Caramel Icing

LAST UPDATED: Mar 02, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Jan 09, 2020 | By:

You are going to love this easy six-ingredient Caramel Icing for cookies, cakes, caramel rolls and more! This light and fluffy buttercream recipe to have in your repertoire!

Caramel icing in a small white bowl with a pallet knife

This Caramel Icing Recipe is so easy – just combine ingredients and whip until smooth. No fuss, no heat, just incredible icing in a minute or two! In fact, it’s so easy you’ll ask yourself why you’ve ever purchased icing.

There’s just no comparison! You can even use this recipe to dress up store bought goodies! Perfect for your sugar cookiescinnamon rolls, brownies and so much more!

Most caramel icing recipes will require you to heat sugar with butter to make a caramel, but you can still get the yummy caramel flavor without heating and all in one bowl!

Brown sugar contains molasses which has a deep caramel flavor to it, and this recipe tastes better than those that require this extra step. Save yourself some time and some dishes!

Whatever you call it – caramel icing, caramel frosting or caramel buttercream frosting – you’ll call it delicious! Just one bite and you’ll be hooked!

Caramel Icing Ingredients

  • Butter – It’s best to use unsalted butter in this recipe, if you use salted, reduce the amount of added salt used. It’s best to soften the butter before mixing it so it combines easier.
  • Brown Sugar – Use brown sugar rather than white in this recipe. Brown sugar contains molasses which hekps to create that beautiful caramel flavour.
  • Salt – The salt brings out the sweetness and caramel flavor in this icing. Reduce the amount slightly if you are using salted butter.
  • Powdered Sugar – Also known as confectioners sugar. This sugar is very fine and combines well to create a fluffy and light icing.
  • Milk – I use 2% milk in this recipe and it helps to make the frosting wonderfully creamy, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
  • Vanilla – Use pure rather than imitation vanilla extract if you can. It’s really easy to make your own vanilla extract!

It’s so quick and easy to make this delicious frosting!

How to Make Caramel Icing

  1. Whip butter until smooth.
  2. Add brown sugar, salt, powdered sugar milk and vanilla. Whip until smooth and sugar is dissolved.
caramel buttercream frosting in a stand mixer

You can slather it onto cookies or warm it to pour over a bundt cake. You can also pipe it onto cupcakes! The options are endless, the flavor is memorable!

Ways to Use Caramel Buttercream Frosting

This light and fluffy caramel icing is the perfect addition to your favorite, breads, rolls and more! The options are endless. I can’t wait to hear what you use it on! I love it on:

It’s sweet, creamy and incredibly addicting. The rich buttercream is a compliment for so many desserts!

mixed caramel frosting on a beater
A frosted caramel roll

Tips To Make Caramel Frosting

  • Soften your butter before making the icing, it will combine much easier. Soften your butter by removing it from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before you want to use it. You can also gently heat it on low in the microwave, but be sure to remove the foil and take care not to fully melt it.
  • If you use salted butter, reduce the amount of added salt in the recipe or omit altogether.
  • Store – This buttercream frosting will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Make Ahead

You can make this caramel icing a day ahead of time and keep it covered in the fridge. Before you use it, take it out of the fridge for a couple of hours and let it room to room temperature. Quickly re-fluff it in your mixer or with a hand whisk and use as you normally would. 

Caramel rolls with frosting in a white dish

If you try this caramel icing recipe, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too! 

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caramel icing on caramel rolls
bowl of caramel icing

Caramel Icing

Author: Julie Blanner
Easy Six Ingredient Caramel Icing for cookies, cakes, caramel rolls and more! Quick to make with no heat.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 3 mins
Total Time 3 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 servings
Calories 119 kcal


  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Whip butter until smooth.
  • Add brown sugar, salt, powdered sugar milk and vanilla. Whip until smooth and sugar has dissolved.


Substitutions / Variations

Butter – if you use salted butter, omit the salt in this recipe.


Soften Butter for a smooth, texture.

To Store

This buttercream frosting will keep covered in the fridge for up to 1 day.


Calories:119kcalCarbohydrates:22gProtein:1gFat:4gSaturated Fat:2gCholesterol:10mgSodium:62mgPotassium:16mgSugar:21gVitamin A:122IUCalcium:12mgIron:1mg
5 from 4 votes
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner