This past week I wanted to recreate a salted caramel drip cake I made a few years ago. This meant I needed to make some caramel, and of course, salted caramel frosting!!
I used my caramel sauce recipe to flavor this frosting, and to make the drip on my cake! It’s super versatile, and can be used in so many different ways.
The Secret Ingredient: Homemade Caramel
I know that making caramel sauce from scratch can seem intimidating if you’ve never tried it before. When I was a kid, I remember seeing caramel made in giant copper kettles at candy stores.
I was convinced it was some complicated process, that must require all kinds of special equipment. But the truth of the matter is, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
In fact, my caramel is made without a thermometer, with just four ingredients. A batch can be made in about 5 minutes. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
All you need is sugar, butter, heavy cream, and a bit of salt. The only part that is a little scary is melting down the sugar.
My biggest tip when doing this is to add the sugar in gradually. I add about a quarter of a cup at a time.
This helps the granulated sugar liquify more quickly, and minimizes clumping. It makes a world of a difference.
However, I didn’t know to do that when I first started making caramel. I used to just dump it all in at once.
The caramel will still turn out if you add all the sugar at once, but it takes a lot longer to melt down.
American Buttercream Frosting Base
Like almost all of my frosting recipes, this salted caramel frosting has an American buttercream base.
American buttercream is the simplest (and sweetest) of all the buttercream out there.
I like it for both of these reasons. American buttercream is pretty much butter and powdered sugar, and is incredibly easy to make.
This frosting base comes together in less than 5 minutes, and keeps in the fridge for up to a month!
I also have a huge sweet tooth, and grew up eating sugary desserts and tons of candy.
If you’re used to eating sweets here in the US, or like classic American baked goods, you will love this frosting recipe.
However, some people do prefer less sweet buttercream like Swiss Meringue buttercream, or Italian buttercream.
Different strokes for different folks!
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Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your triumphs, or questions <3
If you try this salted caramel frosting recipe, please let me know what you think of it.
You can also tag me on social media @chelsweets, and use #chelsweets.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (42 grams)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature (57 grams)
- pinch of table salt (1 gram)
Salted Caramel Frosting
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (434 grams)
- 7 cups powdered sugar (907 grams) - or a 2 lb bag
- 1 tsp table salt (6 grams)
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream (or whipping cream) (15 grams)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
- 1/3 cup of caramel sauce - recipe above (108 grams)
- Begin by making the caramel sauce. Turn stove onto medium heat, and place a pot over element.
- Pour in sugar gradually, adding 1/4 cup at a time. Wait until the sugar is mostly liquified, then add the remaining sugar.
- As the sugar melts, it will gradually deepen in color.
- Stir occasionally until the sugar is fully dissolved, and is an amber color.
- Turn off the heat.
- Mix in butter slowly (1 Tbsp at a time), then stir in cream and salt. The mixture will be very thin, but will thicken as it cools.
- Pour into a separate container, then place in fridge to cool for 20 minutes.
- As the caramel cools, make the caramel buttercream.
- Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle or whisk attachment, until smooth. Mix in the vanilla and salt on a low speed.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with the heavy cream and caramel, which will help thin the frosting.
- Beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
Paddle Attachment vs. Whisk Attachment
Either a paddle or whisk attachment can be used to make this frosting. I like to use my paddle attachment when making frosting for a cake, to minimize the amount of air that is incorporated into the frosting. This makes silky smooth frosting, which is easier to smooth onto cakes.
I use my whisk attachment when making frosting for cupcakes, which I like to be light and fluffy! I like to incorporate air into frosting for cupcakes, because I usually pipe massive swirls onto each cupcake.
The caramel sauce recipe will yield about 3/4 of a cup of caramel, but you will only need 1/3 cup for this salted caramel buttercream. It's hard to make that small of a batch though, so I prefer to make enough to have some leftover for topping ice cream or cupcakes!
I like to pour my extra caramel in a squirt bottle (for drizzling over cakes), but a mason jar or Tupperware container would work great too.
This caramel will keep for several weeks in the fridge. I usually store it in a plastic bottle (and pop it into the microwave to reheat it), but an airtight container would work great!
How Much Buttercream Do You Need?
I usually make 1 1/2 batches of frosting to stack and frost a seven or eight inch cake. If you decide to make this amount, you'd need to use 162 grams of a caramel sauce.
One batch of frosting can be used to frost about 24 cupcakes with large swirls.
Amount Per Serving Calories 328Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 48mgSodium 122mgCarbohydrates 43gFiber 0gSugar 43gProtein 0g