Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting recipe is a sweet and salty frosting full of sweet, buttery goodness! Perfect frosting for apple or pumpkin cake.
I made this Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting recipe to pair with my Pumpkin Spice Cake.
The cake’s pumpkin spice combo just called for a salted caramel frosting recipe 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 cake, apple, spice, or pumpkin cakes, and, really, there’s no wrong flavor of cake to go with this yummy frosting.
- Butter: It’s important to use room temperature butter so that the softened butter will mix well with the other ingredients. I use salted butter. Feel free to use unsalted butter if you prefer.
- Salted caramel sauce: You can use homemade caramel sauce or store-bought caramel sauce.
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
- Kosher salt: Or use a similar salt like sea salt. Table salt is saltier, so, if using table salt, use half the amount.
How to make salted caramel buttercream frosting
Step 1: Add the butter to a large mixing bowl. Beat butter on medium speed for 1 minute.
Step 2: Add caramel sauce and vanilla extract, and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
Step 3: Add the powdered sugar and salt. Mix in until well-incorporated.
Step 4: Use to frost cake, cupcakes, cookies, and more!
You can! You will need a thicker caramel sauce, not a thinner caramel syrup. A thinner caramel syrup will give you a thinner or runny consistency.
It is! Even with its light texture, the frosting can be piped with a piping bag.
The caramel icing can be used to frost cupcakes or a layer cake, or it can be used to in between macarons or cookies.
I recommend storing the frosting or any cake or cupcakes frosted with this frosting in an airtight container the refrigerator.
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Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 1/3 cup salted caramel sauce at cool room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- Pinch Kosher salt
- With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium for 1 minute.
- Add salted caramel sauce. and vanilla extract, and beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add powdered sugar and salt, and beat on low until powdered sugar is incorporated.
- Increase speed to medium, and beat until smooth and well-combined, about 2-3 additional minutes.
- Butter: I like to use salted butter in this recipe. You can use unsalted butter and adjust the salt level with salt as needed.
- Caramel sauce: Here is the recipe to make salted caramel sauce. If you would like to use a jarred caramel, make sure you get a thicker sauce and not a thinner topping.
- Salt: Also, add a pinch or two of a finishing salt for the “salted” flavor!
- Nutrition values are estimates.
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Originally published 11/4/13. Updated 9/14/20.
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Comments & Reviews
hello can use the caramel
sauce for filling the cupcakes?
Room temperature caramel sauce wouldn’t work well as a filling for cupcakes. However, the frosting could be used a filling for cake or cupcakes.
Hi Kate! I want to make these cupcakes tomorrow for Christmas, ANZ I had a question about your caramel sauce recipe. Can I use regular or sea salt instead of the flue de sel? And if I didn’t want to make homemade caramel, can I buy the smuckers kind to use?
Hi! The Smuckers jarred caramel sauce should work fine. Sea salt tends to be a bit saltier than fleur de sel, but you can use it. I would just start with a pinch or two of salt and then add more to taste. Merry Christmas!
Seema N. P. says
Kate–this looks delicious, can I make the buttercream in advance and freeze it for 3 days before using? If so, what are the defrost instructions?
Hi! I’ve frozen the frosting on layer cake and on cupcakes, but I haven’t tried to freeze it and then use it. When I’ve frozen it, I’ve just let the frosted cake or cupcake sit at room temperature to defrost.
The best buttercream I have tasted and your caramel too. It’s so smooth and is perfect with chocolate cupcakes!!!! I love your recipes!!!!
hi! can I use caramel syrup as a sub for the sauce possibly?
Hi! You’ll need a thicker caramel sauce and not thinner caramel syrup.