New & Improved Salted Caramel Frosting

5 ingredients and so easy! This creamy salted caramel frosting is downright addicting! Recipe on

Slowly but surely, I’m trying to bulk up the new frosting section on my website. Which means I’ll be posting lots of frosting recipes this year. UGH sounds horrible doesn’t it??

I decided to start a frosting section after taking many suggestions from Y-O-U, so thank you for always helping to improved my content. Speaking of improvements, have you tested the new search function yet? In the past, if you searched for “vanilla cake” in the search bar in my sidebar, you’d get every single post where I mention “vanilla” or “cake.” So, like, every post. But it’s been updated! Test it out. Try searching for “salted caramel” using the search bar in the sidebar. First results are all recipes with salted caramel in the title, not posts where I simply mention “salted” or “caramel.” YAY for streamlined searching!

5 ingredients and so easy! This creamy salted caramel frosting is downright addicting! Recipe on

Let’s get back to this frosting business. I actually posted a salted caramel frosting recipe on my blog 4 years ago. It’s awesomely delicious, BUT I’ve had readers report back with some issues. The frosting is too thick! More like a nougat confection than a silky smooth frosting. I’ve been working at improving it because it’s taste is spot on and I don’t want you to miss out on this luscious decadence.

So, using the same exact ingredients, I changed the timing of when to add the heavy cream. First, we’ll add some when we make the brown sugar caramel sauce. That’s step 1. Then we’ll add a little more when we’re whipping the confectioners’ sugar into the cooled brown sugar caramel sauce. That’s step 2. The addition of liquid in step 2 changes the texture completely, but doesn’t alter the taste at all. With this one minor change, this salted caramel frosting is completely revamped. How’s that for a makeover?

Ab-so-lute perfection.

Salted caramel for salted caramel frosting on

You only need 5 ingredients: butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, salt, confectioners’ sugar. No candy thermometer for the caramel; just a couple minutes of whisking and bubbling. Let it cool for 30 minutes, then beat in confectioners’ sugar and more heavy cream. And you’ll get this smooth-as-silk magic:

5 ingredients and so easy! This creamy salted caramel frosting is downright addicting! Recipe on

5 ingredients and so easy! This creamy salted caramel frosting is downright addicting! Recipe on

The best piping tip for this frosting is the Wilton #12 round tip. If you pipe this salted caramel frosting with star tips, it will not hold its shape as nicely since the frosting is sooo creamy. So I suggest a simple round tip.

Two Ways to Pipe with Wilton #12

  1. Like in the video above.
  2. Or what you see in today’s photos (and what I posted on Instagram story on Wednesday if you caught it). All I did was start in the center of the cupcake, apply pressure to squeeze the frosting out, and slowly lift straight up. No swirling around the cupcake– just start on the center and squeeze frosting out while lifting the tip off the cupcake. Takes 3 seconds per cupcake.

Top with salted caramel because everything is better with salted caramel.

5 ingredients and so easy! This creamy salted caramel frosting is downright addicting! Recipe on

I promise you will never run out of excuses to make this new & improved salted caramel frosting. Here are plenty of ideas for you. And yes, my stomach is growling at EVERY SINGLE ONE.


Salted Caramel Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: about 2.5 cups
  • Category: Frosting
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


5 ingredients and so easy! This new & improved salted caramel frosting is ultra creamy and downright addicting.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I prefer dark)
  • 56 Tablespoons heavy cream, divided*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (240-300g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • optional garnish: salted caramel sauce


  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved. Add salt. Allow to bubble for about 2 minutes, whisking every 30 seconds or so. Remove from heat, pour into a heat-proof mixing bowl, and allow to cool for about 30 minutes.
  2. With a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat in 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 3 more Tablespoons of heavy cream. Slowly add 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar until you reach the desired consistency. Add 1 more Tablespoon heavy cream if you find the frosting too thick.
  3. Frost cake or cupcakes and garnish with salted caramel sauce, if desired.


  1. Special Tools: KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Copper SaucepanRainbow Whisk | Glass Mixing BowlsCupcake LinersFrosting BagsRound Decorating Tip
  2. Heavy Cream: Required for the caramel! There are no subs that will achieve the same texture and taste in this frosting. Here are all my recipes using heavy cream if you have leftover.
  3. Quantity: This recipe is enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes or one 9×13 quarter sheet cake. 1.5x the recipe for more cupcakes or a double layer cake. (Doubling the recipe would be far too much.)

