5 Minute Fluffy Caramel Buttercream Frosting
Follow this recipe tutorial at home to make the best ever, fluffy caramel buttercream frosting for cakes and cupcakes. What’s the secret to fluffy buttercream frosting? Nailing ingredient ratios! Using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, this caramel frosting is easy to whip-up in 5 minutes. Both store bought and homemade caramel sauce work well here.
Where are all my caramel friends? Get ready for this caramel buttercream fluffy frosting recipe because it is just SO easy and delicious.
If you’ve come looking for frosting recipes for cakes and cupcakes, you’ve come to the right place! As a trained pastry chef I have spent YEARS making different buttercreams and icings. Some of my favorites- including this caramel one right here- are my rich chocolate buttercream frosting, or this packed with flavor, coffee buttercream frosting.
This quick caramel frosting recipe is super easy to make by combining just a few simple ingredients together. You can use either store bought caramel sauce (store bought is fine. hehehe) or you can make your own. Either way you’ll have a sweet and delicious caramel frosting waiting to top your favorite desserts! I usually slather it all over this layered caramel cake!
I love to pipe this caramel buttercream on top of these super easy to make caramel cupcakes, and these chocolate cupcakes. Or sometimes I will swap out my cream cheese buttercream recipe or brown sugar buttercream for this luscious topping instead!
Since this is an American buttercream frosting you only need a few pantry staples you probably already have in your house.
This caramel icing is made only of unsalted butter, confectioners sugar, caramel sauce, and small amounts of milk and salt.
- Unsalted Butter– this will need to be at room temperature. If you forget to soften your butter I have a whole post on how to soften butter quickly.
- Powdered Sugar– AKA confectioners sugar, or 10x as we called it when I was training at Le Cordon Bleu
- Caramel sauce– Homemade caramel sauce, or store bought is fine!
- Milk– any kind
- Kosher salt– you can add as much or as little as you want
How to make caramel buttercream
- First decide if you will be using homemade caramel sauce or store bought, either is fine!
- With a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on low speed for 1-2 mins. Stop the the mixer then add in the 10x ( were just gonna call it this from now on and you can feel fancy that you call it this!) Mix on low working up to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes.
- Add in the caramel sauce with the mixer on low speed.
- Add in the milk and salt. Mix on medium for 2 minutes and you’re done!
Store bought vs homemade caramel
It really doesn’t matter. If you have store bought caramel in the fridge go for it. If you want to make your own then go for that too! You can even melt down some of those caramel candies and use those as well. So many options!
Yield of recipe
This caramel frosting recipe makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes, 1 9×13 inch sheet cake, or fill and frost a 2 layer 8″ cake
Storage & Freezing
I like to store my buttercream in plastic wrap and either keep it on the counter if I am using it the next day or in the freezer if I am making it in advance. It does not have to be refrigerated if you make it up to 3 days in advance.
Otherwise you can freeze the icing in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge and give it another whirl in the stand mixer before you use it.
Tips for recipe success
Honestly this type of buttercream is really hard to mess up. If it looks too runny, you just add a bit more 10x to thicken it up. If it looks too dry, add a little bit more milk (1 tsp) at a time to loosen it.
Usually when I am not baking for the blog, I don’t even measure my ingredients because all I really care about is the texture of it, and you can tweak it just by looking and tasting it!
Last thing, make sure to keep your butter at room temperature for it to cream well!
Ways to use this recipe
- On chocolate cake
- In between these salted caramel chocolate chip cookies (ermagersh can you imagine)
- Pipe it on top of this salted caramel cheesecake
- On top of these mini cheesecake bites!
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5 Minute Fluffy Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/3 cup caramel sauce, store bought, or homemade
- 1 tbsp milk, or cream
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt, or 1/2 tsp if you like it salty
- In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and add in the confectioners sugar. Start with the speed on low and work up to medium speed. Beat for 2 minutes.
- Scrape down the mixer. With the mixer running on low, add the caramel sauce in a steady stream. Add the milk and salt and beat for 3 minutes.