Caramel Buttercream

Easy to make delicious caramel buttercream in just a few minutes. Perfect for topping cupcakes, layer cakes or special celebration cakes. 

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A close up of a caramel cupcake topped with a swirl of caramel buttercream with more cupcakes in the background.

Happy New Year! Welcome to my first recipe post of 2017 (although I did share Josh’s cars and lorries birthday cake in my gallery a few days ago).

Everywhere I look so far this year I’m seeing super healthy recipes for all those people who’ve made resolutions to eat a bit better this year (including me, although you wouldn’t know it from this!). I’m staging a little rebellion on here and sharing my caramel buttercream recipe because…

  1. I love this buttercream and I wanted to share it with you.
  2. If you’re anything like me then you won’t be able to stick to completely healthy resolutions. I’ve actually been really good so far this year but I’m the sort of person that needs to have the occasional treat. I’d seriously recommend this buttercream on top of your favourite cupcakes if you’re in need of one.

A cooling rack full of caramel cupcakes and a piping bag full of caramel buttercream ready for icing.I have actually shared this recipe before as the topping of my millionaires’ cupcakes (chocolate cupcakes with a hidden caramel and shortbread centre, topped with caramel buttercream and sprinkled with a little extra shortbread). However, I decided that it deserved a post in its own right so that it’s really easy for you all to find when you need it.

A swirl of caramel buttercream being piped onto a caramel cupcake.

What You’ll Need

Before you start, make sure you have all of the equipment needed.

NOTE – These are affiliate links which means that if you purchase from Amazon after clicking on one the product links below I may earn a small commission. All of the products linked are ones I use in my kitchen.

  • Weighing Scales
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Knife – to cut the butter
  • Electric Mixer (or a bowl and hand mixer or wooden spoon)
  • Sieve
  • Piping Bags – if you’re planning on piping the cupcakes
  • Piping Nozzle – To pipe the cupcakes as shown in the pictures you’ll need a JEM 1B nozzle.

5 from 3 votes

Caramel Buttercream

Easy to make delicious caramel buttercream in just a few minutes. Perfect for topping cupcakes, layer cakes or special celebration cakes. 
Active Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 9 servings


  • 150 g butter - soft at room temperature
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 150 g caramel sauce - you can use ready made or make your own using my recipe – you’ll need 1 batch.


  • Cut the butter (150g) into cubes and then beat it (by hand or with an electric mixer on a low speed) until soft.
  • Beat in the icing sugar (150g) (I do this a tablespoon at a time to avoid it flying everywhere and covering my kitchen).
  • Once the butter and icing sugar are fully combined, beat in the caramel sauce (150g).


This recipe makes enough icing for 9 cupcakes (decorated as in the pictures) or to cover and fill a 7″ (17.5cm) round layer cake.
You can find the recipe for the caramel cupcakes hiding under the caramel buttercream here. If you fancy using a different flavour of cupcake you can find all of my recipes in my cupcake index.
A few extra notes for buttercream success...
  • If you’re making your own caramel sauce to use in this recipe then make it in advance and leave it in the fridge to cool completely before using it for your buttercream.
  • Make sure your butter is soft (but not melted) before you start. I take mine out of the fridge a couple of hours before I want to make buttercream or I find that my buttercream can end up a little bit lumpy.
  • If you want your buttercream really smooth then make sure you keep your mixer on a low speed. It’s tempting to turn the speed up to get it made quicker, but I find that this adds little air bubbles. If your buttercream starts to get a little soft then pop it into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to firm up a little before using it.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 13mg | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 12.9% | Calcium: 1.1%
Any nutritional information shown is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you want to learn more about how this is calculated.

Looking down on a piping bag full of caramel buttercream surrounded by caramel cupcakes.

How to make salted caramel buttercream

If you’re a fan of salted caramel then this buttercream can be easily adapted by simply mixing in a little ground rock salt. I find that everyone I meet likes a different level of salt (as I didn’t each much when I was little I notice if only a small amount is added). To get it just right I’d suggest adding a few twists at a time, beating it in to make sure it’s evenly distributed, have a little taste and add some more if you think it’s needed.

If you’re piping the buttercream you should be fine with a large nozzle, but may have trouble with the salt crystals causing blockages in a smaller nozzle.

Six caramel cupcakes topped with caramel buttercream no a wooden board with cake forks.

Free From/Suitable For…

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Egg-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Nut-Free
  • Soy-Free

The ingredients for this recipe are commonly available free from all these allergens. However, please ensure you double-check allergen information for all ingredients.

Easy to make delicious caramel buttercream in just a few minutes. Perfect for topping cupcakes, layer cakes or special celebration cakes.

I’m sharing this with the following blog challenge… #CookBlogShare with Sneaky Veg.


  1. Thank you so much for your caramel buttercream, sauce and cupcake recipes. Made some today and they were a huge hit!

  2. This looks amazing, I’m definitely going to give it a go on the weekend. One question though; do you think this would work well as a donut filling?

  3. These look amazing!! Both the cupcake and the frosting. I’m making this for a party tomorrow and was wondering if it’s alright to frost the cupcakes tonight? It won’t melt or anything? It’s sort of still winter here so I’m hoping it should be alright? Thanks!!

    • It should be fine if where you are is cool. If you expect it to be warm them you can store them in the fridge, just let them come up to room temperature before serving so the cake is soft.

  4. Holly Schwennesen

    Made this today and it is divine. I’m just starting to branch out into adding extra flavours to my cakes/icings and this recipe is going to be a keeper. I also used your caramel sauce recipe, yum. I will be making these both again. I’ll also be looking at your other recipes. Thank you.

  5. This buttercream is addictive, once you start eating it you just can’t stop. I used your coffee cupcake recipe and the combination were divine.

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