Kit Kat Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting
Sinful chocolate cupcakes filled with Kit Kat bars and topped with caramel buttercream frosting are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Ever get an idea but then have trouble executing it, so you keep trying?
I ended up making these Kit Kat Cupcakes three times before succeeding.
Persistence really does pay off because you won’t believe how rich and delightful these decadent cupcakes are!
I’m not sure which part is my favorite – the kit kat cupcake or the caramel frosting.
Not only do the flavors play well together, the color contrast really makes the frosting pop.
I was so excited to share these Kit Kat Cupcakes, I actually rearranged my posting calendar so you wouldn’t have to wait any longer.
It all started when I was looking at my search results and seeing what my readers were interested in.
15 people were looking for Kit Kat Cupcakes. The only Kit Kat dessert I have is my Kit Kat Cheesecake Brownies, so I sat down to figure out what exactly a Kit Kat Cupcake was.
I didn’t want to simply chop up some candy and throw it in the batter. I wanted it to be a little more special.
What if I filled a cup half way with batter, added Kit Kat to the middle, then finished filling? Kit Kat stuffed cupcakes!
Well it wasn’t as straight forward as I had hoped.
First, the recipe I chose to adapt made 14 cupcakes, not the 12 like it had indicated. This makes me wonder if there are different size pans.
I adjusted the ingredient list and tried again. 10.5 cupcakes. Not quite!
Finally, on my third try I got 12 cupcakes exactly. Who wants to drag out an extra pan anyway?
As far as adding Kit Kat bars to the middle, well that wasn’t straight forward either.
The candy tended to move around a bit after you add batter on top.
Some did stay in the middle as intended. Some were in the middle but spread apart a little. Others had the bars float to the top. You can see a Kit Kat sticking out of this cupcake:
Even though the Kit Kats may not stay perfectly in the middle, you still get that crunch factor no matter where you bite.
The tops of the cupcake do sink in a little bit because of the candy, but that’s why frosting was invented.
I wanted to do a caramel buttercream because chocolate and caramel pair well together plus I wanted some color contrast.
I had my homemade caramel sauce in the fridge, so I just added some to my buttercream frosting.
So thanks to you, my readers, Kit Kat Cupcakes are now born. I was determined to make these work for the sake of dessert.
On the plus side, this goes to show you how easy this recipe is because I made them 3 times in less than 24 hours.
Kit Kat Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 6 fun-sized Kit Kat bars, broken into single wafers (12 wafers total)
Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and oil until smooth.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla.
- Alternating between the flour and buttermilk, gradually add the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2 parts.
- In one liner, scoop enough batter to cover the bottom. Cut one Kit Kat wafer in half then place both halves on top of the batter. Scoop enough batter on top to cover. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
- Bake 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean (you want a little bit of chocolate so they aren't too dry). The tops may sink slightly. Cool completely.
- For the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until smooth. Add the caramel sauce then beat until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
- With the remaining Kit Kat wafers, cut each in half then stick the cut side into the frosting for garnish.
Source: Adapted from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes
If you liked these Kit Kat Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting, you may also like these recipes:
- Kit Kat Cheesecake Brownies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Texas Sheet Cake
- Reese’s Pieces Chocolate Peanut Butter Blondies
From other bloggers:
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I like the one with the Kit Kat showing itself at the top of the cupcake. Almost like “hey! look at me!”. And these would be great cupcakes for a Halloween party or what to do with all the Kit Kats from trick or treating.
Yes I totally agree!! These cupcakes look FABULOUS with the garnish. These are my mother’s favorite flavors, so hopefully I can try it and it will be a hit! Yall pray for me! :)
They sound fabulous! i love that there is a Kit Kat crunch in every bite! Good for you for sticking with it!!!
I need to try these. Kit Kats are one of my favorite candy bars. Thanks for linking to my Kit Kat Muddy Buddies.
Wow…I love Kit Kats. And combining them with caramel buttercream sounds a-mazing!
If at first you don’t succeed, at least you have cupcakes to eat. :) Those look marvelous, Carla. Well done!
I just made these cupcakes! When I mixed the batter together, I thought the batter looked a little thin, but NO, it was perfect!! I was excited when my tops did not sink in! I am getting ready to make the frosting so I can take them to church tonight, I am sure they will be just as huge of a hit as the Peach Cheesecake filled ones were!! Thanks for the great posts!!! keep them coming my friends sure enjoy them!!
Woohoo glad you liked them! Some of my tops sunk while others were fine, so I didn’t want readers to panic if that happened. You’re going to be everybody’s new best friend at church tonight ;)
I love that you used readers search results to create this recipe! You’re so sweet :) And they look AMAZINGGGGG
I’m totally obsess with Kit Kats…I need these.
