Salted Caramel Frosting

This salted caramel frosting is the perfect combination of sweet and salty.

Without a doubt, this salted caramel frosting is hands down one of my favorite frostings! It pairs well with so many different cake flavors, especially my chocolate cake.


The key to this frosting is using homemade caramel. I’ve tried making the frosting with Trader Joe’s salted caramel, and while it’s still good, it’s not as good. The good news, making your own homemade caramel is a cinch!

You’ll first combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. After your stir the mixture for a couple minutes to dissolve the sugar, you then just step back and let it do it’s thing.

You’re looking for the mixture to boil and turn an amber color. This takes a little while, but don’t walk away. Once the mixture starts to change color, it gets to this gorgeous amber color quick.

After the sugar is caramelized, you simply add some cream, vanilla, salt and vinegar. Easy peasy!

The caramel needs to be room temperature before using in the frosting.

I almost always make double of the recipe caramel recipe so I have enough to drizzle on the cake and between layers.


Salted Caramel Frosting

The perfect combination of salty and sweet.


  • 1/2 cup  (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (59.15 g)  water
  • 2 teaspoons (41 g) light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (115.5 g)  heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (4.79 g) white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) kosher salt
  • 6 cups (750 g)  powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, room temperature


  1. Mix sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring the water and sugar mixture to boil over medium heat, but DO NOT STIR. (Stirring encourages crystallization). Let the mixture cook until it caramelizes into a golden brown color (as seen in the photo above). It happens quickly, so keep an eye on it.
  3. Remove the caramelized sugar syrup from the heat and slowly mix in the cream. Pour in just a tiny bit at a time, especially at the beginning, and mix to combine. You can start adding more and more as you go along.
  4. Mix in salt, lemon juice or vinegar and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  5. Set the caramel sauce to the side and let cool completely before making the frosting.
  6. Once the caramel sauce is cooled completely, combine the softened butter, confectioners' sugar and caramel together in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. If the icing seems to stiff, ad a bit of milk or cream - just a little at a time until it reaches a smooth, spreading consistency of your liking.

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

Get my free cake decorating guide
Everything you need to know about decorating a cake like a pro!

You Might Also Like

Leave a Comment


  1. My caramel tastes a little too sour….I’m confused about the vinegar? Please explain why I drown my sorrows in wine spritzers.

    1. The vinegar is supposed to help bring out the salt and caramelized flavor of the caramel. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you!

  2. If I was going to use a caramel sauce that I had pre-made or bought, how much caramel sauce should I add to the butter and powdered sugar?

      1. Hi, I’m conFused because you said in the directions not to steer because it causes crystallization but then in the picture or description you say to steer the mixture

  3. Does this frosting stiffen up in the fridge? Like you can decorate on top of it or is it too soft? Also, is it white color or more Carmel off white?