May 17, 2015

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cupcakes

How to make salted caramel puppy cupcakes. Anna Johnston -

Meet the newest addition to my family, Little Chef, aptly named right?!  He is a gorgeous apricot male Moodle, born on the 19th of February, 2015. Take home weight was 2.2kg/4.85lbs. He is a sweet pup, super smart too and the lil man has already mastered fetch and carry. He is super cuddly and snuggly, has us smiling and laughing out loud and captivated for hours with his antics. Yep, this perfect little puppy has stolen our hearts!

Meet Little Chef the dog + Salted Caramel & Chocolate Puppy Cupcakes. A recipe by Anna Johnston -

I was feeling creative in the kitchen and decided I’d bake some cupcakes for my work gang and share my new found puppy love. Here’s how I made these adorable little salted caramel & chocolate cupcakes.

With the cupcakes baking away in the oven, I set to creating the puppies. I whipped up the frosting which was a cross between buttercream and whipped cream. It was sweet with just that perfect hit of salted caramel flavour. Don’t be fazed by the huge amount of frosting this recipe makes, it is perfect for piping the puppy fur as it is semi soft, and much smoother than many buttercreams I’ve worked with in the past.  The puppy, once you put the snout, nose and eyes in place totally looked like a dog. It took me about an hour in total to decorate the batch. The trick was prepping all the elements of the puppy face so you could stick everything down succinctly.

How to make salted caramel puppy cupcakes. Anna Johnston -

When I served the puppy cupcakes, my colleagues were surprised, everyone ‘oohed and ahhed’ at just how close to our Little Chef the mini cakes looked. They were super easy to do and turned out pretty great. The best thing about making puppy cupcakes is that you can play around, experiment and come up with your own variations on how the face is to look. Not only do these puppy cupcakes guarantee a smile, but they are lip-smacking delicious too.

I’d love to know, do you love dogs? Do you love cupcakes? Do you own animals? If yes, tell me a little about them?

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Puppy Cupcakes. A recipe by Anna Johnston -

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time:  20 – 25 minutes

Chocolate Cupcake
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (255g) brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup (75) plain flour
  • 1/4 cup (30g) cocoa powder
Salted Caramel Frosting
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Large Marshmallow
  • Small Marshmallow
  • Chocolate coated peanut
  • Jersey Caramels
  • Strawberry Clouds
Chocolate Cupcake

Step 1: Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 18 x 1/3-cup (80ml) capacity muffin pans with paper cases. Combine the chocolate and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Step 2: Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, until just combined. Add the flours and cocoa powder and stir until just combined. Add the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

Step 3: Spoon evenly among the lined muffin pans.

Step 4: Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Salted Caramel Frosting

Step 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, about 6 to 7 minutes. 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.

Step 2: Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated. 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.

Step 3: Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.


Step 1: Stick (using a little frosting) a large marshmallow to the cupcake for the snout.

Step 2: Flatten with a rolling pin a pink strawberry cloud, with a little frosting place the tongue just below the snout.

Step 3: Using the grass tip piping nozzle, cover the cupcake to resemble dog fur.

Step 4: Add a choc coated peanut for the nose.

Step 5: Place choc coated peanut on halved small white marshmallow for the eyes.

Step 6: For the ears, roll out halved caramels into a tear drop shape, attach ears either side.

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shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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CakeSpy - May 30, 2015 Reply

Look at that salty lad! I don’t know which is cuter…the pup or the cupcakes! Delicious and inspiring.

    Anna - May 31, 2015 Reply

    Teehee. Glad you enjoyed CakeSpy. 🙂 Little man sure has captured my heart, and the cupcakes could be consumed every other day. Winning all round. 🙂

Elizabeth - May 30, 2015 Reply

OMG!!!!! How did I miss this post… Your a mum 🙂 you have a puppy!!!! Yay! The cup cakes look divine to BTW! Come to think of it I haven’t been getting many posts from you… Hmmm have you changed subscribers???? Anyway I will have a look and see what has happened! Liz xx

    Anna - May 31, 2015 Reply

    I do have a puppy, and he is the sweetest little addition to my family ever. I can’t believe how dotty I am over the little guy. 🙂
    The cupcakes were pretty delicious too. I know its all the rage at the moment, but I could eat a bowl of salted caramel icing, freakin heart the stuff so much. Mmmmm! 🙂
    As to you not receiving my email, I did switch over my subscription, so perhaps you fell off my list. Sorry lovely legs. Did note you had subscribed again tho. 🙂
    Hope you’ve had a magical weekend. xox

John/Kitchen Riffs - May 28, 2015 Reply

Little Chef is so cute! As are the cupcakes. Love the idea of these. Our kitty (Kitty Riffs) would insist on kitty cupcakes, of course. 😉

    Anna - May 28, 2015 Reply

    Isn’t he just, John. 🙂
    Teehee, oh I do look forward to seeing your little Kitty Riffs cupcakes.

