Easy Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on September 30, 2014

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There is something about a little salt with my sweet that just puts my taste buds over the moon. As such, it is no surprise that one of my favorite flavors in the world is salted caramel.

I’ll take good salted caramel any way I can get it – in candies, brownies, ice cream sauce, pudding, and now buttercream frosting.

The problem most people run into in making caramel is melting the sugar so it caramelizes without burning. To solve that problem, I offer you a super simple salted caramel frosting recipe with a couple shortcuts. (“Shortcut” is a better word than “cheat” don’t you think?)

Instead of caramelizing sugar I just use brown sugar. Not exactly caramelized sugar but oh, so delicious and way more simple.

This buttercream frosting is fab on gluten free cakes and cupcakes. Try not to eat it straight off the spoon – go ahead, try!

Recipe Notes: Even though this buttercream frosting is salted I always use unsalted butter, feel free to use salted – just cut back on the salt a bit. Use good sea salt or kosher salt for this recipe, not table salt, it is just too harsh for the recipe. I use Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Light Brown Sugar and their Organic Light Corn Syrup. If you want to make this recipe corn free simply substitute the corn syrup with agave and use Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Powdered Sugar which uses tapioca starch instead of corn starch.

Easy Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe Image

Easy Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe


½ cup Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Light Brown Sugar
½ cup plus ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature – divided use
2 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 – 3 ½ cups powdered sugar


In a heavy saucepan combine the brown sugar with ½ cup butter and the corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture starts to thicken, about 3 – 4 minutes. Carefully whisk in the cream, vanilla, and salt. Raise heat back to medium, bring to a boil and boil for 3 – 4 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool completely.

Once the caramel is cooled, beat ¾ cup butter with 3 cups powdered sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Reserve about ¼ cup of the caramel for garnish and add the rest to the frosting and beat until smooth. You may need to add more powdered sugar at this point, add a little at a time, beating until the frosting is thick and creamy.

Frost cupcakes or cake and drizzle with the reserved caramel. Sprinkle with a little bit of good sea salt.


A gluten free recipe that makes enough frosting for 12 cupcakes or 1 cake

Ready for dessert?

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Gluten Free Recipes - Simply Gluten Free Quick MealsSimply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals is now available, with over 100 recipes not featured in my blog.

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Categories:    Cupcakes, Dessert

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Paulette October 3, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Your recipes look so good. I was recently diagnosed being gluten sensitive and I love pie what can I use for a thickener in apple pie and have you tried the gluten free pie crust from Pillsbury? I did buy some and haven’t tried it yet I hope its good. Thanks Paulette


Carol Kicinski December 1, 2014 at 1:27 pm

I use just a touch of gluten-free flour in my apple pie filling. And I have tried their pie crust, it’s good.



Martha Galan April 12, 2015 at 1:03 pm

For a thickener that works BETTER than cornstarch is Xanthan Gum. Works very well!


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