Salted Caramel Frosting just may be the best frosting on earth. It brings together all of the best flavors to create a frosting that meets all of your salty & sweet desires.

Piping this caramel frosting on chocolate cupcakes instantly elevates them from basic to extraordinary with hardly any extra effort. And I highly recommend trying this frosting on top of a delicious chocolate brownie! Don't miss any of my cake recipes where you could use this frosting!

An image of a cupcake in front of a jar of caramel sauce with caramel dripping off the frosting.

I was never the kid who ate the frosting and left the cupcake. In fact, usually I would scrape the frosting off and only eat the cake portion of a dessert.

But that was usually because people would so often serve cupcakes with store-bought canned frosting. Which, I'm sorry, but yuck. No thank you!

Homemade frosting is so far superior as to be almost a completely different food, in my opinion. And I love that I can customize the flavor to whatever my hearts desire like this salted caramel frosting that is the bees knees!

Also, homemade frosting is incredibly easy to make! If you haven't tried it, what's stopping you?

An image of swirls of salted caramel frosting piped onto chocolate cupcakes.

This salted caramel frosting is light and fluffy, with rich caramel flavor. I like to make homemade caramel sauce to use in this recipe, although it does take some advance planning since the caramel has to cool COMPLETELY or else it will melt the butter and the frosting will not work.

But I've also done a semi-homemade version where I use store-bought caramel sauce when I'm running short on time.

You can also taste and adjust the saltiness to your desired level. I really love the combination of salty and sweet, so I will even sprinkle flaked salt on top of my pipes frosting along with a little extra caramel drizzle. It's messy and not very practical, for sure, but it makes a beautiful presentation as well as giving that extra bump of flavor.

An image of chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting on top.

I piped the swirls on these cupcakes using the Wilton 1M piping tip (affiliate link). My other favorite tips for frosting cupcakes are the Wilton 8B and the Ateco 828 and Ateco 808. (affiliate links)

It's so easy to make professional-looking cupcakes with basically zero talent and the right tip. I'm sort of the worst decorator ever, but I'm always happy with how my cupcakes turn out thanks to these tip choices!

I love, love, love the combination of salted caramel frosting with chocolate cupcakes, but you can also sandwich it between your favorite cookies, use it on yellow or vanilla cupcakes, top brownies with it, or heck, just spread it on graham crackers. It's oh-so-good.

How to make this salted caramel frosting

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes until it’s light, creamy, and smooth.
  2. Add in two cups of the powdered sugar and blend on low speed until the butter and powdered sugar come together. Then add in the remaining powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, and mix until combined.
  3. Add the caramel sauce and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add additional heavy cream or milk only as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, to get the frosting to a nice pipeable consistency. Note that you may not need any additional liquid depending on the thinness or thickness of the caramel you added to the frosting base, so this step may be unnecessary. 
An image of a chocolate cupcake with salted caramel frosting that has been sliced in half.

How do I store this salted caramel frosting?

Store any unused frosting in an airtight container inside your fridge for up to 1 week. Let it sit on the counter for about an hour to come to room temperature before piping onto any desserts. 

The frosting can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Just thaw overnight in the fridge and let it sit out for a couple of hours to come to room temperature. You may want to dump it back into a mixer and beat it again to get it really nice and smooth before using.

An image of a chocolate cupcake with salted caramel frosting on top.

Which caramel sauce should I use for this recipe?

I highly recommend my own salted caramel sauce recipe because it’s great, but if you don’t want to make your own, you can buy a store-bought version.

I've even used leftover buttermilk caramel syrup recipe in a pinch once and it worked fine, although the caramel flavor didn't come through quite as strong.

Another image of cupcakes with caramel drizzled over the top of a salted caramel buttercream frosting.

More Fabulous Frosting Recipes

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Salted Caramel Frosting

5 from 2 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 8 mins
Total Time 8 mins
Course Frostings
Cuisine American
Servings 4 cups of frosting
Salted caramel frosting just may be the best frosting on earth. It brings together all of the best flavors to create a frosting that meets all of your salty & sweet desires.

Ingredients
  

Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1 cup salted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup [salted caramel sauce]
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Heavy cream or milk only as needed

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until light, creamy, and smooth, about 4 minutes.
  • Add two cups of the powdered sugar and blend on low speed until the butter and powdered sugar come together. Add the remaining powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, and mix until combined.
  • Add the caramel sauce and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add additional heavy cream or milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, only as needed to get the frosting to a nice pipeable consistency. You may not need any additional liquid (I usually don't, but if your caramel sauce is on the thicker side, you might).

Notes

  • If a store-bought caramel sauce instead of salted caramel sauce, increase the salt to ½ teaspoon, then adjust from there.
  • This recipe makes enough frosting to pipe onto 14-16 cupcakes or frost a 2-layer cake. If spreading with a knife, you can cover 24 cupcakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 983kcal | Carbohydrates: 148g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 846mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 118g | Vitamin A: 1456IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Very good recipe. Used the link to the salted caramel sauce and that was great too. The frosting is very stiff until you add the caramel sauce and then it is creamy smooth and no milk was needed. I’ll be making this again! 

  2. The salted caramel frosting looks amazing,I can't wait to try it! I am making chocolate cupcakes and I was wonder if you could make the frosting a day ahead? I want to frost them the day I serve them.

    1. You sure can! But there are a couple of things to know taking that approach. I would store in the fridge overnight, then pull it out at least 1-2 hours before you plan to use it. Stick it back in the blender and mix it up again so it's nice and smooth before using it to frost your cupcakes. Chocolate and salted caramel is delicious!