Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Ingredients for cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
 
  Ingredients for Salted Caramel Frosting: 
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup powdered sugar
Directions for cupcakes:
  1.  Preheat your oven to 350.   Line a standard 12 cup cupcake pan with liners.
  2.  In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3.  In another bowl, beat the sugars and butter using an electric mixer. You want it to be light and fluffy, which should take approximately 3 minutes if the mixer is on medium-high speed.
  4.  Add in the eggs and vanilla until combined.
  5.  Add in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with milk in two additions.
  6. Beat on low speed until just combine and scrape down sides of bowl.
  7. Fill the prepared cupcake cups and bake for 20 minutes until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
  8. Frost with Salted Caramel Frosting. 
Directions for frosting:
  1.   Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, 6-10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
  3.  Beat butter and salt on high in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.
  4.  Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes.
  5.  For easiest spreading, cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.
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