- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin plus 2 cups of another muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Cook gently, swirling the butter in the pan occasionally, until milk solids turn a deep golden color and butter is fragrant, 5-7 minutes.
- With a paring knife, cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds with the back of the knife.
- In a large bowl or a stand mixer with paddle attachment beat sugar, brown butter, and vanilla bean seeds. Add milk and beat until sugar is dissolved. Add eggs and beat until combined. Add flour and mix until just incorporated.
- Fill muffin cups ⅔ full and bake until golden, 20-25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in pan, then cool completely on a rack.
- Using a hand mixer, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add cream, sugar, coffee, and vanilla. Beat 1-2 minutes or until frosting is whipped.
- Meanwhile, make caramel. In a small saucepan combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high and cook without stirring until melted sugar is a dark golden color. Take off heat and carefully add cream, stirring constantly.
- To serve, frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and drizzle with caramel sauce.