Millionaires’ Cupcakes

Millionaires’ Cupcakes – Chocolate cupcakes topped with caramel buttercream with a hidden shortbread and caramel centre.

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Millionaires' Cupcakes - Chocolate cupcakes topped with caramel buttercream with a hidden shortbread and caramel centre.

Today is the last day of National Cupcake Week (19th-25th September 2016) so there’s just time for me to share my recipe for Millionaires’ Cupcakes before it’s all over. One thing I love about creating cupcake recipes above pretty much all others is the possibilities it offers, cupcakes are just perfect for taking one idea and twisting it into cake form. I’ve done it a few times before with my White Russian Cupcakes and my Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes (which by the way use the same caramel sauce as this recipe so if you have any leftover you should give those a try too 🙂 ) and today’s recipe is another classic dessert twisted into a cake-y deliciousness – Millionaires’ Shortbread. These cupcakes are made from a chocolate sponge (which is adapted from my easy chocolate birthday cake recipe), caramel buttercream, and a hidden caramel and shortbread centre.

Millionaires' Cupcakes - Chocolate cupcakes topped with caramel buttercream with a hidden shortbread and caramel centre.

If you want to keep this recipe nice and simple then use ready-made caramel sauce and shortbread biscuits and if you fancy a bit more of a challenge (especially if you’re feeling all inspired by Bake Off at the moment) then you can make those too. I made the caramel but I have to admit that I did cheat this once on the shortbread 🙂

Millionaires' Cupcakes - Chocolate cupcakes topped with caramel buttercream with a hidden shortbread and caramel centre.

A running update

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’ve decided to take up running and I said I’d talk a bit more about it sometime. You may be wondering whether in the middle of a cupcake recipe is really the right fit for a running update, but there is a (somewhat tenuous) link. I mentioned to a friend a couple of weeks ago that I’d started and we decided that we’d encourage each other by signing up to do a 5k together. I’d just posted a picture of these on Facebook and so I promised that as our reward for completing it I’d make a batch of these to celebrate (see I told you it was tenuous).

I decided to take up running after feeling inspired watching the Olympics. I headed over to the BBC website feeling all motivated to get fit and completed their Which Sport Are You Made For quiz. I’d been secretly hoping it would suggest trampolining as that looks like a lot of fun but it came back with bowls. Bowls! Not exactly super active is it? It also suggested running and cycling as alternatives so running it was.

The main reason I’m sharing this with you all is that I don’t want to quit and if only Jon, my running friend and I know about the fact I’ve started it’s all too easy. I’m hoping that if I go a while without posting an update on here or twitter someone will come and give me a virtual kick and tell me to get back out there.

I’ve actually surprised myself how much I’ve enjoyed running. Don’t get me wrong pretty much every step of it while I’m out there I’m wishing I was sat at home with a cup of tea (and maybe a cupcake), but I love the fact that I’m getting a bit fitter, I love the fact that I’m slowly getting a bit better each time I go out, and I love the fact that I feel I’m setting a good example to the boys to get out there and exercise (not one they need right now as they’re always on the go, but hopefully it will help in future). As yet I wouldn’t say I’m actually a runner, I’m doing the couch to 5k challenge and I’m on week 4 where the longest you run without a break to walk is 5 minutes (it ramps up a lot over the next few weeks and I’m scared!), but each week I think I’ve reached my limit and yet I just about manage to push myself to complete the next session.

If you fancy giving running a try but don’t feel like you’re ready then I’d really recommend downloading the couch to 5k app and using that (and if you do, make sure you let me know how you’re getting on – I’d love to hear about it). My only other tip is to listen to something that makes you happy while you run. I’ve found that it’s much easier for me if I listen to comedy shows instead of music – it distracts me from what I’m doing and makes me smile. Do you run, what do you listen to?

Millionaires' Cupcakes - Chocolate cupcakes topped with caramel buttercream with a hidden shortbread and caramel centre.

Anyway, enough of that and back to the cupcakes. As well as sharing my recipe here I’ve made a quick video as part of my ongoing collaboration with Oven Pride…

Millionaires’ Cupcakes

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Makes 6 cupcakes


Chocolate cake

  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 2 large eggs
  • 115g soft butter/margarine
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp milk

Caramel buttercream

For the hidden centre

  • 2 shortbread biscuits (you can use this recipe if you’d like to make your own)
  • 2 tbsp caramel sauce


Chocolate cake

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan.
  2. Line a 6-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  3. Grate the milk chocolate (50g).
  4. Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl (100g self-raising flour, 20g cocoa powder, 115g caster sugar, 2 large eggs, 115g soft margarine, ¼ tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp milk and the grated chocolate) mix on a low speed until fully combined.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the cupcake cases.
  6. Put the tin in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Once cooked, remove the cakes from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack while you make the caramel buttercream.

Caramel buttercream

  1. Put the buttercream ingredients into a large bowl (150g butter, 150g caramel sauce, 150g icing sugar) and beat on a low speed until fully combined and smooth.

