Cakes

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Salted Caramel Buttercream FrostingI made this Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting recipe to pair with my Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake.

The cake’s pumpkin/spice combo just called for some salted caramel buttercream frosting to go with the rich, earthy flavors flavors in the cake.

This sweet and salty buttercream would be delicious paired with just about any cake, though. It goes especially well with chocolate, apple, spice, or pumpkin cakes, but, really, there’s no wrong flavor of cake to go with this easy, yummy frosting.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
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Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Servings 24

Ingredients

  • 1 c butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 c salted caramel sauce* at cool room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • Pinch Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium for 1 minute.
  2. Add salted caramel sauce and vanilla extract, and beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Add powdered sugar and salt, and beat on low until powdered sugar is incorporated.
  4. Increase speed to medium, and beat until smooth and well-combined, about 2-3 additional minutes.
  5. This will make enough for a 2-layer 9-inch cake or about 24 cupcakes.

Recipe Notes

*Here is the recipe to make salted caramel sauce.

**If you would like to use a jarred caramel, make sure you get a thicker topping and not a thinner sauce. Also, add a pinch or two of a finishing salt for the "salted" flavor!

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44 Comments

  • Reply
    Han
    October 7, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Hi Kate,

    I was wondering if it requires unsalted butter or salted butter for the recipe?

    • Reply
      Kate
      October 9, 2017 at 10:23 am

      You can use either one. I use salted butter. However, if you use unsalted butter, you can better control the salt level in the frosting.

  • Reply
    Kasanda
    August 1, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    How can i make salted caramel ?? Pls share the recipe ❤

    • Reply
      Kate
      August 1, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      Sorry about that! The recipe used to link to the salted caramel sauce; I’ll have to re-link it. Here is the recipe link.

  • Reply
    zoe
    January 9, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Mmmmm! I’m making gingerbread cupcakes for my friends birthday tomorrow and all the websites have been recommending caramel buttercream, but this is the only recipe I can find that doesn’t use double/heavy cream, which we haven’t got any of!! Thanks so much, can’t wait to sneak myself a cupcake ;)

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 10, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Glad you found the recipe then! The gingerbread and caramel sound like a yummy combo!

  • Reply
    Karen
    February 12, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    I just made this for my husband’s birthday cake — and we stood in the kitchen, scraping the bowl like little kids. Such a good recipe!!!

    I made a simple caramel sauce: 1/4 c. butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar — stir until melted and smooth. Add in 1 tsp vanilla and 3 Tbsp. milk — heat to bubbling, while stirring to keep it smooth. It worked great and took just a couple of minutes. (Plus cooling time)

    • Reply
      Kate
      February 13, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      Thank you so much!! And thanks for sharing your simple caramel sauce recipe! I’ll have to give that a try. =)

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    amanda hanegan
    October 28, 2014 at 10:23 am

    how long will the frosting keep in the fridge? im anxious to try it-it looks delicious!

    • Reply
      Kate
      October 28, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks! I’m not sure how long it would last because we’ve always eaten the frosting within a day. I would guess that it would keep for two days, but I’m not really sure beyond that.

  • Reply
    Marya
    September 9, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Seems to run a little bit after it has been on several hours.

    • Reply
      Kate
      September 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Since it’s a buttercream frosting, you’ll want to refrigerate it. I don’t know how long it’s safe to leave it out for, but I always put mine in the fridge to be on the safe side.

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    September 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I found this and I’m about to try it on my apple pie cupcakes. It sounds good!! I’m excited!!

    • Reply
      Kate
      September 8, 2014 at 7:53 am

      That sounds like a great combination! =)

  • Reply
    Nichole
    June 20, 2014 at 1:33 am

    This looks yummy! I can’t wait to try it on my new Mexican chocolate Cupcakes for a Girl’s night out I am going to.

    • Reply
      Kate
      June 20, 2014 at 8:27 am

      That sounds like a great combination! I hope you enjoy your cupcakes and your night out! =)

  • Reply
    Rainbow
    May 5, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Would love the recipe for the browned butter pumpkin spice cake…

  • Reply
    Sarah
    March 29, 2014 at 1:58 am

    Can I make this icing one day in advance? I am very excited to make it and assemble my cake and I have no patience! I made your salted caramel sauce and it is so lovely! I think I may have cooked it a little bit longer than I should’ve but it tastes good nevertheless, just the slightest bit bitter, sort of like a hint of liqueur, yum yum!

