Easy to make delicious caramel buttercream in just a few minutes. Perfect for topping cupcakes, layer cakes or special celebration cakes.
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…
- I love this buttercream and I wanted to share it with you.
- 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.
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.
What You’ll Need
Before you start, make sure you have all of the equipment needed.
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- Weighing Scales
- Measuring Spoons
- Knife – to cut the butter
- Electric Mixer (or a bowl and hand mixer or wooden spoon)
- 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.
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- 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).
- 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.
Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.
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.
Free From/Suitable For…
- Suitable for Vegetarians
The ingredients for this recipe are commonly available free from all these allergens. However, please ensure you double-check allergen information for all ingredients.
I have made this today with my 6yo. The buttercream tastes lovely but is far too loose to pipe. I’ve added more icing sugar but it’s still very loose. We made the caramel this morning using your recipe.
Where did I go wrong?
Charlotte Oates says
Is it possible that you used a margarine/spread/spreadable butter rather than block butter? This is the usual reason why buttercream is overly soft.
Oh wow! I made this yesterday to use with your easy chocolate cake and it is without a doubt the smoothest, silkiest most delicious buttercream I have ever tasted. I am the person who usually scrapes the buttercream of a dessert as I find most of them way too sweet and cloying apart from Ermine Frosting, but I could eat this caramel buttercream with a spoon it is so good. I used my own homemade caramel sauce and it really was perfect, thank you for the recipe, I think this will be my go to buttercream on all this chocolate as the flavours go so well together.
If I am making this buttercream using your homemade caramel sauce recipe, can frosted cupcakes be left out at room temperature for a couple days or does the buttercream have to be refrigerated (because of the cream?)
Charlotte Oates says
The cream is cooked so you should have no problem keeping this at room temperature providing it is not terribly hot.
Can I use white food coloring with this caramel frosting?
Charlotte Oates says
You can, but I would expected it to give a lighter yellow rather than white.