Pamela Brooklyn Farm Girl - May 27, 2015 Reply

Well you made me smile! These cupcakes are so darn cute! Now I need to make a batch of Persian cat ones for my kitty family! 😉

    Anna - May 27, 2015 Reply

    Yeah you do, I so look forward to the Persian kitty cupcake post. 🙂
    Glad I made you smile lady. Have a happy week ahead. x

Kris - May 26, 2015 Reply

I love dogs…. Especially little chef!
He has the best name for a puppy that I have ever heard. Super gorgeous!
I know want one of my own, and this is a big call as I have always been a cat person.
Congratulations on the new addition. Just beautiful.

    Anna - May 27, 2015 Reply

    Little Chef is the best, I cant imagine my life without him. 🙂

    And…. Yeah he does, it seemed a fitting name considering how foodie the family is.

    I thought I was a cat person too, but this lil man has totes changed that.

    Thanks Nizz!

Johanna @ Green Gourmet Giraffe - May 26, 2015 Reply

These are gorgeous – I am always on the lookout for dog ideas as my nieces are obsessed with dogs and I sometimes want to make them dog bakes. I particularly love the jersey caramel ears because they are such a great sweet and they look so right

    Anna - May 27, 2015 Reply

    Cheers Johanna! Oh that is fantastic, I love that I may have inspired some puppy baking for the nieces. Be sure to let me know how yours turn out.

    And yes, those Jersey Caramels were perfect for puppy ears, and super tasty too. 🙂

Cakelaw - May 26, 2015 Reply

Little Chef is gorgeous, as are your puppy cupcakes. Lucky colleagues!

    Anna - May 26, 2015 Reply

    Isn’t he just?! 🙂
    Thanks heaps, the puppy cups went down a treat.

Norma Chang - May 26, 2015 Reply

Your cupcakes are too pretty to eat.
Little Chef is adorable looks mischievous too. Love his pretty brown fur, sure is a heart stealer.

    Anna - May 26, 2015 Reply

    Thanks Norma! Everyone got over not eating them pretty quick. LOL!
    And yes, Little Chef is amazing, he has got a cheeky streak, like to play but loves his cuddles more. His fur is kind of red, sooooo cute! And for sure the little man is stealing hearts all over the place. 🙂

Raymund - May 26, 2015 Reply

Those are too cute for me to eat, I will just display them on my table 🙂
I bet they taste amazing as well

    Anna - May 26, 2015 Reply

    Haha! Yep, I hear you on not wanting to eat them, I tried keeping one aside but a colleague spotted him and licked him good and proper, so no hanging out on display for that little guy. Lol! 🙂

    And they tasted amazing, the salted caramel was amaze!

Krista - May 25, 2015 Reply

Oh Anna, Little Chef is perfection!!! That little face is precious. I’m SO glad he’s in your life!! XO

    Anna - May 26, 2015 Reply

    Yes, I can’t imagine when the little guy wasn’t in my life. It is the best feeling being greeted by that face each evening when I get home from work. He really is perfect! 🙂

Caroline @ Shrinking Single - May 25, 2015 Reply

That is one super cute puppy and how lovely of him to inspire such delicious looking cupcakes!

    Anna - May 25, 2015 Reply

    Thanks heaps Caroline, Lil Chef really is the sweetest puppy, he surely did inspire super decorating skills, even impressed myself. 🙂

Jean | Holy Smithereens - May 25, 2015 Reply

Awww how adorable is Little Chef!!!! I’m so jealous 🙂 I’m sure the cupcakes were a hit, your colleagues are lucky!
Prior to getting married I lived in a house full of dogs, and by that I mean one dog to each sibling plus a few others. I really REALLY miss being around dogs. Its hard to own one now with my lifestyle of always moving / going away not to mention I live in an apartment.
For now I’ll vicariously live through you! 🙂 Looking forward to your adventures with Little Chef!!!

