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Tootski’s Toffee Crunch Cupcakes With Sea-Salted Caramel Mascarpone Frosting

By: Laura DeVries of Verona, WI

Notes from the author: Toffee is my all-time favorite candy, and I met Susan, owner of Tootski’s Toffee at a farmers market. I was inspired by her delicious candy and decided that I MUST try to create a cupcake with toffee in it! The mascarpone frosting is such a perfect complement to the entire cupcake.

Makes 24 cupcakes


2 cups boiling water
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/4 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1 8-ounce container chilled Crave Brothers mascarpone cheese
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream8 ounces sea-salted caramel, warmed slightly

sea-salted caramel

2 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
½ stick butter
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
1/4 – 1/2 lb. dark chocolate almond toffee (we use Tootski’s


sea-salted caramel – prepare ahead of time

Heat sugar with the water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over high, stirring occasionally, until syrup is clear; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan and stop stirring.

Cook until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush as needed. Boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is caramelized and just reaches 360°F. Remove from heat and slowly pour in cream; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add butter and stir until incorporated. Stir in sea salt.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cupcake pans with baking cups. In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at time, add sour cream then stir in vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Use an ice cream scoop to fill baking cups 2/3 full.

Bake approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick 
inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan immediately and cool on cooling rack.


Add heavy cream and mascarpone large mixing bowl. Using electric mixer, beat on low speed until blended and smooth. Add the slightly warmed caramel a little at a time and increase mixer speed to medium-high; beat until mixture is thick and medium-firm peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes (do not overbeat or mixture will curdle).


Pipe mascarpone frosting on top of cooled or cold cupcakes and then encrust the entire top of the cupcake with toffee. Refrigerate until ready to serve, remove 5 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!

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