Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

by Shawnda on August 5, 2011

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Brownies,Cinco de Mayo,Dulce de Leche,Mexican & TexMex

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

If I had to describe these dulce de leche cupcakes in a single word, I’d have to go with, “excessive.” Excessively sweet. Excessively named. (No really, look at the recipe title below. That’s 11 words.) Excessively indulgent. Excessively delicious, if there were such a thing.

We’ve been on a toothache-inducing dulce de leche kick lately, putting it into ice cream and frosting, and on fresh peaches and cake… and on a spoon. We couldn’t stop there, though. None of that really qualified as excessive. (Okay, maybe licking it from a spoon does.)

What did qualify? A moist, perfectly domed dulce de leche cupcake with caramel & vanilla notes, topped with a dulce de leche swiss meringue buttercream frosting. And to make sure there wasn’t a drop left in the can, we filled the cupcakes with the dulce de leche that was leftover after making the cake and frosting. Excessive. And efficient!

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

For the cupcake recipe, I started with the classic 1234 cake. It’s reliable, domes beautifully, and is convertible to just about any flavor. The frosting is one of our favorites, adapted from Martha Stewart’s Classic Swiss Meringue, it’s the same dulce de leche swiss meringue buttercream that we used on the Peach Queen Cake.

Note: If you’re a liberal froster, doubling the recipe will yield a couple cups of leftovers, even after generously frosting your cupcakes. If you don’t want leftover frosting hanging around in your fridge, consider making 1 1/2 recipes instead of doubling or possibly frosting them with a lighter hand than I use

Having problems with your swiss meringue buttercream? Read how to fix it here.

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Moist dulce de leche cupcake filled with dulce de leche and topped with dulce de leche swiss meringue buttercream frosting.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Make the dulce de leche and let cool to room temperature (this can be done well in advance, just store tightly covered in the fridge).
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Line two muffin pans with paper liners.
  4. Cream butter and sugar on med-high for 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times, until light, fluffy, and no longer grainy.
  5. Scrape down the bowl and add 1/2 cup dulce de leche, mixing on medium for another 1-2 minutes, until thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla.
  7. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt together, in three additions, alternating with two additions of the buttermilk, mixing until just incorporated.
  8. Scoop batter into the lined cups, filling 2/3 - 3/4 full.
  9. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned and a skewer in the center cupcake comes out clean.
  10. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
  11. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
  12. To fill the cupcakes using the leftover dulce de leche after making the frosting, take a serrated knife and cut a cone out of the top of the cupcake, drop ~1 1/2 tsp into the cupcake, cut the bottom of the cone off and place the flattened top back onto the cupcake, lightly pressing down.
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  14. Frost and store covered for up to 4 days.

Notes

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Source: Cake from Confections of a Foodie Bride, frosting adapted from Martha Stewart

Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes

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Peach Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting

It’s my turn to host Project Pastry Queen this week so I picked cake. But that’s not just any cake, that’s a birthday cake!

A 50 something-th birthday cake for the man who made sure that I knew more about football at 11 than most grown men. The man who searched the entire neighborhood for his “missing” daughter, only to find her safe at home, asleep under her bed. The same man who thought it was “funny” to knock on her bedroom window on Halloween night wearing a Jason mask. (Spoiler alert. Not funny.)

I’m not sure how either of us survived to his 50 something-th birthday :P But we had a fancy cake to celebrate! A fancy cake studded with peach chunks and roasted pecans. A fancy cake filled and topped with dulce de leche frosting. And more roasted pecans.

The peach-pecan-dulce de leche combination is a winner. It’s great in ice cream form and wonderful when paired with a moist cake. I took a few liberties with the original recipe:
– I made half the recipe and baked it in 3 6-inch pans.
– I cut back the sugar by half.
– I replaced the suggested American-style buttercream frosting recipe with the dulce de leche swiss meringue buttercream recipe that we’ve eaten far too much of lately.
– I filled the cake with frosting instead of the suggested peach preserve-pecan mixture and decorated the cake with the leftover pecans.

The recipe as I made it is below. It’s a lot of butter and sugar, but to get a big 3 layer, 9-inch cake, simply double the cake recipe. The frosting recipe is enough to liberally fill and frost the cake, with leftovers. To frost a 9-inch cake, consider only increasing the frosting recipe by 50%.

Peach Cake with Dulce de Leche Swiss Meringue Buttercream

A moist peach cake topped with dulce de leche swiss meringue buttercream.

Ingredients

  • For the cake:
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup peeled, chopped peaches
  • For the frosting:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and at room temp
  • 1/3 cup dulce de leche

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place chopped pecans on a baking sheet and toast 5-7 minutes until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  3. Spray 3 6-inch cake pans with baking spray.
  4. Cream butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and sour cream.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just incorporated.
  7. Fold the peaches and 1/2 cup pecans into the batter.
  8. Divide the batter equally between the cake pans.
  9. Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a rack to cool.
  11. To make the frosting, whisk the egg whites and sugar over a simmering pot of water until the mixture reaches 160 degrees.
  12. Transfer to a stand mixer and whisk on high 10 minutes, until the meringue reaches room temperature (the bowl should feel neutral/barely warm when touched).
  13. Add butter, a few cubes at a time until all butter is mixed in.
  14. Add dulce de leche and mix until combined.
  15. Frost and fill the cake, and press the remaining pecans into the frosting.
  16. Store at room temperature for 2 days or up to a week in the fridge.

Notes

Yields: 8 servings

Source: Cake recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Having problems with your swiss meringue buttercream? Read how to fix it here.

Check out the other Project Pastry Queen members take on the peach cake:
Fake Ginger
Smells Like Home

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Homemade Dulce de Leche

Making homemade dulce de leche (which I never seem to pronounce correctly) is super easy and so much more economical than buying it at the store. And you have a number of options when it comes to method. A quick Google search will yield recipes that can be baked, cooked over double-boiler, microwaved, and even starting from scratch with milk and sugar.

Me? I use the method that I think makes the darkest and very, very best dulce de leche. It’s also the method that just about every site in that Google search cautions against: the homemade bomb method.

Okay, so it’s not really a bomb. But it could be one. And if you’re smart about it, and maybe even a little lucky, it’s not dangerous at all. I’ve made countless cans of dulce de leche using the boil-the-can method.

No bombs. No e’splosions. JUST KNOW THAT IT COULD HAPPEN.

Just rich, caramely goodness with endless possibilites: Use it in ice cream. On ice cream. Drizzled over a whipped cream-topped mug of hot chocolate. Eat it straight off the spoon. Sandwich it between two vanilla wafers. Bake it in fancy homemade candy bar squares. Drizzle it over donuts! Use it to fill a cupcake. Use it in cupcake frosting. You get the idea :)

Now go make your own dulce de leche!

Homemade Dulce de Leche

Making your own homemade dulce de leche is as easy as (carefully) simmering a pot of water.

Ingredients

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk, label removed

Instructions

  1. Place a small washcloth or several folded paper towels in the bottom of a pot and set the cans on top.
  2. Pour water to reach ~2 inches over the can.
  3. Bring water to a simmer and cook covered for ~3 hours, checking every 30 minutes to make sure the water level doesn't evaporate below the lip of the can.
  4. Let cool, open the can, and use. Keep any leftovers refrigerated.

Notes

Yields: ~1 1/2 cups

Estimated time: 3 hours

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