    Anna - May 25, 2015 Reply

    He is the sweetest puppy, very snugly and loves a cuddle. And yep, the cupcakes went down a super treat. 🙂
    Hah, that would have been a handful having all those dogs in the house, but lovely you were surrounded with all that animal love and affection.
    I have to control my social media updates, lil man could very easily take over what I update on.

Liz - May 25, 2015 Reply

Oh, your new pup is adorable!!! And these cupcakes are SO darn cute!!! Brava!

    Anna - May 25, 2015 Reply

    Isn’t he just Liz? And yep, the cupcakes sure went down a treat with the work gang too. 🙂

Sue - May 25, 2015 Reply

Anna I don’t know which is more adorable the real pup or these tasty treats! You are so talented! I think this kind of thing would do very well on Pinterest. 🙂

    Anna - May 25, 2015 Reply

    Thanks heaps lovely, Sue. I really appreciate your kind comment. 🙂
    Lil Chef is rather popular with all that he meets & the cupcakes, well they only lasted about 10 minutes. 🙂
    PS: I’ve pinned Lil Chef Cupcakes.

Ciao Florentina - May 24, 2015 Reply

Awwww, what a cutie ! Those rascals have a reputation for stealing people’s hearts. Love, Love, Love ! And what a lovely blog you have going here, and the most adorable cupcakes I ever saw. makes me wanna make some grey ones and call them Pelucis lol (that’s my rascal)

    Anna - May 24, 2015 Reply

    Yep, lil man has captured our hearts and seems to make pretty much everyone he meets swoon too. Heart feels full with the loves! <3 Thank you kindly for your kind words, you are too kind. 🙂
    Can't wait to see your Pelucis puppy cupcakes. Happy weekend new friend!

Agness - May 24, 2015 Reply

These cupcakes look absolutely fantastic and so yummy, yummy!

    Anna - May 24, 2015 Reply

    Thanks heaps Agness, they turned out a treat & were super tasty too. 🙂

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef - May 23, 2015 Reply

I am so in love with your little chef I can’t stand it. You only gave us one photo of him???

The cupcakes are darling and while they’re adorable to look at, I’d still eat them all. 🙂

    Anna - May 23, 2015 Reply

    I flooded all my social media platforms with pictures of Little Chef, and my friends receive daily pictures via text. Lil man is everywhere. 🙂
    Totes agree about the cupcakes, one just wasn’t enough.

Bam's Kitchen - May 23, 2015 Reply

Aww…Little Chef is a sweetheart. His fur looks so soft and I bet he is the joy of the household. He has hit the jackpot of households to live as you love cooking and are always in the kitchen so he will help you with clean up and patrol. I love your adorable doggie salted caramel chocolate puppy cups. They are almost as cute as Little chef! Wishing you a super weekend.

    Anna - May 23, 2015 Reply

    He is the most beautiful little being, so cuddly and sweet, and yes…. he has captured our hearts. All the heart feels. 🙂
    As for the cupcakes, it was hard to stop at one, totally tasty they were.
    Thanks BAM! Wishing you a super weekend too. xo

cityhippyfarmgirl - May 22, 2015 Reply

look at that cute little bundle of fluff!

    Anna - May 23, 2015 Reply

    He had a bath today, little man is even cuter than he is in the photo. 🙂

Mandy - May 22, 2015 Reply

Aww, precious little fur ball. I love puppy breathe. Easy to see why little Chef has stolen all your hearts and as for those cupcakes! Absolutelybladdybrilliant! Wish I could have eaten one.
Have a spectacular weekend my sweet dear Anna.
🙂 Mandy xo

    Anna - May 23, 2015 Reply

    He is the sweetest little man, so gentle and loves a cuddle. Perfect fit for our family. 🙂
    Oh I so wish we lived closer, I would love to be to deliver baked goods, sip tea and catch up on our lives face to face. Not to many more months to go.
    Wishing you a super weekend too. xox

Liz Posmyk (Good Things) - May 22, 2015 Reply

Swwwwwweeeeeeeeet! I don’t know which is cuter… the puppy or the puppy cupcakes… no, hang on, definitely the little fur ball! xoox

