So, I don’t claim to be a chef. In fact, although I claim to be a “jack of all trades, master of none”, I pretty much draw the line at anything that’s not a Bar-B-Que. or tacos. Because to quote the Robot Chicken caricature of former president George W. Bush, “Tacos rule!” My mother-in-law’s birthday was this weekend, and my wife promised her homemade cupcakes. So what happened when Wifey got stuck working late? I donned her apron and got to work! (IF this article does well enough, my next one will include a picture of me in her apron… and maybe a wig).

Of course, my wife couldn’t pick anything simple, so I wound up making Dulce de Leche cupcakes. Yes, Dulce de Leche is a real thing, and yes, I think it would be simpler to call it what it really is, delicious milk-based caramel muffins!

How Did I Make Dulce de Leche?

I was surprised by how they came out. No house fires, no burning. In fact, the smoke alarm didn’t even go off (mental note: check batteries in smoke detector). That’s why I’m writing this. If I can do it, you can too! Here’s what you should do.

First, gather all the ingredients. Hint: there are three parts to this recipe, so don’t start putting ingredients away as you finish the batter. You might need them again. (You will need them again. Trust me!)

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Second, the sour cream, buttermilk, and eggs should be at room temperature, so take those out now. I’ll wait… okay, enough waiting. Crank your oven to 350°F and if you’re fancy, put the cupcake paper liner thingies into a cupcake pan. If you want to raw dawg the cupcakes, don’t use the liners and live dangerously. I don’t recommend this, especially when you tell your mother-in-law how you raw dawg’d their cupcakes.

Put your dry ingredients into a bowl first. 1 ½ cups of flour, 1 ½ cups of sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 ½ teaspoons of baking POWDER, ½ teaspoon of baking SODA. Yes, these are different, I checked! Give the pile of stuff a little stir.

In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients next. 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, ⅓ cup vegetable oil, ½ cup buttermilk, ½ cup sour cream. I know, sour cream in a muffin? I was skeptical at first too.

Then dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix. Carefully pour into the cupcake liners. Hint: they expand while baking. Only fill the liners halfway full. Unless you want them to overflow. Side note: it’s a good strategy to make sure that since you are cooking, your significant other has agreed to be on clean-up duty. If that’s the case, fill each cup to your heart’s content. Otherwise, only halfway.

Bake them for 14 - 18 minutes. Let them cool in the pan for a couple of minutes before putting them on a cooling rack. If you have no idea what a cooling rack is, then you probably don’t have one. Do your best.

CHECK OUT: Who Taught You How To Cook?

Kill some time while they cool completely. You can read, tv, game, check the batteries in the smoke alarms, or wonder what’s the difference between baking powder & soda, just some suggestions. Or make the frosting now, so you don’t have to do it later.

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Come back and core the cupcakes. (Did you know they make a thing for this? But if you don’t have one, use a spoon! Or use your fingers if you’re on the raw dawg train! Once again, not recommended.

Cupcakes missing the cores.

Fill the hollow cupcakes with Dulce de Leche (milk-based caramel).

In a mixing bowl (yes, another bowl or you could have spent that time wondering about the soda & powder to wash the mixing bowls), add ½ cup butter (this needs to be room temperature too!), ½ cup shortening, and a pinch of salt. If you have fat fingers like me, adjust the pinch size. Mix it for 5 minutes, or until it’s light and fluffy. Add two cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time. NOTE: turn the mixer to low before you do this, or you’ll make a mess. Unless you have that clean-up agreement in place, then mix a mess!

Pour in ¼ cup heavy whipping cream and 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla, and mix. Add in 2 more cups of powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Mix for another 5 minutes.

Put The Frosting Onto The Cupcakes.

Thank God my wife got home in time for this. She used a “piping bag” to make it look fancy. She didn’t like all my raw dawging of the cupcake jokes, so no “spooning the Dulce” for me! She finished off the cupcakes with a sprinkling of a cinnamon, sugar mix on top!

Dulce de Leche cupcakes

These were a lot more work than I thought! But they turned out and tasted great! In fact, she wants me to bake more often! If that happens, you will know! Hopefully, the fire department will not.


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