    • Reply
      Kate
      March 30, 2014 at 9:23 am

      I think it would be fine. It held up well in the fridge on my frosted cake, so I would think it would work. Thanks so much! I’ve done that before, too, and I ended up with a caramel that had a hint of burnt sugar. Glad you liked it! =)

  • Reply
    Izzati Noris
    February 22, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Do you think it would be safe to put fondant over this? Or will the fondant melt?

    • Reply
      Kate
      February 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Sorry, but I’ve never worked with fondant. So, I’m not sure how well it would work out.

      • Reply
        Izzati Noris
        March 6, 2014 at 6:17 pm

        Tried it! Worked well but I had to add extra powdered sugar for the top and side crumb coating. Still tasted fantastic though. Everyone loved it. Thank you!

        • Reply
          Kate
          March 9, 2014 at 10:02 am

          Great! I’m glad to hear that it worked out for you! =)

  • Reply
    Andrea
    February 15, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Hi, I love homemade frostings and make them all the time, so I can’t wait to try this one, too. I am curious if it must be kept refrigerated or not; it looks like it should be pretty stable unless it’s very hot out. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

    • Reply
      Kate
      February 22, 2014 at 9:09 am

      It is pretty stable. I had it out at room temp for a couple hours, and it was fine during that time (long enough for me to assemble a cake, photograph it, and then for us to eat it). I did refrigerate the leftover cake/frosting, though.

  • Reply
    Betty
    February 14, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Where can you find the salted caramel sauce

  • Reply
    Kate
    February 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Is it alright to just use caramel topping for the caramel sauce?

    • Reply
      Kate
      February 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      I’ve never made the frosting with caramel topping. I would guess that it would work, but I can’t say for sure. If you want the salted caramel flavor, you may need to adjust the salt accordingly, though, since the salted caramel sauce will be a little less sweet and a little more salty than caramel topping.

  • Reply
    Jeri Ann Guth
    November 22, 2013 at 9:43 am

    I would like to try this in a jiffy. Do you think store bought salted caramel sauce would work?

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 22, 2013 at 10:01 am

      I haven’t tried it, but I would guess that it would work. Good luck! =)

  • Reply
    Heather @ Sugar Dish Me
    November 16, 2013 at 9:03 am

    This looks awesome!!! Yum! I bet it would be great on all the cakes ever ever anywhere! Thanks for sharing this at Saturday Night Fever — pretty sure I’ll be making this one soon!

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks so much, Heather!! =)

  • Reply
    Andi @ The Weary Chef
    November 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Oh how I love salted caramel, so this would surely be my favorite frosting ever. Thanks so much for tempting me with this tasty recipe at Saturday Night Fever!

  • Reply
    Clarissa
    November 13, 2013 at 1:13 am

    Literally made this mere minutes ago. Almost cried. Almost died. Seriously thinking about calling off work tomorrow. I can’t wait for my family to wake up and try it tomorrow on my first made from scratch chocolate cake! Ugh, why would I make this while on a diet? Lol perhaps I’ll make this my cheat for the week.

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 13, 2013 at 6:59 am

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! I’m so glad that you like the frosting!! And congrats on making your first scratch chocolate cake! =)

  • Reply
    Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life
    November 12, 2013 at 12:38 am

    I so eager to try this frosting recipe and your salted caramel sauce. I’ve tried other caramel sauce recipes before and they’ve flopped but the two comment above give me hope that this is the one that I’ll be successful with. Would you be willing to share this recipe post and any of your other great ones at our Making Monday link party? We would love it and think our readers will, too. Thanks. Have a great week. http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/making-monday-13-2/

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks!! =)

  • Reply
    Stacy
    November 9, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Wow! That’s all I can say. Made this last night to top chocolate cupcakes. So so yummy! Perfect, in fact! I have tried making caramel before a few times and it has been a disaster. With your recipes, I nailed it!!! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      It took me multiple tries to find a workable caramel recipe, so I completely get that! I’m so glad that you liked the sauce and the frosting!! Thanks for coming back to let me know!! =)

  • Reply
    Danielle @ TheBestDessertRecipes.com
    November 8, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    This frosting looks FANTASTIC. I can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks!! I hope you enjoy it! =)

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