Okay, this cupcake was too fun to make. It’s ooey, gooey and chocolaty delicious; I am still cleaning my camera off after this photo shoot. The Moose Munch Cupcake is a chocolate cupcake, dipped in chocolate ganache, topped with caramel Swiss meringue buttercream, Moose Munch popcorn and drizzled with caramel and chocolate. It’s a chocolate caramel cupcake explosion!
Moose munch is a wildly popular snack around this time of year. Caramel popcorn, plus chocolate covered caramel popcorn, plus caramel covered cashews and almonds. Don’t mind if I do. I thought I could whip together a few ingredients and turn this into an uber sugary sweet cupcake.
Start with your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe. My favorite chocolate cupcake is a Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcake from The Cake Mix Doctor.
I mentioned in my previous cupcake post, that I am huge fan of the Bakers Royale blog. There are some amazing cupcakes on her blog. In fact, I used her Toffee Crunch Cupcakes as the inspiration for my Moose Munch cupcake. I started with the chocolate glaze to coat the top of the cupcake.
Recipe from Bakers Royale
2/3 C Dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp Heavy cream
4 tbsp Powdered sugar
4-8 tbsp Warm water (I used only 4)
- Place the dark chocolate chips and heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of boiling water.
- Let the mixture sit, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Once it starts to melt, stir the mixture to blend the ingredients.
- Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, whisking until well combined. Mixture will become thick.
- Add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well with each addition. Continue to add water until the mixture reaches a thin consistency for pouring, then let the chocolate cool.
Next, I made my frosting. I am quickly becoming a lover of Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It isn’t the quickest frosting to make, but it is so delicate and far less sweet than a typical buttercream. Since the cupcake was going to have caramel and chocolate drizzled on top; I didn’t want the frosting to compete. Before you make Swiss Meringue buttercream, I recommend reading my original post for tips and techniques.
Recipe from Bakers Royale
Makes enough to frost 3 dozen cupcakes
5 Large egg whites
1 1/2 C Sugar
4 Sticks unsalted butted at room temperature
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Vanilla
1/3 C Caramel Sauce (I used Smuckers)
- Temper egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of water on medium heat. You need just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Heat the mixture to 150°F. Make sure to stir constantly to avoid cooking the egg whites.
- Using a wire whisk on your stand mixer, beat on medium high for 8-10 minutes until the egg whites form soft peaks.
- Add butter 1 tbsp at a time, ensuring each addition is well mixed. Add salt and vanilla and continue to mix.
- Lastly, add caramel sauce and continue to beat until the frosting is fluffy, it may take several additional minutes.
I thought this caramel Swiss meringue buttercream still had a butter flavor to it, so next time I make it, I might omit the salt and add more caramel flavor to make it a tad more sweet.
To assemble the cupcakes, start by dipping your cupcake in the chocolate glaze, coating evenly over the top. Allow the chocolate to set before frosting.
Fill your piping bag with buttercream. I suggest using a large tip for this type of frosting because it forms such a nice shape; I used a Wilton 2D.
Next, top the cupcake with a few pieces of Moose Munch popcorn.
Use a spoon to drizzle the caramel and chocolate over the top. I would suggest to run the spoon over the side of the jar before dripping on your cupcake to avoid having large clumps of caramel (unless that’s your thing). Secondly, the chocolate glaze will become stiff once it sits for too long. You can heat it for 15-20 seconds in the microwave to re-melt it. Stir it and let it cool before you drizzle on the cupcake.
Last, dig in. Unless you are prepared to bring your A-game, you might want to grab a fork for this one.