Salted Caramel Brownie Cupcakes


Rich low carb brownie cupcakes topped with sugar-free salted caramel frosting. Don’t blame me if you become obsessed!

Low Carb Brownie Cupcakes with Salted Caramel FrostingWhen it comes to food, I definitely fall on the obsessive side of the spectrum. No, I don’t have any sort of compulsive eating disorder, and although I’ve had my pig-outs back in the day, I can regulate myself pretty well now. I am not that much of an emotional eater either, although a bit of chocolate is always cheering after a tough day. I also don’t have the need to track everything I eat, as I have figured out what works for me and I am accountable in the end to my blood glucose meter. It keeps me honest, and in those few times when I have not been honest, I can work in a bit of extra exercise to keep my glucose levels in check. So I am not obsessive in the way people normally think when they hear about food obsessions. But I do get utterly obsessed with particular flavours and tastes and I find them worming their way into my brain until they seem to occupy every inch of my grey matter and they are practically all I can think about. I don’t just think about them, I dream about them. If that’s not obsessive, I don’t know what is.

The funny thing is that I can have several obsessions going at once. Or several that are competing for my attention. Like children, they will battle it out and clamour for me to hear them, see them, play with them, jostling each other constantly for position. And, like children, when I do give one of them attention and bring them to the forefront and make them the star of the show, it’s never enough to satisfy them. Sometimes they go away, happy and appeased and leave me to lavish my attention on other ideas and flavours. But more often than not, they stick around, poking me every so often and saying “hey, not fair, I want to be your favourite again. Pay attention to ME!”. This happens particularly often when the results from said flavour experiments were really delicious and I can’t wait to find a new way to use it again.

Sugar Free Grain Free Salted Caramel Brownie Cupcakes

Have I scared you yet? Are you ready to lock me away because my mind is such a jumble of obsessions about foods and flavours? I don’t blame you, really but let me just say this. You, my dears, are the beneficiaries of my obsessions with food so I suggest you don’t have me committed just yet. Because all that electric shock therapy might make me more normal, but it might take away my recipe creativity and then where would you be? No more recipes from All Day I Dream About Food – now that’s a scary prospect! So you will likely tolerate me and let me be, and just avert your eyes when you pass me on the street, muttering to myself about this flavour or that ingredient. You will think to yourself “well, she’s crazy but she’s harmless, really”. Good move, my friend, good move.

Low Carb Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Brownie Cupcakes

And then you will walk into your kitchen and bake yourself a batch of these low carb Brownie Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Sauce. Because my low carb salted caramel really is my current (or one of my current) obsessions. It’s all over this blog in many shapes and forms and every time I make something with it, I find myself more obsessed. It will not be satisfied, it will not go away, it will not leave me alone. It keeps coming back for more, demanding attention, demanding that I find new ways to use it and work it into recipes. And apparently I am more than happy to oblige.

Low Carb Salted Caramel Cupcake Recipe

Salted Caramel Brownie Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Salted Caramel Brownie Cupcakes


    Brownie Cupcakes:
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp butter
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener or other erythritol
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp liquid stevia extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • Salted Caramel Sauce:
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 5 tbsp Swerve Sweetener
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or additional tbsp Swerve Sweetener)
  • 6 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp water
  • Salted Caramel Frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Salted Caramel Sauce (reserve about 3 tbsp for drizzling over frosting)
  • 1/2 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp caramel flavouring or vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a standard muffin tin with paper liners (I recommend parchment paper muffin cups).
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Melt butter, chocolate and cocoa powder together in a medium saucepan, stirring until smooth.
  4. Stir in erythritol, vanilla extract and stevia extract. Let cool 5 minutes.
  5. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Stir in almond flour mixture until well combined.
  6. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups and bake 16 to 20 minutes, until cupcakes are just firm to the touch.
  7. Remove and let cool completely.
  8. Salted Caramel Sauce:
  9. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, Swerve, and coconut sugar. Bring to a boil and cook 3 to 5 minutes (be careful not to burn it).
  10. Remove from heat and add cream. Mixture will bubble vigorously.
  11. Sprinkle with xanthan gum and whisk vigorously to combine. Add salt.
  12. Let cool to lukewarm and stir in water until well combined.
  13. Frosting:
  14. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Beat in caramel sauce to combine, then beat in sweetener and flavouring or extract.
  15. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes and drizzle with remaining caramel sauce. If your caramel sauce has hardened to much to drizzle, heat it gently.


Serves 12. Each serving has 7.39 g of carbs and 2.66 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 4.73 g.

Note: These are hefty and filling so if you want to stretch them out to serve more, fill the cupcake wrappers a little less and make 15 or 16 cupcakes.

