Easy Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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Let me tell you, caramel buttercream frosting is the magical twist that turns any ordinary baked goodie into pure dessert royalty. Its buttery vibe pairs with that smooth, slightly sticky vibe to kick things up, throwing a swooning party flavor that no one in their right mind can ever resist!

Caramel Frosting

Flashback to my earlier baking days, the chef noticed all my hard work and decided to throw a little celebration my way. I sat down at the table – and there it was, a fluffy cake with the loveliest caramel buttercream frosting on top. That incredible flavor didn’t just caress my sweet tooth; it practically set my baking passion on fire! Ah, good times.

What Makes Us So Crazy About Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe

  • Its buttery base is basically the VIP treatment for your taste buds. Then, cue the brown sugar and caramelized notes, which team up for this sweet and kinda nutty magic. Oh, and a sprinkle of salt also joins the crew to dial up the caramel flavor! 
  • This isn’t your average sugary-sweet buttercream; it also brings a bit of chewiness and a touch of sticky richness that gives each bite an awesome texture.
  • Those deep, warm tones of brown sugar and caramel wrap things up like cozy blankets, perfect for fall and winter treats! It’s often my go-to choice for pumpkin spice cakes, apple pie cupcakes, and crumbles.  
why do you love Caramel Frosting

And when you pour all your love into it, the frosting will take on this stunning, sorta see-through, glossy finish that turns any dessert into a real stunner!

  • Even apple and pear desserts totally vibe with brown caramel frosting. Their sweet, tangy moves dance perfectly with the warm caramel sweetness, a total power couple made in dessert heaven.

How To Make Caramel Buttercream Frosting For Cake

Caramel frosting Ingredient
Caramel frosting Ingredient

Step 1. 

Toss the brown sugar and butter into your saucepan on medium heat. Grab a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and give it a good stir while that butter is melting.

Once it’s all melty, switch to your whisk to really get them buddy-buddy. No oily business on the edges; we’re aiming for a smooth blend here!

Caramel Frosting step 1 2

(Ảnh sugar và butter trộn đều vào nhau)

Step 2.

Now that the brown sugar and melted butter have become best pals, throw in a pinch of salt and 4 ½ tablespoons (about 67.5 ml) of heavy cream. Whisk it all together, then take a break and pop in your candy thermometer. Do not let the bulb touch the pan’s bottom; you know, we want accurate readings, not some kitchen drama!

Step 3.

Let your caramel party boil, but don’t forget to give it a little whisk every 30 secs ‘til it reaches 110°C or 230°F. It usually hits the jackpot on my stove in less than 2 minutes!

Step 4. 

Time to take the saucepan off the heat, whisk it once more, and let it cool its jets for 1 to 2 minutes. 

Gently shift your salted caramel to a heat-tolerant mixing bowl that’s chillin’ on a wire cooling rack, then give it 20 minutes to cool down before we continue. You’ll see the caramel sauce getting a bit thicker during this chill time!

Caramel Frosting step 4

Step 5.

Caramel Frosting step 5 6

Now, grab your confectioners’ sugar and let it rain into the mix. Pour in the last 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of heavy cream. 

Whether you’ve got a handheld blender or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, start slow and then crank it up to high speed. Let it groove for a solid minute! 

What if the frosting is playing hard to get? I usually toss in an extra 1 or 1 ½ tablespoons of heavy cream. But watch out; too much mixing, and we risk the “break” and separation drama.

Step 6. 

You’ve got choices here. Ready to roll with a thin icing or glaze? Go for it. Or, just let it hang and thicken; the frosting’s gonna get a bit crusty as it chills, but that’s the charm. Just stir it up once you’re ready to roll! 

Thinking of piping this frosting? Let it cool down for about 20 to 30 minutes before you load up that piping bag. We all want it thick enough to nail that perfect pipeable consistency.

Finally, it’s showtime! Get your cookies and cream cake in the spotlight, and if you’re feeling extra, drizzle some salted caramel on top. The dessert dream is finally coming true, and you’re living in it! 


1.  Are you asking yourself, “Well, what’s next?”

Pop it in the fridge (covered), and it’s good to roll for 3 to 4 days. But fair warning: it’s gonna be pretty firm. I often toss it in a heat-tolerant bowl over some simmering water or bring out the double boiler to bring it back to life. Then, I stir it up until it’s silky smooth and back to room temperature. 

Freezing the whole batch isn’t the best idea, by the way, unless it’s already partied on a cake or cupcake.

2. My recipe for caramel frosting is your ticket to frosting glory for a sweet double-layer cake or 18 to 24 cupcakes. Want more? Amp it up 1.5x to 2x for bonus cupcakes! (though I do think doubling might be a bit too much sometimes). 

3. When it comes to creamy stuff, heavy whipping cream or heavy cream is the ultimate guy. But if you prefer half-and-half or whole milk, no problem!

Just skip anything too light, or your caramel dreams might turn into a separation saga. And so far, there’s been no successful non-dairy alternatives on my radar, so just stick with the heavy cream vibes only. 

4. Got any piping plan? Only trust the classics with a round tip. Star tips might not hold their shape well since this frosting is on the creamy/thinner side compared to your usual buttercream. 


How can I keep my homemade caramel buttercream frosting from getting all grainy?

Spread some corn syrup on your frosting.

Do I have to refrigerate it?

Yes, in the first two days. But after that, off to the freezer, it goes! 

What should I do if it’s too thin? 

Try simmering your frosting longer. It will concentrate the flavor and say goodbye to all the extra liquids!

More Unique Frosting Recipes:

Caramel Frosting

Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Rich, buttery, fudge-like heaven, all wrapped up with only 5 simple ingredients. It takes you less than 1 hour to whip up this fluffy bliss!
3 from 2 votes
Print Recipe Pin Comment
Course: Frosting
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 14 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 243kcal
Author: Brenda Maher


  • ¾ cup (12 tbsp; 170g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 same-sized pieces
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) packed dark or light brown sugar (you can use a mix of ¾ cup each)
  • 7 ½ tablespoons (112.5ml) heavy cream (better spare some extra to fix the frosting if it’s too dense)
  • 1 pinch salt (about ½ teaspoon)
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar (powdered)


  • Mix brown sugar and butter in a saucepan on medium heat until melted.
  • Add a pinch of salt and 4 ½ tablespoons of heavy cream, whisk together, and use a candy thermometer for accuracy.
  • Let the caramel boil, whisking until it hits 110°C or 230°F.
  • Remove from heat, whisk once, and let it cool for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a heat-tolerant bowl on a cooling rack for 20 minutes to thicken.
  • Add confectioners’ sugar and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream. Blend with a handheld or electric mixer on high for a minute. Adjust consistency with extra cream, but don’t overmix.
  • If piping, let your caramel icing cool for 20-30 minutes for the perfect consistency.


  • Pop it in the fridge for 3-4 days. Do not freeze the whole batch unless it’s already on a cake or cupcake.
  • Perfect for a double-layer cake or 18-24 cupcakes. 
  • Heavy whipping or heavy cream is recommended (but half-and-half or whole milk also works). Do not use anything too light.
  • Stick with the classic round tip when piping.


Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.4g | Protein: 0.8g | Fat: 16.9g | Saturated Fat: 10.6g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 40mg | Calcium: 33mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @cakegirls or tag #cakegirls!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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