Keywords: salted caramel frosting, salted caramel

5 ingredients and so easy! This creamy salted caramel frosting is downright addicting! Recipe on


  1. They only sell cooking and whipping cream in my side of the world. Can the heavy cream be replaced with either?

    1. I believe Sally has mentioned in other posts that whipping cream with 35% fat will also work. That’s what I’ve used for her truffle recipes!

  2. I experimented with a half batch. Came out delicious, but grainy as the others have said. In my case at least I know that the graininess is not from the cooked brown sugar (I tasted it as it was cooling down) but from the added sifted confectionary sugar. That sadly happens too when I make American buttercream. I’m thinking of bringing the whole thing to a boil for a minute or 2 to completely dissolve the conf. sugar and then to whip it up again with some added butter. What would your take on that be?

    1. Boiling the mixture to smooth out the gritty confectioners’ sugar will definitely help. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks for trying!

  3. Sally, I made this frosting yesterday for your salted caramel cupcakes – the cupcakes were perfect, just like every other recipe of yours I’ve tried (MANY!) but I was not a fan of this frosting. It tasted mostly like brown sugar, which is not what I was looking for. BUT, I made a new batch using your 10 min salted caramel recipe as the base instead, ( and then adding the powdered sugar and heavy cream once it cooled and OH. MY. GAW. It is AMAZING! Not grainy at all, it was so fantastic!!

    1. Colleen, you just added powdered sugar and heavy cream to the salted caramel? Wasn’t it too sweet? I am frosting 12 cupcakes how much salted caramel did you use and how many cups of powdered sugar.


    2. I struggled with the brown sugar not dissolving and I was afraid the frosting would end up being grainy. Some brown sugars are more coarse in texture and will not dissolve in the butter even when boiling. I ended up adding a little water to the butter/sugar mix and that worked perfectly. The brown sugar dissolved and all was well. I made the caramel sauce too and could see that it would work well as the base for the frosting.

      1. Hi Judith, I did not, but I made my fave buttercream and added approx 10 oz of homemade salted caramel. I actually started with 4oz bc I was so afraid of the sweetness level, and ended up with 10 oz to get the caramel flavor I wanted.
        It was delicious and not gritty at all!
        i hope this Helps!

  4. Made this over the weekend for the second time. This time I used it to fill a frost a three-layer, six-inch round cake made from Joy of Cooking’s caramel version of their Lightning Cake. (One of two birthday cakes I made myself — the other was your 6″ vanilla cake with your raspberry buttercream.) The caramel cake with caramel frosting was AMAZING. Simply amazing. Last time I made the frosting, it tasted incredible, but it was a bit grainy. Didn’t have that problem this time. I let it boil a bit longer (and at higher heat) than last time, and I made sure not to let it get too cool before mixing in the confectioner’s sugar and remaining cream. Maybe those things helped? One issue I had (that I see others have mentioned) is some trouble spreading it as it cooled. It helped to warm it a bit (till it was almost too soft), but based on your notes, Sally, I imagine I could have thinned it down with some more heavy cream. One thing I definitely recommend on a cake is a crumb coat. Without, you’re definitely ending up with crumbs in your frosting! Absolutely amazing taste. Everyone loved it!

  5. Hi, I made salted caramel two nights ago-can I use the leftover caramel and make frosting. How much caramel to conf. sugar and additional whipping cream? Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can store this covered tightly in the refrigerator. You might need to stir it again once it reaches room temperature before using.

  6. I saw some comments about this frosting having a grainy texture. I was also having this problem, but I decided to try whipping the frosting at a pretty high speed in my stand mixer for 2 minutes. Frosting came out light and fluffy!

  7. Incredibly gritty. Noticed it when the caramel was cooling and tried cooking it more. Still gritty. Whipping it more didn’t do any good. Was very runny and then almost impossible to spread once it cooled. We ended up dumping it and just getting store frosting.

  8. I had the same issue as many others have mentioned with the frosting being very, very gritty. I actually joked with my husband that I should use it as a sugar scrub in the shower because it definitely wasn’t edible! The flavor was great, it just never whipped up into anything resembling a frosting.

  9. Would anyone be able to convert the recipe to 1.5x the amount for a double layer cake? I’m making the frosting fro a cake and need that amount for a double layer cake but I’m not very good at converting it.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally