cupcakes you'll need one recipe of each of the following:

Start with making the dulche de leche the day before or at least 4-6 hours before. It takes several hours to make this and for it to cool. Next, make the cupcakes and then the buttercream. After the cupcakes have completely cooled (and I mean waiting at least an hour or so), spread a thin layer of dulche de leche on top, trying not to spread it to close to the paper edge (you might find it easier to do it with the bottom of a teaspoon). When you're close to being ready to serving the cupcakes (maybe an hour before), frost them. For a easy decoration, I reserved a few cupcakes to break up into crumbs to decorate the tops.

Blue Ribbon Chocolate Cupcakes

1 box of chocolate cake mix with pudding (the one I used for this recipe was Betty Crocker's) Super Moist Triple Chocolate Fudge
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, try to break up any big clumps before adding it to the batter
1 cup of Hellman's or Best Foods mayonnaise
3 eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup of milk at room temperature
1 teaspoon of almond extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan and set aside.
Place the cake mix, cocoa, and cinnamon mix together with a whisk to combine the ingredients.
Add the mayonnaise, eggs, milk, and almond extract and mix on low speed for one minute. Scrape down the bowl and increase the speed to medium and mix for two minutes. Fill the cupcake liners a little more than half way and bake in the center of the oven for 16-18 minutes and the center springs back when lightly pressed. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely.

Dulce de Leche

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
pinch of salt

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425F. Pour condensed milk into pie plate and stir in a generous pinch of salt. Cover pie plate with foil and crimp foil tightly around rim. Put in a roasting pan, then add enough boiling-hot water to reach halfway up side of pie plate, making sure that foil is above water. Bake, refilling pan to halfway with water about every 40 minutes, until milk is thick and a deep golden caramel color, about 2 hours. Remove pie plate from water bath and transfer toffee to a bowl, then chill toffee, uncovered, until it is cold, about 1 hour.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 8oz brick of full-fat cream cheese (I prefer Philadelphia Brand)
1/2 cup shortening pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (if you can't find this, add an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract)
1 pound + 1 cup of powdered/confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar, 10x) sifted
2-3 tablespoons very cold milk

Cream the butter, shortening, and salt until light yellow and creamy -- about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and the bean paste and mix for another minute. Be sure to stop and scrape the bowl about half way through. Add the sugar a cup or so at at time. When you first add the sugar, turn the mixer on the lowest speed. This will help to avoid most of the sugar being mixed right out of the bowl or you swallowing a cloud of powdered sugar. :-) When the sugar is absorbed, increase the speed to medium for a minute and repeat until you've gone through the entire pound of sugar. The frosting should be somewhat dry looking at this point. If it's not, add more sugar. You want it thick. Once it's thick, add the milk one tablespoon at a time. Keep adding until the frosting is thick, but more creamy and less dry looking.


  1. All I can say is MMMM. One of my goals is to make a recipe off your blog. Will let you know what I pick. Back to work now!

  2. I have to try these! MMMMMMM.

  3. Very cute. I like the sound of the frosting!

    So, you read my comment? I guess I was a little annoyed that everyone thought it some grand invention of HERS when who knows (you for one) how many others have already made them. Though I will admit hers did look good & I am going to give the recipe a try.

  4. Who cares if you started with a boxed mix! It is an ingredient, and you still have to add other things. Trust me, my hubby can make a boxed mix, but it would not stand a chance to what I see here! These look amazing. And I never ever thought of adding shortening to a cream cheese frosting! I believe you are now a lifesaver when it comes to me decorating better with it!

  5. I love your groundhogs!!! So cute!

  6. These cupcakes are awesome. Your piping skills are incredible, along with all of your other baking abilities. I'm making Valentine's Day cupcakes today, and I'll be sure to look through your site for technique. Thanks!

  7. mayo? i'm shocked...and more than a little bit in love. it's no surprise to me that this is the best cupcake some of your people have ever had. amazing. :)

  8. I will be making these (without the groundhogs but with pink buttercream frosting) for Valentine's Day.

    Can't wait!

  9. I'm telling you your a genius, I love the frosting! The cupcake sounds and looks wonderful! Yes mayo is a wonderful ingredient to make the cake moist!

  10. Oh My Goodness! Those look FANTASTIC!

    I had left this page up, and my husband came across it, and I could hear him making "mmmm" sounds from the other room! He said these looked delicious and wanted to know when I was going to make them ;-)

    Looks like I have a job to do!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  11. That dulce de leche recipe is wicked cool. I had no idea you could make it that way! Does it keep well? Like in a jar in the fridge? It would be fun to keep it around as an ice cream topping...

  12. Everyone - thank you all for your very heartfelt comments. If you do make these, please let me know how they turned out.

    AT - Yep, it will stay in the fridge for a good two weeks if it's covered. I had originally made this for the nacho cheese dispenser cake and made waaaay too much. It gets a bit thick in the fridge so be sure to let it warm up to room temperature first or heat on low in the microwave. It would be AWESOME over ice cream.

  13. :) I just made something dulce de leche a few weeks ago myself, but I have to say your cupcakes are a lot prettier!


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