Food energy: 426kcal Saturated fatty acids: 20.20g Total fat: 36.31g Calories from fat: 326 Cholesterol: 437mg Carbohydrate: 7.39g Total dietary fiber: 2.66g Protein: 16.23g Sodium: 417mg



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  1. tess says

    what was it that Gene Wilder sang in “Willy Wonka” — a little madness now and then is relished by the wisest men…. thank you, Carolyn, for your obsessions. 😉

  2. Whitney says

    Can’t wait to try these! My question is with the Swerve sweetener and it listed as 5g carbs per teaspoon, how do you figure out that the total cupcake is 7.39 of carbs with so many cups of swerve in the frosting, sauce and cake?

    I am having a hard time trying to comprehend how the carbs get whittled down to 7.39g carbs per cupcake. Just watching the carb count for my son which is 40-60 grams total per day. I so need a lesson on figuring out nutritional value as I myself altered some brownies and I added all the carbs up to 280g and divided by 12 servings and it came out so high since I used 3/4 of erythritol granular. Thanks in advance for the advice! :)

    • Carolyn says

      Swerve (and any erythritol) technically has carbs but they don’t affect most people’s glucose levels. I have stated very clearly that I don’t count them at all in the carb count. I’ve tested it on myself numerous times and they simply do not register on my glucometer.

  3. Sarah G says

    I’m just grateful that I can spend my day dreaming about food because I know that you will eventually bring their low-carb, gluten-free versions into fruition…or even something better. Thanks for doing all the dirty work. :)

  4. Holli says

    Carolyn, you make me laugh! a lot of the time your sharing before the recipe is just plain funny and entertaining. We are glad you have dreams of flavors and these recipes. The pictures of the recipe make me salivate, it looks so good. You do such a good job! Gifted by God I’d say.

  5. Katharine says

    These WILL be happening soon at my house! scrumdillyumptious! btw I’ve never liked “normal” people anyway. Boring!! :)

  6. Kim says

    These look delicious. I do have a question. I’d like to make the batter a little less “dark”. I know you LUV your dark chocolate; but, I’m more of a milk chocolate up to 65% dark chocolate kind of gal! Gasp! How would you suggest I make the adjustments to my taste – 2 or 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate or less cocoa? Thanks!

    • Carolyn says

      Hmmm, okay. I think you could definitely reduce the cocoa powder, maybe leaving it out altogether and adding more almond flour instead. Not a full 1/4 cup more, perhaps 2 or 3 tbsp? I wouldn’t mess with the amount of unsw. chocolate because it could change the consistency too much. But if you can find Lily’s milk chocolate, you could maybe sub in half of that for half of the unsweetened chocolate?

  7. Keri says

    Oh I will most definitely be making these!! I love making cupcakes, and starting my LC/Keto diet back up makes me sad when I make cupcakes that I can’t eat! Now I just need to buy some Swerve… Either way, keep up the awesome work, I’ll keep following :)

  8. Amy says

    Am I missing the step that tells when to add the almond flour mixture to the chocolate mixture? Can you please advise?

  9. Amy says

    Yummy! My kids loved them. I would try not quite as much dark chocolate taste next time. The cake part was a little too rich for my family’s taste.

  10. Lisa says

    Haha! “She’s crazy but she’s harmless” should be a bumper sticker. My family would buy me one. Cooking obsessed is the best! :-)

  11. Sherrie Lee says

    Hi Carolyn!

    I see the ad/link for the Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder below the recipe. Is that what you used? Or “regular” cocoa powder?

    Thank you!

    Sherrie Lee

  12. Angela says

    I have these in the oven baking as we speak! The flavor of the brownie is amazing! (Yes I’m one of THOSE…. Lol) But as I was trying to spoon it into the cupcake papers, it stared to take on the consistency of almost a mousse. Really thick, not pourable at all… I followed the directions to the T. Is this what it’s supposed to be like or did I do something wrong? I’m sure they’ll be out of the oven by the time this goes through, but I’m anticipating wonky misshapen cupcakes…

    • Carolyn says

      Mine is usually like pourable pudding consistency when I put it into the pan or the cupcakes. Not quite like mousse. Not sure what happened but for future reference, whisk in water, one tbsp at a time, until it smooths out. It sounds a little like your chocolate seized right at the end. Let me know how they turn out!

      • Angela says

        Alrighty – Update. :) They are fabulous! I am not a fan of cake ANYTHING, but my girls love them and I was having serious sweet cravings today.
        Anyway they baked up just fine. They were definitely not seized (I know what that looks like unfortunately. I do it plenty. :( ) but just really thick. I will tweak it and see what happens. I have found that with a lot of things, the altitude makes a HUGE difference. We are over 5,000 ft. above sea level. Lol

        • Carolyn says

          Glad they worked! Sounds like a little extra liquid is needed, but you don’t want too much. So do go by the tbsp of water at a time to thin it out just a tiny bit.

