Vanilla Bean Cupcakes filled with Dulce de Leche

After making the “Easy-Peasy Dulce de Leche” via my crock pot for the honey, I was set on using the ooey-gooey goodness in a cupcake for him, too. I chose a simple cake to compliment the sweet Dulce de Leche and made a quick butter cream frosting flavored with even more of the Dulce de Leche to top the cuppies. By making mini cuppies, per his preference, he could pop one in his mouth from time to time to enjoy without having to commit to a whole cupcake. But in the end, he had so many minis I should have just made a whole cake for him! Nonetheless, I was so pleased that he loved them.

I think what added to the overall product was my choice of boosting the vanilla flavor of the cake as I find that vanilla pairs so well with caramel. I adapted Elinor Klivan’s Vanilla Cupcake recipe by substituting the plain granulated sugar with some vanilla bean sugar I had made earlier in the week. I also added the seeds of an entire Tahitian vanilla bean pod into the batter. It was quite pretty to see all the speckles of the vanilla bean in the batter, too.

The bf and I were VERY happy with the end results of these cuppies and I can’t wait to make them again! If you or if you know of someone who loves all things vanilla (or caramel-like), try out these cuppies and let me know if you liked them as much as we did!

Check out all those pretty speckles of vanilla bean

Mini-cuppies hot out of the oven

Using a #13 Wilton Open Star Tip, fill the mini cupcakes with Dulce de Leche.

Happy minis full of Dulce de Leche

Using a #17 Wilton Open Star Tip, pipe a decorative pattern with the frosting. I sprinkled some pearl nonpareil candies on top of a few, too.

Inside peek of a cuppie.

I made one full sized cupcake since I had a little more batter left over at the end. I had fun piping all these stars on top…. 🙂


Vanilla Bean Cupcakes filled with Dulce de Leche


Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (Adapted from Elinor Klivans)
1 ¼ Cups All Purpose Flour
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ Teaspoon Salt
2 Large Eggs (room temperature)
1 Cup Vanilla Sugar*
½ Cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
1 Tablespoon Good Quality Vanilla Extract
Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean Pod
½ Cup Sour Cream
*Dulce de Leche (see previous post)

*Vanilla Sugar
Take the scraped Vanilla Bean Pod and bury into one cup of granulated sugar. Cover for a minimum of 5 days, stirring every other day.

Dulce de Leche Buttercream Frosting
3 to 4 Cups Confectioners Sugar (sifted)
½ Cup Unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 to 3 Tablespoons Dulce de Leche

Preheat the oven to 350°degrees and place paper liners in pans.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a standing mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and creamy for about 2 minutes. Add the butter, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla extract. Mix until well incorporated. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients until well blended. Fold in sour cream until smooth and well incorporated.

Fill each lined cup ½ to 2/3 full. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes (for mini cupcakes), rotating halfway between baking time. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Cool completely in pans on top of a wire rack.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting. In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners sugar until the butter becomes thicker and stiff. Add the Dulce de Leche and whip until combined. If needed, add a few more spoons of confectioners sugar until desired consistency is reached.

When cupcakes are thoroughly cooled, fill a piping bag with a small tip and the Dulce de Leche. Carefully insert the tip into the cupcake and slowly fill each cake with desired amount.

Fill another piping bag with the prepared Dulce de Leche frosting. Frost and decorate the cupcakes.



23 thoughts on “Vanilla Bean Cupcakes filled with Dulce de Leche

  1. okay. i’m a convert. i think i would learn to love caramel if i got to eat these dulce de leche cupcakes.

    p.s. when you say, “everything in moderation,” do you mean the tiny cupcake vs. the ginormous one? if so, i’m buying into the theory.

    1. You’ve hit it on the nail! 🙂 2 mini cupcakes are already smaller than 1 regular sized one—so moderation, indeed!

      On another note, I watched the video of Lucas’ bday and was cracking up how the frosting from his cuppies were staining all the kiddies’ faces! LOVED it!

    1. Hi Stella!

      I’m a little unclear what you mean by “serving size”. Are you referring to how big should the cupcakes be? How many portions should a person consume? or How many cupcakes in total does this recipe make?

      These cupcakes can be baked in whichever size your prefer (minis, regular cupcakes, large cupcakes)—you would need to adjust baking times according to pan sizes.

      If you bake mini cupcakes, this recipe should yield about 4 dozen—depending on how much you fill them or the exact measurement of your mini pan. If you bake regular sized cupcakes, you should be able to get about 14 cupcakes.

      Let me know if I have misunderstood your question.


  2. these were delicious!! i’m in love. i made them into regular cupcakes but next time, i’m making mini’s. they were very sweet! i also added a little bit of vanilla extract to the frosting because it was coming out too thick and almost gritty but all in all, this is my favorite cupcake i’ve had in a long time!

  3. I made these for a Cinco de Mayo pot luck and people are STILL talking about them!! I made full sized cupcakes and have lots of caramel left over… Going to make come chocolate cupcakes and use it to fill them for my grandpa’s birthday 🙂 Thanks for such a great recipe!!

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