    Anna - May 22, 2015 Reply

    Isn’t Little Chef just the cutest baby ever? The cupcakes were pretty great too. 🙂

Maeve - May 22, 2015 Reply

ANNA! Your dog is so adorable! (As are the cupcakes 🙂 – thanks for the recipe!) x

    Anna - May 22, 2015 Reply

    Miss MAEVE!!! Happy hellos my friend. 🙂
    Yep, the puppy is adorable and the cupcakes went down a super treat.
    Hope you enjoy making the cupcakes.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - May 22, 2015 Reply

OMG I can’t decide what is cuter-the cupcakes or Little Chef!! 😀 I’ve never seen a moodle before! 😮

    Anna - May 22, 2015 Reply

    I’d say the cute award goes to Little Chef, the cupcakes were super delicious, so they can have the tasty award. 🙂

Tim UrbanDuniya - May 21, 2015 Reply

I could so roll around in a swimming pool full of these right now… or, you know, eat one or two.

Salted Caramel and Chocolate cupcakes = awesomeness on a plate, but these my friend are terrible – way too cute to dig into!! How cute is Little Chef?!?!?! 😀 <3

    Anna - May 22, 2015 Reply

    Oh yeah, the salted caramel should be turned into body butter, it truly is one of the best tastes EVA. 🙂

    Haha…. Yeah, the cupcakes really dig have the gang oooing and ahhhing, but not enough to stop anyone eating them.

    Next time you are in town, I shall bring Little Chef to meet you. 🙂

hassan - May 21, 2015 Reply

Cupcake! But puppy also is very sweet, Anna.

    Anna - May 22, 2015 Reply

    Hah! Yep, it was hard to stop at just one cupcake, they were delicious. 🙂
    And Ill give Little Chef a cuddle for ya.

hassan - May 21, 2015 Reply

mmmmmmmm! I want dogs!

    Anna - May 21, 2015 Reply

    Ha! You want a puppy? Or you want a puppy cupcake? Both equally amaze.
    Hope you’ve been well my friend. 🙂

Denise@FromBrazilToYou - May 21, 2015 Reply

Both your new puppy and the cupcakes are super cute! I am drooling only to think about the combo of flavours.
Love its name as well!

    Anna - May 21, 2015 Reply

    Such a good combo of flavours, I am so into salted caramel, even been known to drive over an hour for a salted caramel milkshake in a small town near my city. LOL!
    And Lil Chef really is a delight, very fitting in our family. 🙂

Hannah - May 21, 2015 Reply

I love dogs! and Cupcakes!!! Pets!!! All good things!

    Anna - May 21, 2015 Reply

    Until Little Chef, I totes thought I was a cat person, turns out not. 🙂
    Puppies & cupcakes are the best!

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - May 21, 2015 Reply

The puppy is too cute! Love the cupcakes 🙂

    Anna - May 21, 2015 Reply

    Thanks Tandy, he is a delightful little baby, and the cupcakes were SUPER delicious too. 🙂

Indu - May 21, 2015 Reply

How adorable, Anna! What a clever idea to make the puppy cupcakes! Looks like a lot of work but you make it seem easy! And congrats on your newest addition – he is super cute! 🙂

    Anna - May 21, 2015 Reply

    It was the easiest way to share the puppy love with my work gang. 🙂
    They really are very easy, Indu, mostly just very time consuming pulling all the elements of the face together.
    Thank you, wish we got him years ago, so much joy from such a little being.

Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) - May 21, 2015 Reply

Oh, Little Chef, is adorable – what an adorable name and those cupcakes sooooooooooo cute:-)

    Anna - May 21, 2015 Reply

    He really is Rachel, I can’t believe the hours we all spend watching him while he plays, eats or sleeps. And the cuddles…. #best

    The cupcakes were pretty darn delicious too. 🙂

Ala - May 21, 2015 Reply

UM. Just like EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS POST, EVER. I am so in love with this and GAHHH Little Chef is the most adorable addition to your family, ever–I just can’t get over it (or these adorable cupcakes, either)! <3 <3

    Anna - May 21, 2015 Reply

    Hahaha! Ala, you do make me smile with your enthusiastic comments. And with this one, I couldnt agree more. The cupcakes were super delicious, fun and went down a treat with the work gang, and Lil Chef, the photo doesn’t do him justice. 🙂

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