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Caramel buttercream is a great way to mix up the traditional vanilla frosting. I know I have said this so many times but buttercream is so versatile. I love finding new and interesting ways to flavor it. Although caramel is a classic flavor mixing it with buttercream is a deliciously fluffy way to enjoy it.
This caramel buttercream is great with chocolate or vanilla cake and works well as a filling or complete frosting for cakes and cupcakes. It’s great with ganache and pecans for a turtle flavored filling or crushed up pretzels for a salty surprise. And don’t forget cookies…hello cookie sandwich.
To make the icing I start by making my simple vanilla buttercream for a base. Whisk 2 pounds of powdered sugar and set aside. Then cream 2 cups of butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium to high speed for about 3 minutes. When the butter is light and fluffy, turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar then 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
To give it its caramel flavor, I add 1 teaspoon of caramel extract and a 1/4 cup of caramel sauce. You can use a homemade sauce like the easy caramel sauce from my Bananas Foster French Toast or a store bought sauce. Thoroughly mix in the sauce and extract. With the addition of the caramel sauce, it may not need any additional liquid. If it does need to be thinned a bit use some milk or more sauce to get it to the desired consistency.
To make a crusting caramel buttercream, substitute shortening for half of the butter. This flavor would also be great added to my easy Swiss meringue buttercream.
Give this recipe a try the next time you get your cake on. Or maybe just with a spoon!