Are Mars bars the finest chocolate bar ever created? Yes. Yes they are. Mars bars have got me through many an afternoon at work and I would eat several every day if I could. They are possibly my favourite chocolate bar and I decided I needed to make a cupcake based on them. Turns out these are my favourite cupcakes too!
I was so excited to make this cupcake (yes, really) and I am really pleased with how it turned out. I decided not to include any Mars bar in the actual cake other than a slice on top, but it is amazing how much the cupcakes do taste like Mars bar. The cupcake is made up of a caramel cake, filled with dulce de leche and topped with a chocolate icing made with butter and cream. Of course, you could add some chopped up Mars bar to the mixture if you like. I made these for work and I tripled the cake recipe but only doubled the icing recipe, so you’ll probably find you don’t need all the icing. Although you could always make a few more cupcakes
Mars bar cupcakes
For the cake:
80g (3oz) butter, softened (I used lightly salted. If you use unsalted add 1/4 tsp salt)
280g (10oz) caster (superfine) sugar
240g (8.5oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tbsp baking powder
240ml (8.5 fl oz) whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs
397g (14 oz) tin dulce de leche or caramel (I used Carnation)
For the icing:
85g (3 oz) plain chocolate (I used 50% cocoa solids)
285g (10oz) icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
340g (12 oz) butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
120ml (4 fl oz) double cream
2 full size Mars bars (Milky way bars in the US)
Preheat the oven to 190C (375F)/ 170C (340F) fan oven. Line one 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases and have another tin and a few more cases handy in case your mixture makes more (mine made 16).
Put the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder in a bowl and whisk using a hand-held electric whisk on a low speed (or you can make this in a freestanding mixer if you’re well rich) until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and looks fairly even in texture and colour.
In a jug, whisk the milk, vanilla and eggs by hand to combine. Pour three-quarters of the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk on a low speed until smooth and thick. Add the rest of the liquid and 150g (5.5 oz) of the dulce de leche/caramel and whisk in until the batter is smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all the ingredients are mixed in thoroughly.
Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases, filling each about 2/3rds full. If you have too much mixture for 12 cases then use your spare tin and extra cases to fill a few more. Bake in the oven for 16-20 minutes (mine took 16 minutes in a 170C fan oven). They will be well risen and springy. Cool for a few minutes in the tin and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, make the icing. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.
Put the butter in another bowl and sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Beat until blended and even. Add the cooled melted chocolate, vanilla and double cream and whisk until smooth and creamy. This should take a minute or so. Set aside while you fill the cupcakes.
Use a knife to cut a small cone out of the top of each cupcake (cut a circle about 2cm diameter with a knife inserted about halfway into the cake, at an angle pointed towards the middle). Fill the hole with about 1 tsp dulce de leche and then put the top back on, pressing it down. You won’t get it completely flat, and the caramel might ooze out a bit at the top, but you can cover this up with the icing!
Once you have filled all the cupcakes, ice them using either an icing bag fitted with a 1M tip (or any other you like), or just use a knife if you prefer. Top each cupcake with a slice of Mars bar. Now decide if you want to share them or if you just want to eat them all yourself.