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Easy Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Thanks for sharing!

Top your favorite treats with this easy to make caramel buttercream. Just imagine all of the cakes, cupcakes and cookies it could go on!

chocolate cupcakes topped with rosettes of light tan caramel buttercream ready to eat.

Sweet caramel goodness in a super delicious buttercream makes for a perfect frosting. This recipe whips up in minutes and is perfect for piping and decorating.

It holds its shape and tastes delicious!  It is the perfect topping to any desserts that could benefit from a touch of caramel goodness.

Making a rich caramel frosting doesn’t have to be complicated. This recipe doesn’t require any candy thermometers or saucepans.

It is so quick and easy you can be decorating your cake or cupcakes in just a matter of minutes. It is a fun twist on American buttercream, which is the least complicated version of frosting to make.

When I originally created this recipe, I used to to top some carrot cake cupcakes. It was a yummy combination.

This time I made some chocolate cupcakes and toasted some coconut to go on top. It was reminiscent of a German chocolate cake only quicker and with fluffier frosting!

It would also be amazing on vanilla cake or imagine it spread over a tasty apple cake. The possibilities really are endless, so bake up your favorite cake and make a batch today.

Original Post from 2019

This week is going to be a fun one. This frosting is just the start of something scrumptious.  The next few days are going to build to something fun for your Easter table.

pouring caramel into mixing bowl full of buttercream

It started with the want to make some carrot cake cupcakes. Don’t worry, I’m sharing the recipe tomorrow. (Be sure to check out how I made them into a carrot shaped cupcake cake as well!)

Those cupcakes would of course need some frosting. I usually top my carrot cakes with cream cheese frosting.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling spunky, I go with maple cream cheese frosting. It is super delicious and adds a little warmth to the mix.

mixer bowl full of easy caramel buttercream frosting.

This particular day and for this particular project, cream cheese frosting just wasn’t going to work. I needed something that didn’t need refrigeration and something that would hold it’s shape.

I had a bit of caramel sauce that was calling my name. I figured it would be an easy way to add flavor and warmth to the frosting.

rosettes of caramel buttercream on carrot cupcakes next to piping bag of more frosting.

Using a premade caramel sauce makes getting the flavor really easy. You can find nice rich, thick caramel sauce in the grocery store. It is usually by the coffees or near the ice cream. However, feel free to use your own homemade caramel sauce if you have a favorite recipe.

The final result was lip smacking (and finger licking) good. The final color was just golden enough to give a hint of the caramel inside.

It piped beautifully on the cupcakes and was perfect on its own. They were also great with a smattering of chopped pecans and a drizzle of caramel.

caramel buttercream on cupcakes with a caramel drizzle and pecan bits.

I cannot wait to let this project unfold for you. I hope you’ll follow along.  In the meantime, what kind of treat would you but this frosting on first?

Tips for Getting the Best Buttercream

Because this recipe is a slight twist on a traditional American buttercream, it is almost fool proof. There are a few tips to get it perfect every time.

The first is to start with room temperature butter. It should be soft, but not wimpy.

You want your mixer to be able to make it super smooth with no chunks of hard butter. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of times to make sure no chunks of butter are hiding out.

That and powdered sugar that isn’t too clumpy will ensure smooth buttercream.

Use your paddle attachment on your mixer to keep to much air from getting whipped into the frosting. While you want it to be light and fluffy, using the whisk attachment can cause too many air bubbles which will affect the texture of your final product and will make it hard to get a smooth finish on your cake.

chocolate cupcakes with swirls of caramel buttercream and toasted coconut on top.

You can either use salted butter or add a pinch of salt or both. Taste it and adjust to your liking.

The salt adds balance with all the sweetness of caramel and powdered sugar. Plus caramel and salt are a classic combination for a reason.

You can even add a little bit of extra salt if you want to make a salted caramel frosting. There is just something about rich caramel with a hit of salt.

Have fun! Frosting is supposed to be fun. So enjoy the process and have fun decorating!

What is the best way to store American buttercream?

American buttercream can be stored at room temperature for up to two days.  Just make sure to keep it covered so it doesn’t form a crust.  
For longer storage, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze for up to two months. Just bring the frosting to room temperature and whip before using.  

Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Yield: 24 Servings

Easy Caramel Buttercream Frosting

chocolate cupcakes topped with rosettes of light tan caramel buttercream ready to eat.

This easy caramel buttercream frosting recipes uses caramel sauce to get big caramel flavor without needing a candy thermometer. You can use homemade caramel sauce or buy a jar at the grocery store. Either way you are sure to end up with a perfectly fluffy American-style buttercream that is perfect for using on layer cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup caramel topping
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Beat butter using a hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment until soft and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla, caramel topping, and salt, mixing until combined.
  3. Stir in powdered sugar on low speed.
  4. Add desired amount of cream. Beat on medium-high speed for at least 2 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  5. Adjust the final consistency by adding a little more cream or powdered sugar.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 0g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

This easy caramel buttercream frosting recipes uses caramel sauce to get big caramel flavor without needing a candy thermometer. You can use homemade caramel sauce or buy a jar at the grocery store. Either way you are sure to end up with a perfectly fluffy American-style buttercream that is perfect for using on layer cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more.

Thanks for sharing!

Rita

Saturday 23rd of July 2022

I need to make a stiff salted caramel frosting to hold up to temperature. Can I use 1/2 butter 1/2 Crisco? Please let me know. Thanks so much! Can't wait to try!

Carlee

Sunday 24th of July 2022

That should work great! Enjoy!

Karen

Tuesday 15th of June 2021

I just made this icing instead of cream I used Baileys Salted Caramel to give it a little extra kick. It tasted great.

Carlee

Tuesday 15th of June 2021

That sounds amazing!!!

Che

Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

Hi there, I would really love to use this recipe as it looks so delicious. Would I be able to use food colouring in this recipe to change the color it's for a babyshower .

Carlee

Thursday 4th of March 2021

You can color it, but because it's not bright white to start with you may need a bit more coloring to get the color you want. I used it to make a carrot cupcake cake and the colors worked well, but really muted pale colors might not be perfect.

Amy

Thursday 25th of February 2021

I love how you drizzled the caramel on top of this Fabulous Caramel Buttercream Frosting. I wasn't sure that there was a way to improve on Frosting, but this may be it!

Carlee

Thursday 25th of February 2021

If a little caramel is good, more is better right?! Thank you!

Karen @karenskitchenstories

Sunday 21st of February 2021

This sounds sooooo delicious. Caramel is one of my favorite sweets so adding it to frosting is such a great idea.

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