  13. Loretta says

    I just made these and I love them! The batter seemed pretty loose compared to regular cake batter but they came out wonderfully. I did have to bake them for 22 minutes but that was probably my oven. I was especially impressed with the salted carmel! Wow! SO GOOD! In case it happens to anyone else, I had trouble making the xantham gum dissolve. I ended up having to strain the sauce to get all the little white lumps out. It was wonderful after I did that. This is definitely a recipe to keep!

    • Carolyn says

      Thanks, Loretta. I find for xanthan that if I sprinkle it over as I am whisking the sauce, it will dissolve in there. But you have to keep whisking and sprinkling at the same time. It gums up quickly!

  14. says

    Carolyn, I’m right there with you on flavor obsessions! Chocolate (especially dark) is always at the top of my list. I have to remind myself to include other flavors in my recipes too; it’s basically an addiction. But if that’s the worst addiction I have, it can’t be that bad — right?? And I’ve been meaning to try a few salted caramel treats for a while, so thank you for reminding me with your gorgeous brownie cupcakes! You wouldn’t happen to have a few extras lying around, would you? Because I’d make them disappear in a heartbeat! :) Already pinned!

  15. Susan says

    So glad you found a healthy and productive outlet for your special kind of crazy-) these were most excellent, your cake recipes just keep getting better and better! The texture of the cupcakes was wonderful. I can’t comment on the fabulousness of the salted caramel without exposing my own obsession, just, thank you!

  16. Lindi says

    I’ve seen that you mention liquid stevia extract in several of your recipes. I am only 3 months into eating to maintain a stable blood glucose so some of this is new to me. I know different brands of stevia can vary in taste and bitterness. Is this the same for liquid extract? Is there a brand you prefer? Can I use a different sweetener in its place?

  17. Lindi says

    Ok… I am in the process of making the Salted Caramel Brownie Cupcakes and I’m not even finished but I feel compelled to post! The cupcakes are still too hot to try and really I want to experience the final flavors together but the the Salted Caramel Sauce! Oh the Salted Caramel sauce! I was a little nervous at first as the sweetener to butter ratio made the mixture a bit dry in the pan but it liquifies as it melts. I almost burned it at 3.5 minutes of boiling on medium gas heat but managed to pull it off just in time for it to develop the maximum flavor.
    ***For all you bakers out there, you HAVE to try this… Make your favorite low carb cheesecake, with no crust, in a ramekin. After completely cooled and refrigerated, pour the Salted Caramel sauce over the top and sprinkle a few grains of sea salt on top. Trust me, it will change your life!

  18. Emma says

    Hi, I’m just a little worried that I’ve made some sort of hideous mistake… I made your cupcakes today in my celcius oven, converting it to 160 degrees, and instead of twenty minutes they took over an hour… and at the end of that I was still having a staring contest with them to see if they’d sink. Eventually I just took them out, abandoned them to fate and ran away…
    They are now filling only half of the cupcake holder when previously, all swelled up, they were almost a centimeter over the rim… I’m a tiny bit devastated because I was so excited to make these.

    Just checking, is there a difference in US cup to English/Australian cup size? I’m not sure if it was the almond meal… or maybe it was my electric oven… I just don’t know what went wrong :(

    • Carolyn says

      Something definitely went wrong, but I am not sure what. A few thoughts, though… 1. An American cup equals about 236 g. I have no idea what an Australian cup equals but a quick search online shows me that there is a small difference. Not huge, so I don’t know that it would cause this issue. 2. What kind of almond flour did you use? I suspect you don’t have the nice finely ground variety like Honeyville and that makes a huge difference. If it’s not finely ground enough, the ingredients just don’t meld that well and rise and bake properly. 3. Plenty of other possibilities such as your oven not being hot enough (they can really be off a lot!) and your baking powder being old.

      • Emma says

        I grind my own almond flour… so maybe not fine enough that time. I have an electric oven so maybe that was it.

        Just wanted to say that we ate them today, and they tasted AMAZING – people couldn’t even tell that they were sugar free. The texture wasn’t at all dense either, so even if they sink I think I’ll still bake them again and try not to get so stressed out!

        • Carolyn says

          Grinding your own almond flour is likely a huge part of the problem. I know it saves money but it’s just not quite fine enough for getting the proper texture and rise. But that said, if you are in Australia and have limited ingredients, keep on doing what you’re doing and if things sink a bit, so be it. Although you could also try a tbsp or two of whey protein powder, if you can find it. That might help a bit.

  19. Ashley says

    I made these amazing looking cupcakes last night, and had a few problems. The cupcake itself turned out a little bitter, but was fine with the frosting on top. The caramel sauce didn’t look like anything but some butter, so I used it all in the frosting instead. The frosting was good but a little grainy. Instead of using a caramel flavoring, I used a caramel syrup instead so it turned out white. I’m fairly new to low carb baking, so thoughts?

