2 Cups Strong Brewed Coffee, Hot
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
2 3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 sticks Butter, softened
2 Cups Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
11 oz. Kraft Caramel Bits
2 Tbsp. Instant Coffee
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Sticks Butter, Softened
6 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tbsp. Milk
4 tsp. Vanilla
Cake: In a medium bowl, or a two cup measuring cup, stir the cocoa powder into the hot coffee until dissolved. Set aside until cooled to room temperature, or place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.Once the cocoa/coffee mixture has cooled, preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners; set aside.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined; stir in the vanilla. Sprinkle 1.3 of the flour mixture over the bowl and mix until just combined. Add 1/2 of the chocolate mixture, mixing again until just combined. Repeat with reamining flour and chocolate mixtures, ending with flour. Mix only until flour is just incorporated. Do not over mix.
Place 2 tablespoons of batter in each cupcake liner. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Frosting: Stir instant coffee into the heavy cream to dissolve.
Over medium-low heat, cook caramel bits and heavy cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan for 3-5 minutes unti the caramel bits are completely melted, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool.
Place the butter, milk, and caramel sauce in large mixing bowl to combine. Add powdered sugar a little at a time and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
Pipe desired amount onto cupcakes. Then adorn cupcakes with caramel topping.