Happy Father’s Day to all of the great fathers out there! And an especially happy day to my own Dad-Dad-Daddio (my Back to the Future nickname for him). My Dad is a super fun guy who, when he gets an idea, will do whatever it takes to make that happen. Pretty sure I get a lot of my creativity and tendency for spontaneous ideas from him!
In honor of Father’s Day, I came up with a more manly cupcake idea which turned out to be super fun and yummy! Chocolate cake + chocolate ganache + salty pretzels + homemade caramel buttercream = delish! Not only do these taste super yummy, but they look amazing! I love the irregular, sort of rugged look that the crushed pretzels give the cupcakes, making each one unique. The shiny drizzle of ganache on top is the perfect finish!
To begin, bake up a batch of chocolate cupcakes. You are welcome to use your fav chocolate cake recipe, but a cake mix works just fine as well!
As your cupcakes cool, you can begin to prepare the frosting. Start by making the homemade caramel sauce over the stove, and then set it aside to cool completely. You can always pop it in the fridge for faster cooling!
Once cooled, mix the caramel sauce with powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency. Set the buttercream aside, and then prepare the next two components.
Crush four cups of mini pretzels. I did this by placing the pretzels in a freezer bag, sealing it and using a rolling pin to pound the pretzels into small pieces.
Next, pour the pretzel pieces into a bowl and set aside. Lastly, prepare the ganache! Place 1 cup of chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl along with 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Heat in the microwave for about a minute, and stir until smooth. Simple as that!
Now comes my favorite part of cupcake making: the assembly! To assemble, dip a cupcake into the ganache and then immediately dip it into the crushed pretzels to coat the top of the cupcake.
Next, pipe a swirl of the caramel buttercream on top.
Repeat on all cupcakes. To finish, drizzle the remaining ganache over all the cupcakes, and top each with a mini pretzel!
The nice thing about these fun fellows is that they look pretty complex, but are secretly very easy so make! Perfect for the special Dad in your life…or really for anyone who enjoys chocolate-caramely-pretzely goodness 😉
Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cupcakes
- 24 chocolate cupcakes
- 4 cups mini pretzels, crushed
- 24 mini pretzels (for toppers)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup butter cubed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- In a saucepan over low heat, combine brown sugar, butter and milk.
- Cook and stir until the butter has melted completely and the brown sugar has dissolved.
- Increase the heat to medium (don't stir) and cook for about 5 minutes (until bubbles form in the middle of the saucepan).
- Remove caramel sauce from the heat, transfer to another bowl and cool completely.
- Place cooled caramel sauce into a mixer and add powdered sugar. Mix until combined and the desired consistency is reached.
- Place chocolate chips and heavy cream in microwave safe bowl.
- Heat bowl in microwave for about 1 minute and stir until smooth.
- Dip the top of a cupcake into the ganache and then immediately dip it into the crushed pretzels to coat the top. Pipe a swirl of the caramel buttercream on top. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.
- Drizzle the remaining ganache over the cupcakes, and top each one with a mini pretzel.