  20. Melissa says

    Caramel Success! My first attempt at low carb caramel and I had high standards to contend with. Am sooo jazzed with the results – you’d never know the difference. I did use a blend of Tagatose (3T), Just Like Sugar Brown (2T) and Erythritol (1T). Didn’t need the water or more than 1/2 tsp salt. Brilliant recipe Caroline – I can’t thank you enough for helping to bring caramel back into my life! To be served tonight topping a sundae including brownie, ice cream and candied pecans – all low carb and home-made. Appreciate the inspiration!

  21. Kristen says

    I was looking for something decadent but still low-carb to make for a little treat. I didn’t have all of the stuff to make the caramel sauce, but I did have all of the ingredients for the brownie cupcakes. HOLY COW! They are the best low-carb dessert I’ve made so far. I just made a simple cream cheese frosting to top them with, but I think I like them just as much on their own. Thank you!

  22. Mama Owl says

    Think you could sub sunflower flour for the almond? I am out of almonds and I NEED THESE NOW! LOL! I sub it in other things… just wondering what you thought. :) And, how much sauce does that make? I already have some made up and was hoping to use that instead of making more. Thanks!

    • Carolyn says

      I can almost guarantee you can. I subbed in sunflower seeds in place of almond in another recipe and it worked perfectly. The sauce makes about 3/4 cup, I think? Maybe a little less, like 2/3. It’s about 2/3 of the full recipe I normally use, so I’d guess 2/3.

    • Mama Owl says

      okay… these are on my counter cooling as I type! I cannot wait! They are sooooo yummy looking. They baked up better than the regular cupcakes I made for a customer this weekend! Seriously! The smell so good too! I did use sunflower flour instead of almond and a couple of other substitutions to meet what I had on hand. These are for my daughter’s 18th birthday tonight. She is not expecting anything. I cannot wait to see her face when she tries them! I am pairing them with a low carb choc ice cream. I will let you know the verdict! :)

        • Mama Owl says

          I ended up not making the icing… it was just too many carbs with the ice cream :( I will definitely be trying it though with the remaining cupcakes. These were awesome! They did deflate after cooling, but the taste was terrific! Have you tried it in a cake pan?

  23. Tiffany says

    Any chance I could sub xylitol or truvia or sweetleaf stevia or a blend thereof for the Swerve? I know everyone loves Swerve, but I do not like it.

    • Carolyn says

      I honestly cannot guarantee your results for the caramel sauce if you sub any other sweeteners but you are welcome to try.

  24. Barbara says

    I LOVE SALTED CARAMEL TREATS! I cannot wait to make these! Question though… I come across low-carb recipes that call for Swerve sweetener all the time, and I have no idea what it is or where to find it. Is it a health-food store item or can it be found in a normal grocery store? Thanks for posting!!!

  25. Janet says

    I do not have the caramel flavoring, however I have the Torani sugar free caramel syrup. Do you think this can work instead for the frosting/icing?

  26. Kristen says

    I’ve had my eye on these for a while, but I just got the chance to make them… and they’re amazing!!! I only saw the nutrition info AFTER I made them though, too late to make them in mini-muffin form, which I’ll probably do next time. After all, how can I stop at half!? Anyway, does anyone know if these can be frozen/how long they keep in the fridge? It’s just me eating these, and I can’t eat them all at once and don’t want them to go to waste.

    Thanks, and I love your blog! It’s been so helpful and inspiring while eating low-carb. I honestly think I’ve made more (and better-tasting) desserts while low-carbing than I did before!

    • Carolyn says

      I am not quite sure how the frosting will fare being frozen but it’s certainly better than throwing them out! It may change in consistency some when you defrost them.

  27. Michele says

    Hi! Your website is wonderful and the receipes look delicious! Can you please help me? I’m new at this. I cannot tolerate Swerve (or any sugar substitute ending in “tol). How do I know how much Stevia or Splenda to substitute for Swerve? Is it 1:1? Thanks in advance, Michele

  28. Christine says

    Carolyn: I want to make this as a groom’s cake. Do you think it can be done? Have you baked this as a cake? What size pan did you use and how long did you bake it if you did? If my efforts turn out I will certainly post pictures. Any advice would be wonderful! Thank you in advance.

    • Carolyn says

      I have not baked this as a cake at all. I think you could, though. Two layers, I am assuming? I always advise starting it out at about 20 to 25 minutes, and then checking on it every 5 minutes after that, when taking a cupcake recipe and turning it into a cake. And I think you will need more frosting if you plan to cover the sides as well as the middle and the top. I might even double the frosting. At LEAST 1.5 times the frosting.


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