Toffee Crunch Cupcakes

I hate to play favorites, but this just might be the prettiest cupcake I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I mean, seriously – isn’t she a beauty?

Talk about going big or going home, this cupcake is a bit of an investment with three different components but I guarantee you’ll shut the front door of any party you attend with these babies. They are show-stopping and what’s most important (because we don’t want to be all focused on looks and forget what’s inside, right?) is that they taste amazing.

Like, really amazing. How can you go wrong with a decadent cupcake ringed with rich ganache and toffee and topped with caramel frosting? This is an eye-catching, tasty cupcake and is the perfect way to finish off this year’s Sugar Rush.

I’ll have a final cookie collage up for you tomorrow and then I’ll finish out the week and next week with some healthy, wholesome meals that have nothing to do with sugar. Promise.

If you’d like to see all of this year’s Sugar Rush treats, click here. And while we’re at it, here are links to Sugar Rush III, Sugar Rush II and the first ever Sugar Rush. Dude, that’s a lot of sugar! We better all eat a carrot stick in honor of holiday baking. See you tomorrow!

Toffee Crunch Cupcakes

One Year Ago: Queso Blanco Dip {Sugar Rush Reinvented: #6}}
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Orange Swirl Muffins {Sugar Rush #9}
Three Years Ago: Sugar Rush #10: Ruby Jewel Cookies

Toffee Crunch Cupcakes

Yield: Makes 36 cupcakes

Toffee Crunch Cupcakes

Note: Plan ahead for the frosting, since the base takes a few hours to cool completely. If you don't want to go to the work of using the magical frosting recipe which is what I've used here, you could, by all means, sub in your favorite buttercream recipe - just don't forget to fold in some caramel sauce!


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Ganache and Toffee:
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) toffee bits
  • Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) butter, cut into 24 pieces and softened at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup caramel sauce (storebought or from this recipe or this recipe)


  1. For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with paper baking cups. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; using a handheld electric mixer or an electric stand mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. The batter will be on the thinner side. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. This recipe makes about 30 cupcakes. So you may need to bake the cupcakes in installments if you only have 1 or 2 muffin tins. Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack, after removing them from the muffin tin.
  2. For the frosting, in a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium saucepan and pour the milk mixture through the strainer into the saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and is thick enough that it starts to become difficult to easily whisk. This could take anywhere between 5-10 minutes, depending on your stove, heat, etc. It should bubble quite a bit at the end (be careful of the splatters) and thicken considerably.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cool to room temperature – this is extremely important! If it is even slightly warm, the frosting won’t beat up properly. I refrigerated my initial mixture overnight. If you do this, make sure to pull it out in time to let it warm back up to room temperature. If you try to proceed with the rest of the recipe and the mixture is too cold, the butter won’t absorb into the frosting like it should.
  4. Once the frosting is completely cooled to room temperature (it should have no hint of warmth at all!), beat the mixture with the vanilla on low speed until it is well combined, about 30 seconds (a stand mixer will work best for this). Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat the frosting until all the butter has been incorporated fully, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and let the mixer work it’s magic. Beat the frosting for five minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Fold in the caramel sauce. Let the frosting sit at room temperature until it is a bit more stiff, about 1 hour.
  5. For the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream to a bare simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let the mixture sit, without stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Whisk to combine until the mixture is glossy and smooth. Whisk in the butter until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and let the ganache chill until it is at piping consistency. It helps to give it a good stir, every 10 minutes or so to help it cool evenly. Don't let it harden too much in the refrigerator or it will be too stiff to pipe (if that happens, just let it sit at room temperature until it is soft again).
  6. To assemble the cupcakes, fill a piping bag with the ganache and using a large round circle tip (I used Wilton 1A), pipe a ring on the top of the cupcake around the perimeter, leaving an open circle in the center (so basically you don't want to fill the entire top of the cupcake in with ganache - just an outer ring). Pour the toffee bits into a bowl and lightly press the edges of the ganache into the toffee bits, pressing very gently to adhere the toffee to the ganache.
  7. Fill another pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip (like Wilton 1M) with the frosting and pipe a swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake, filling the empty space inside the ganache ring. Top with an additional sprinkle of toffee, if desired. Refrigerate and let sit at room temperature about an hour before serving to let the frosting soften to cool room temperature.

Recipe Source: inspired by this recipe from Annie’s Eats, cupcakes from this recipe, frosting adapted from this recipe

14 Responses to Toffee Crunch Cupcakes

  1. Viktoriya says:

    Can you halve these beauties??

  2. […] Recipe Source: Originally seen from Baker’s Royale, cupcakes slightly adapted from, and frosting and ganache from […]

  3. kerri says:

    I made these a while back and forgot to comment. They are incredible. They’re beautiful, moist, and delicious. I bought too much toffee, so clearly I have to make them again…I think this time, with homemade salted caramel in the buttercream. These are perfect 🙂

  4. Rachel Russell says:

    Made these for a BBQ this weekend and MAJOR HIT!!! I forgot to read the recipe first though so had to chill the frosting in the freezer which worked great! THANKS MEL!!

  5. grace says:

    ganache AND frosting! we would be the very best of friends, mel. 🙂

  6. Kelley says:

    Okay, I’ve been following your blog long enough to know that I can NEVER make these or I will lose all self control/respect. They look amazing, and I’m sure they taste even better.

  7. These look so yummy! I will be sad to see sugar rush come to an end 🙂

  8. I make a very similar frosting recipe. While it is a little more effort than your standard buttercream, it is so worth it. I love that it is a different texture and isn’t overly sweet. These cupcakes look amazing too-with the toffee bits and ganache. Almost too pretty to eat…almost! 🙂

  9. tj says:

    …I must come out of the woodwork and say, “thank you” for doing what you do! I have been a follower for a while now and truly enjoy your scrumptious recipes, your writing and your awesome photos. I know this is hard work and it shows, and I just wanted you to know it is greatly appreciated. :o)

    …Now, off to add Toffee Bits to my grocery list. ;o)

    …”Merry Christmas!”


  10. Teresa R. says:

    My oldest daughter is having a Christmas party this weekend, so I have the perfect excuse to make these cupcakes as well as the chocolate shortbread cookies. Of course I’ll have to sample both. Life is good.

  11. Holly says:

    Wow! These look amazing! Going to have to try it for sure. Thanks!

  12. Kim in MD says:

    That’s one beautiful cupcake! How do you do it, Mel? Everytime I think you have made the ultimate dessert you post a new one that seems to top it! I love chocolate and toffee, so this cupcake is right up my alley. I am going to have a tough time picking just one Sugar Rush treat to make as gifts this year!

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