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Whiskey Caramel and Chocolate Buttercream Cupcakes

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Jewel-Osco. All opinions are 100% mine.

Whiskey Caramel and Chocolate Buttercream Cupcakes are rich chocolate cupcakes with a whiskey caramel center topped with decadent chocolate buttercream frosting and a drizzle of whiskey caramel. This is a semi-homemade recipe that utilizes boxed cake and frosting mixes.

Charles and a few of his guy friends have been having socially distant happy hours on each other’s patios – as I am writing this Chicago has seen a series of 70 degree days in November. For the most recent gathering, I sent Charles off with a treat for his friends: Whiskey Caramel and Chocolate Buttercream Cupcakes. Judging by the texts the guys sent me, these cupcakes were a major hit. The best thing is that they are so easy to make – the secret is that I used Open Nature® boxed cake and frosting mix from Jewel-Osco and added homemade whiskey caramel sauce.

Even though Charles has been on a diet for the past couple of months, he was eager to make an exception when I told him that I was making cupcakes. It was his idea to add some chocolate chips to the cupcake batter – Charles loves the slight texture that the chocolate chips lend to the cake. I used Open Nature® Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake and Cupcake Mix to make the cupcakes, and just added in 1/2 cup of Organics® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips.

In the baking world, “gluten-free” can be a term that gives people pause. People who don’t have dietary restrictions that prevent them from eating gluten, often wonder, “If it’s gluten-free, will it taste ok?” In the case of Open Nature’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake & Cupcake Mix, you won’t be able to taste the difference. This mix gives you moist cupcakes with rich chocolate flavor. I also love that one box makes 12 cupcakes – just the right amount!

For the frosting, I used Open Nature Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Mix, which is one of 20 products exclusive to Jewel-Osco and the Albertson’s family of stores that recently won ‘Best New Product Awards’ from Store Brands publication. These awards recognize top food & beverage products and non-food items.

The thing that makes these cupcakes truly extraordinary is the homemade whiskey caramel sauce. The hint of Tennessee Whiskey in the caramel gives it a depth of flavor and it is the perfect pairing for the rich chocolate cake and frosting. I used Signature RESERVE™,  Tennessee Straight Whiskey, which is a premium small-batch whiskey aged for 4 years. This is also an award-winning product exclusive to Jewel-Osco.

I regularly shop at Jewel-Osco – it’s just a few blocks from my home! I love their exclusive brands and I used Organics products in addition to the Open Nature cake and frosting mixes and Signature RESERVE whiskey to prepare this recipe. These OWN Brands are exclusive to Jewel-Osco are my go-to since they are high-quality products at a great price.

You can shop Open Nature, Signature RESERVE, and O Organics products at Jewel-Osco in the Chicago area and at the Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, ACME Markets, Vons, Randalls, Shaw’s Supermarket, Star Market, Tom Thumb, and Vons. If you want to save time, Grocery Delivery and DriveUp & Go™ are both available!

To prepare this recipe, first, get the cupcakes in the oven to bake. While they are baking, prepare the whiskey caramel sauce. While the sauce is simmering, mix up the chocolate buttercream frosting. Once the cupcakes have cooled, use a sharp knife to cut out about a tablespoon of cake from the center of the cupcake. Fill that hole with caramel sauce. Then add the chocolate frosting on top – just made sure that the whiskey caramel is at room temperature before adding buttercream – you don’t want it to melt! Lastly, you can garnish with a drizzle of whiskey caramel.

These cupcakes are sure to impress friends and family – the caramel center is such a special treat!

To Make the Whiskey Caramel:

Whiskey Caramel

Whiskey Caramel

Yield: about 2 cups
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

I use this whiskey caramel sauce in recipes, over ice cream, and on top of desserts.


  • 1/4 cup Signature RESERVE Tennessee Straight Whiskey
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla


    Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Then add the sugar and whisk until melted.
    Add the whiskey, salt, and vanilla. Let simmer steadily for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
    Add the cream and let the sauce slowly simmer and reduce for 20-25 minutes, until it has thickened. Stir every few minutes. You want the caramel to be thick enough to for a thick layer to stick on the back of a spoon.
    Pour the sauce into mason jars and store in the fridge for up to a week, or use it in a recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

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To Make and Assemble the Cupcakes:

Open Nature Chocolate Cake and Cupcake Mix
plus the eggs and butter called for to make the cupcakes
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
Open Nature Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Mix
plus the Butter and Milk called for to make the frosting
Cupcake Liners
A piping bag and star tip

Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Fill a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Divide the cake batter between the 12 liners and then bake according to the directions on the box.

While the cupcakes bake, prepare the buttercream frosting. Add just enough milk so that the frosting is soft enough to be piped but firm enough to hold its shape once it has been piped.

Once the cupcakes have baked, let them cool. Then use a serrated knife to cut a tablespoon out of the middle of each cupcake. (Snack on that later). Then pour the whiskey caramel into the holes.

Lastly, once the whiskey caramel has cooled to room temperature as to not melt the buttercream frosting, pipe the chocolate buttercream frosting onto the cupcakes, covering the whiskey caramel. Garnish by drizzling whiskey caramel over the top.

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