This Caramel Buttercream has a rich, nutty caramel flavor while being silky and smooth in texture.
Total Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Buttercream is one of the perfect places to infuse flavor when making a cake. Or any desert that can use buttercream. Caramel buttercream seemed like a no brainer for a caramel inspired dessert. I used a cream based caramel for this recipe because it incorporated into the buttercream better than a tackier caramel would. This recipe took longer to make than an average buttercream recipe solely because the caramel had to chill after being cooked. This recipe is incorporated into my Great British Bake Off Challenge Week Four Showstopper!
The ingredients needed for caramel buttercream are the buttercream classics, the creamy caramel classics, and cream cheese. I think the cream cheese helps tie to buttercream and caramel flavors and textures together.
Making the Caramel
The first step of this process is making the caramel. I used two pots for this process. In one pot, I placed the sugar and water and cooked it over low to medium heat. In a separate pot, I heated the cream until it was almost boiling. I started this step after the sugar had dissolved in the water because I didn’t want the cream to cool down too much as I would then be pouring hot caramel into lukewarm cream.
Once the sugar has dissolved, I turned up the heat to allow for the caramelization. The sugar should dissolve entirely to allow for a non-grainy caramel. I poured the caramel into the cream after it achieved it’s caramel colors and continues to cook the whole mixture over low heat. The cream allows for the caramel to have a creamy and spreadable texture. Once everything is incorporated and perfect, it’s time to wait. The caramel needs to cool and chill before going into the buttercream. If added hot, it could curdle the butter.
Making the Buttercream
In a stand mixer, I beat the butter for two to three minutes to make it light and fluffy for the buttercream. I then added powdered sugar and kept beating, starting on slow until the powder is saturated into the butter and then whacking the mixer to high to get as much air into the buttercream as possible.
I added cream cheese into the buttercream as well because it cuts the sweetness of the powdered sugar and the caramel. Once the mixture is fluffy and completely mixed together, I added in the caramel and vanilla extract. Just one more mix and it’s ready to roll! This caramel buttercream is absolutely delicious, full of sugary goodness, and completely melts in the mouth.
I really enjoyed making this buttercream because it had a strong caramel flavor that was irresistible. I was worried I would eat too much out of the bowl and none would be left for the cake! The only issue I have with this recipe is the downtime. There is a lot of standing and waiting for things to cook and cool. I definitely would want to find a better use for that time than just watching something on my phone.
Hot into Cold
Butter is a very finicky ingredient. It has one form when hot and one when cold. In baking, which form the butter takes on really does matter. Liquid butter isn’t going to get a smooth and silky buttercream. When caramel comes off the stove, it can range from 250°F all the way to 350°F. Butter will cook at these high temperatures. When something hot is introduced to a cold mix, there is a great tendency for the mix to curdle. That why, with most bakes, I recommend having all the ingredients around the same temperature before mixing them together to take whatever form you’re aiming for.
Caramel Buttercream Frosting
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ¾ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- ¾ Cup Unsalted Butter
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 4 Oz Cream Cheese ½ Brick
- 1 ½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
- Place Sugar and 3 tablespoons of water into a medium pan over low heat
- In a separate pan, heat cream until almost boiling and set aside
- Once sugar has dissolved, turn up heat until the sugar syrup becomes a caramel brown. Remove from heat and pour into the warmed cream.
- Return pan to low heat and whisk for 1minutes. Pour into a heatproof bowl and leave to cool. Chill for about an hour.
- Beat the butter in a stand mixer for about2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar a mix for 5 minutes until smooth. Beat in the cream cheese.
- Add in the cold caramel and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Cover and chill until spreadable.