What a fun way to use kit kats!
I’m going to use the mini Kit Kat bites I just bought. They are almost too cute to eat…
Ha, some people use pretty deranged search terms to find my blog. I should start a series trying to incorporate dismembered body parts and homicide (yup, those are my search terms!) into baked goods. I love that you challenged yourself to make these perfect, gorgeous, luscious, decadent cupcakes. Kit Kat is my all time favourite chocolate bar so I can’t wait to try this!
I just made these! They look great, just waiting to frost them. I personally can’t stand the smell of buttermilk. Something about it is just so weird to me! Any chance I could swap the buttermilk for something else?
Pour 2 teaspoons of vinegar into a measuring cup then pour enough regular milk to reach 2/3 cup. Let that sit for about 5 minutes. It’ll look a bit curdled. Then it’s ready to use as directly.
I’m going to “cheat” and use my favorite box cake mix and with the frosting going to do one stick a butter one box of powdered sugar and one package of cream cheese and add the caramel to it. I’m in a crunch for time or I’d make the cake recipe from scratch. I’ll let ya all know how it turns out. Wish me luck.
Success! They were gone in a heartbeat. Thank you so much for the great idea. Everyone was very happy!
I made these for my housemates while they study for exams and they LOVED them! They said they were even better than the chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes that I had made before that they loved! Thank you for this recipe! Its going the book I got for Christmas to put my favourite recipes in! I love it!
Wow! So so so so good! I absolutely loved these cupcakes! The caramel frosting and the crunch of the kit kat in the actual cake was awesome. The presentation of them is so cute! Absolutely loved them, this recipe will definitely be saved :)
Glad to hear they were a hit! Thanks for the feedback :)
Quick question: is the cocoa powder sweetened or unsweetened? The only one I can find in the store is unsweetened…
Very interested in making the frosting, specifically :) Could the frosting be made the night before? Will it affect the taste or consistency if left refrigerated overnight?
I would recommend leaving the frosting out at room temperature for about 30 minutes or so before using. I don’t think you can pipe very well if you use the frosting straight from the fridge.
I tried them, They are amazing.
These look so yummy! Have you tried doubling this recipe? I need to make a bunch!
Luckily cupcakes are easy to double, so you should be good.
These look divine.Can this recipe be halved easily??
The only hesitation would be with cutting 1 egg in half. There are two ways you can do this. 1. Beat the egg in a measuring cup and literally add half the mixture (use the rest for another half egg recipe or make scrambled eggs) or 2. Use only the egg yolk OR the egg white. However, results may vary as I never tried it with just yolk or white before. If you don’t want to mess with halving an egg, you can make the whole dozen and freeze the leftover unfrosted cupcakes. Just wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.
Thank you so much for replying so soon.You are always a big help
Can I make with a box of cupcake mix?
Yes, you can follow the directions on the box then add the Kit Kats as indicated. However, I do think you’ll have better results making them from scratch, but it’s about personal preference, so I understand.
Can i replace egg with any other ingredient which works as egg?
I’ve only made this recipe using egg. However, I do know when it’s only 1 egg such as this recipe, you usually can sub for it. I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t guarantee anything. If you do and it does work for you, please let me know.
Can l freeze any left over caramel cream frosting?
Good question! I personally haven’t frozen buttercream frosting, but sources say that you can. Here’s some advice from Nigella Lawson: http://www.nigella.com/kitchen-queries/view/I%27ve-made-too-much-frosting-for-my-cupcakes/1621
I’m so glad I stumbled upon this recipe! I’m in a bit of a time crunch – am I able to use caramel syrup for the frosting? Thanks!
Is it a thick syrup or is it thin like coffee syrup thin? You should still be able to use it, although the amount may vary. I’d add about a tablespoon at a time and see how it goes. If you do thin it out too much, you can add a little more powdered sugar to thicken it back up.
Sounds great, thank you so much! I was thinking either one of the caramel syrups used on ice cream or the caramel topping, which is a bit thicker.
As long as it’s not the magic shell kind, it should work.
Perfect, thank you!
Thank you for what sounds like a yummy recipe. I don’t usually bake but these have me wanting to make them. Question please, I want to make these with peanut slabs instead of KitKat. Can I substitute the KitKats for peanut slab and the caramel sauce with peanut butter? Just thinking out loud here is all. Baking is not my forte. Cheers.
I’ve never heard of peanut slab, but it looks like another candy bar, so I’d say yes! For the frosting, another yes. Since peanut butter is thicker than caramel sauce, start out with 1 cup powdered sugar. If it feels too thin to pipe, then you can gradually add up to the remaining 1/2 cup.