Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins

Unbelievably buttery and smooth, the addition of dark, slightly bitter caramel and an extra pinch of salt creates a sophisticated treat that elevates any baked good. My favorite uses are spread over 24 vanilla cupcakes, or with my Very Good Chocolate Cake.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, 6-10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
  3. Beat butter and salt on high in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.
  4. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes.
  5. For easiest spreading, cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using. If not, spread and enjoy!