Build the cupcakes

  1. Use a pestle and mortar or rolling pin to crush the shortbread biscuits.
  2. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the centre of each cupcake.
  3. Add 1tsp of caramel sauce and then 1 tsp of crushed shortbread into the centre of each cupcake.
  4. Put the caramel buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe the buttercream on top of each cupcake.
  5. To finish sprinkle each cupcake with a little of the crushed shortbread.
  6. Enjoy


Millionaires' Cupcakes - Chocolate cupcakes topped with caramel buttercream with a hidden shortbread and caramel centre.

Nutritional Information

You probably don’t want to know – it’s quite a bit of running!


I’m sharing this recipe with the following blog challenges… CookBlogShare with Hijacked by Twins, Treat Petite with The Baking Explorer and CakeyboiWe Should Cocoa with Tin & Thyme and my own #TheFoodCalendar challenge for National Cupcake Week.


  1. I would LOVE to try this cupcakes but I don’t know anything about grams, etc. I tried to click on US versus metric but it wouldn’t work. So it is possible for you to put that recipe up in US measurements?? That would be so great & I really would appreciate it. Thank you, Marie Straub

  2. Oh my, these look amazing!! Caramel, chocolate and biscuit is probably the worlds best combo!

  3. I saw your recipe on Yummly. The cupcakes look very good but sorry I do not do the metric system.

  4. Cameron Kilmister

    The images from this recipe look amazing, so I thought I’d have a crack at baking them today. My cakes didn’t look as pretty as the pictures but the response from friends and my landlady were positive.

    (Also, first time replier but a long time admirer of your work).

    • Thanks so much Cameron. I don’t think it really matters what they look like as long as they taste good 🙂

  5. I saw these gorgeous cupcakes on treat petit and had to see how you made them. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with your photography and easy writing style. Well done with the running, I used to run 5k regularly, unfortunately a chronic injury stopped that. I didn’t listen to anything though. Just really enjoyed clearing my head and the fresh air. Beautiful blog I’m coming back for more.

    • Aww, thanks so much for your lovely comment. Such a shame about your injury, I hope it doesn’t cause you too many problems day to day x

  6. Wow Charlotte, you are excelling yourself. These look totally amazing and sound even better. I wish my photographs were a quarter as good as yours. We Should Cocoa only takes one recipe a month, so I’ve included your meringues as I got to them first rather than this one. But thanks for the thought. I’ve pinned entries and the round-up is now live.

  7. Beautiful cupcakes.

    I love the couch to 5k app too. I did take up running a little while back but had to stop (I think my running shoes weren’t up to scratch) due to injury. Have been hoping to get back out there… then maybe I can have some of these gorgeous cupcakes and not feel guilty.

    • Good luck if you decide to give it another go (and let me know how you get on). I had terrible trouble with blisters from my running shoes the first couple of times I went out, fortunately I seem to have got used to them now 🙂

  8. These look so good…. fab photos too! I love taking a classic biscuit or pie and turning it into cake…. But these are to die for!
    Impressed with your running antics too……. I so wanted to get into running in the summer, but I damaged my achilles tendons and it seems to be a ridiculously slow recovery…..

  9. Who needs money when you have these cupcakes!? I am SO obsessed with these gorgeous little numbers. And that caramel filling? To die for!

  10. these look like great fun – I could imagine how well they would go down at a party with everyone enjoying the hidden middle – And I like the sound of that buttercream – I had a disaster with caramel icing years ago but I think this looks more likely to be a success for me

    • The icing is really good, it took a bit of experimenting to get the flavour caramel-y enough and the right consistency but I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s also great for piping as if it gets a bit soft it can easily be firmed up a bit in the fridge (or if it’s a bit hard left out for a bit to soften).

  11. Oh Charlotte! WOW! I love millionaires shortbread and combining it with cupcakes is even better! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

  12. Oooh lovely cupcakes and fab to hear how you’ve been getting on with your running! I did something similar to C25K with my local running group – brilliant fun – I started in April and I the longest run I’ve done so far is 10 miles – something I had no idea I could achieve when I first started. That feeling of getting a little bit better and a little bit fitter each time is fab, isn’t it? And it has definitely inspired my kids – they recently took part in a mini joggers 1 mile race!! Though they went a lot faster than I normally would – I had a job keeping up with them!! I don’t actually listen to anything as I run – I’m either with people, so we chat, or when I’m on my own I just tend to get lost in my thoughts! Hope you keep enjoying it and good luck with the next few weeks as it ramps up – though I’m sure you will be as your legs will be ready for it!! Eb x

    • 10 miles! That’s brilliant 🙂

      I can’t imagine going anywhere near that far yet, I’m looking forward to just being able to run 1k without stopping (should hopefully manage that next week). I prefer to run by myself as I like make my routes up as I go along and I’m not sure anyone else would want to run around in circles with me!

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