A nod to Starbucks: Caramel Macchiato and Caramel Frappuccino Cupcakes

You that little saying "No good deed goes unpunished"?  Well, this is kind of, sort of like that.  In a very tiny way.
You see, while be-bopping around the net I saw these yummy cupcakes - COFFEE inspired - so I thought;  OH, I WILL FEATURE THEM ON COFFEE TALKING.  Readers would love to make these little guys.

And I thought it would be simple.  But it wasn't.  Because as I clicked on the recipe to give credit to the author, I found that the photo was by the author, who used another sites recipe for the cupcake portion - but that person's site admitted they used someone else's recipe, which was heavily adapted from yet another site.

It was like a internet scavenger hunt.  In the end, here are the places I had to dig through and apparently everyone threw in their own little version.

and noted their recipe was "heavily adapted from Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn"

But here's the deal....  you can use ANY CUPCAKE RECIPE.  This is just a typical, regular, boring, basic recipe - but they added some espresso powder or instant coffee to it.

The fact is - it's a regular cupcake recipe, with some instant coffee, and then the whipped cream center and a yummy basic buttercream frosting with (again) an addition of a little bit of coffee to it - and drizzle it with some store bought caramel ice cream syrup.

This is the first in a series of fun 'coffee themed' cupcakes and it's the most difficult to track down the original so I give credit to all four sources and hope you enjoy your cupcakes.  :)

Coffee Cupcakes

1 1/4 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 t instant coffee or 2 t espresso powder
8 T butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 c milk

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 cupcake wells with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the instant coffee or espresso powder.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter with the granulated sugar until light, 1 minute with a stand mixer or 2 minutes with a handheld mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat the mixture for 1 minute with a stand mixer or 2 minutes with a handheld mixer. On low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk in 2 additions, stirring until incorporated after each addition.
Pour the batter into the paper-lined cupcake wells. Bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then remove from the pans.

Whipped Cream

1 cup whipping cream  - whipped
confectioner's sugar to taste
vanilla to taste
Dissolve 1 tsp of instant coffee in 1 tsp of hot water and whip into the cream

Coffee Buttercream

Add 2-3 tsp of strong coffee or espresso to your favorite buttercream recipe
Caramel drizzle of caramel ice cream topping

To assemble, core your cooled cupcakes with a paring knife or a cupcake corer. Fill with whipped cream, and add a spiral of caramel on top.  Pipe your buttercream on and generously drizzle caramel all over. Finally cut up green straws into 3" lengths and point them in at an angle.

You might also be interested in products related to the post:
Dark Green Glassine Cupcake Baking Cup Liners 50 Count
Drinking Straws - GREEN (Box of 250)
Hershey's Syrup, Caramel, 22 Ounce