Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

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Chocolate cake or cupcakes are my favorite to make for any celebration. There is a special chocolate cake that I loved to eat while growing up in Peru. It was a moist (i know you don’t like that word but it is what it is…), soft and super chocolatey cake that had a dulce de leche filling and frosted with a silky chocolate fudge frosting.  I decided to make the same chocolate cake (into cupcakes), with the same filling but I made a change… I made a delicious dulce de leche buttercream that will melt in your mouth.

About the dulce de leche filling. Dulce de leche is a milk based caramel that you can buy at the stores or make at home. The most popular brand here in the USA is La Lechera which is the same brand in many other countries. BUT, I know that Argentina has awesome dulce de leche and guess what! I found an Argentinian bakery in Irving, Tx. where they have delicious treats but they also carry products from Argentina so I had to buy dulce de leche for sure! There is a difference in the texture and flavor. The Argentinian one is thicker and has more caramel flavor than the La Lechera (which for me has more milk flavor), but that is just my opinion. If you have the chance to find dulce de leche from other countries on Amazon or other store, let me know what you think.

Also, if you can’t find/don’t want to buy dulce de leche, remember that you can make it at home. For more info about how to make your own, go to the search bar here on my blog and type “dulce de leche” or “manjar blanco”, you will get different methods of how to make it.

Finally, for decoration I found these chocolate truffles filled with dulce de leche cream, I think they are the perfect final touch for these cupcakes.

Let’s get started and if you would like to watch the video of how I made this recipe, visit me on Instagram @pastry_tales

Yield 12-14 regular size cupcakes

*If you want a bigger batch, just double the ingredients.

Ingredients

For the chocolate cupcakes

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 

1/2 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder 

3/4 teaspoon baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

2 large eggs, room temperature 

1 cup white granulated sugar 

1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1/2 milk (any milk you prefer, I used 2% lactose free)

For the filling

Dulce de Leche

You can make your own or you can buy it. I found delicious dulce de leche from Argentina but you can get any other brand that you prefer.

This is the one I bought.

For the frosting

10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup dulce de leche

2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Directions

For the chocolate cupcakes

1.- Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside. 

2.- In a bowl sift your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 

3.-In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and granulated sugar. Add in oil and vanilla and mix until combined. 

Now, you can use a mixer or not. It is up to you. I used my mixer. But, you can mix everything with a whisk or spatula in a very gently way. 

4.- Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the milk. Mix for a minute. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and milk. Stir until you don’t see any lump of flour. Do not overmix. The batter will be thin and that’s totally fine. 

5.- Pour or spoon the batter into the liners. Fill only halfway. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

For the filling

1.- Use the “cone” method to make a well in the center of each cupcake I used a paring knife. Do not discard the “cake cones” you will need a thin layer of each of them to cover the top of the hole after we filled them with dulce de leche.

2.- Fill each “hole” with dulce de leche. Be sure to be generous. I like to use a pastry bag to fill each cupcake so it is less messy.

For the frosting

1.- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Then, add dulce de leche and mix for another 2 minutes.

2.-Turn the mixer to low, and gradually add powdered sugar half cup at a time. Once incorporated, add heavy cream and keep mixing in high speed for about 5-7 minutes until fluffy.

3.-Add the remaining powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix on low until combined. Increase mixer speed to high and whip until light and fluffy

4.- Frost your cupcakes using a pastry bag fitted with a tip. I used Wilton 1 M.

*If you think your frosting is a bit runny, add more powdered sugar. It will all depend on where you live, humidity,etc.

For decoration

For these cupcakes I decided to look for a chocolate that has dulce de leche filling so I found these Lindt Lindor chocolates that are perfect! Cut them in half and place each half on top of each cupcakes! Yum!

If you don’t want to use these chocolates, you can decorate with sprinkles.

*If where you live is warm and humid (like here in Texas), I recommend placing these cupcakes in the fridge for some time before serving. Use a container with a lid.