Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 from 4 votes

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This salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream is silky smooth, super fluffy, creamy and not too sweet. And it’s also quite easy to make!

My tips will ensure you’ll get a perfect frosting every time!



 

You guys, let’s make the most luxuriously smooth, light and creamy frosting ever!

Why you’ll love this recipe?

Unlike my easy American salted caramel buttercream frosting, this buttercream is a little more refined, a little less sweet and mega light and fluffy!

This frosting is perfect for cakes, cupcakes and even macarons!

How to make this buttercream recipe:

Step 1. Make homemade salted caramel sauce

You can absolutely use store-bought caramel sauce. But it’s way cheaper and easy to make one at home! I recommend making the caramel sauce at least a few hours in advance, or preferably a day (or a week) prior! Caramel needs to be completely chilled before using in the buttercream.

Check out this step-by-step tutorial for homemade caramel sauce.

Step 2. Make Swiss meringue

  1. In a heat-proof bowl, combine sugar and egg whites together. And place the bowl over simmer water.
  2. Cook the egg whites gently until it reaches 160°F, whisking it continuously. (This’s my favorite thermometer!) You shouldn’t feel any sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingertips.
  3. Now remove from heat and whisk it until stiff peaks form. At this point, meringue should be completely cooled.

Tip

Meringue Tip: Make sure the bowl and whisks are completely grease free. It’s ideal to use stainless steel or glass bowl for making meringue.

Also, be careful when separating egg whites. You should have even smallest amount of yolk in the egg whites. Here’s why.

Is swiss meringue buttercream safe to eat?

Since we’re cooking egg whites in a double boiler until it reaches 160°F, it’s completely safe to eat. We basically pasteurized the egg whites.

To be safer, I highly recommend using an instant thermometer to make sure egg whites had reached the proper temperature!

Step 3. Add butter

  1. Add room temperature butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking the frosting thoroughly after each addition.
  2. Continue whisking the buttercream until all the butter is added and the frosting is super light and fluffy.

ROOM TEMPERATURE BUTTER

It’s important to use room temperature butter. When you push a finger into it, the butter should dent with some resistance. 

Tip

If the buttercream tastes greasy and too buttery, it means it’s under-mixed. Keep whisking it. The properly mixed Swiss meringue should taste light and clean!

Step 4. Add caramel sauce

  1. Add cold salted caramel sauce into the buttercream.
  2. Switch to paddle attachment and beat the frosting until well combined.

Make Ahead Direction:

Salted Caramel Swiss meringue buttercream is an ideal frosting to make in advance. Here’re 3 ways to store it:

  • On the counter: It’s ok to keep Swiss meringue buttercream at room temperature for overnight. (It has enough sugar and fat to keep it from spoiling!)
  • Refrigerator: You can refrigerate this buttercream in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
  • Freezer: Swiss buttercream also freezes well. It’ll freeze well in airtight container for up to 3 months!

Thaw frozen buttercream on the counter overnight. Whip it before using.

Troubleshooting

For troubleshooting any issues, check out my complete tutorial on how to make Swiss meringue buttercream.

Other Flavor Variations

Chocolate swiss meringue buttercream

Intensely chocolatey, yet creamy and smooth, this chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream is absolutely divine!

Let me know in the comments below if you try this recipe!!!

5 from 4 votes

Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Luxuriously silky smooth and fluffy, this salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream has an ultra-creamy texture, not too sweet and quite easy to make!
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites (Note 1)
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups (340g) unsalted butter at room temperature (Note 2)
  • 1 cup salted caramel sauce (Note 3)

Instructions 

  • In a small saucepan, bring a small amount of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer.
  • In medium heat-proof bowl (I used my stand mixer bowl), whisk together egg whites and sugar and place it over the saucepan with simmering water. (This is a make-shift double boiler. Make sure the bottom of the top bowl doesn’t touch the water.)
  • Cook the egg white mixture until sugar is completely melted and it reaches 160°F (70°C) stirring continuously, about 5 minutes. (This’s my favorite thermometer!)
  • Now, remove the bowl with egg white mixture from heat. Then whisk it on medium speed for a minute, then slowly increase the speed to medium high and beat until stiff peaks form and the mixture is cool to touch, about 10 minutes. (It may take longer with a hand-mixer.)
  • Once the meringue reached stiff peaks, scrape the side of the bowl with a spatula and add salt.
  • Turn on the mixer on medium speed and start adding butter, one tablespoon at a time. Make sure the butter is fully incorporated before adding the next piece. (NOTE: It's normal if buttercream starts to curlde half way. Keep adding the butter!)
  • Keep whisking the buttercream until smooth, light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
  • Now, switch to a paddle attachment and add salted caramel sauce. Beat the buttercream until well combined, about a minute.

Tips & Notes

Yield: About 4 cups of frosting. It’s enough for 3-layer 9-inch cake, or 24 cupcakes.
Make-Ahead Tip:
Salted Caramel Swiss meringue buttercream can be made in advance and frozen for up to 3 months, or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Thaw frozen buttercream on the counter overnight. Whip it before using.
Note 1: While I’ve had success with carton egg whites, not all brands work for meringue. But if you want to try, you’ll need 210g of liquid egg whites.
Note 2: Make sure the butter isn’t too soft. When you push a finger into it, the butter should dent with some resistance.
Note 3: It’s ideal if you make salted caramel sauce a day or so in advance to give it enough time to chill completely.

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 96mg, Potassium: 24mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 363IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: swiss

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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16 Comments

  1. Hey, this recipe sounds amazing, I‘m going to try on the weekend. One question though, doesn’t the kind of liquid caramel sauce ruin the stiffness of the cream for if you want to pipe it in different shapes on cupcakes? So concerned I‘m gonna ruin it with the caramel sauce

    1. 5 stars
      I’m making this for a second time tonight and had the same fear at first. The buttercream pipes beautifully even with the extra liquid. This is one of my favorite SMBC recipes

  2. Hi! Looks delicious I’m so excited to make it and I’m glad it’s not too sweet! One question- is it good for piping smaller details (like flowers?) thanks!

    1. Hi, Fia. I think it’s pretty sturdy for piping details, but I suppose it depends how detailed your design is. The only way to know for sure is to give it a try. I’d love to know how it turns out, if you try it.

  3. Hi Shinee,
    I’ve made this twice and I love the flavor. I’m having a little trouble with the buttercream ‘leaking’ a caramel-like liquid after its been in the fridge for a day or two. When it’s first made its perfect and pipes smoothly into my macarons. I tried whipping it again but can’t get it to smooth out again. Any ideas?

    1. Hmm, that’s so strange. I’d never had that happen to me and I have no idea what could cause that. Especially if the caramel was incorporated well into the buttercream to begin with.

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. It turned out perfectly. I had a jar of caramel on hand that I’d made earlier in the week and I ended up using about an extra half a cup of it to give it a more intense caramel flavour (it’s going to be layered with hazelnut meringue and whipped cream for a dacquoise). So smooth and not too sweet like American buttercream (even with the extra caramel). I’ll try your other frostings next!

    1. Yay, I’m so happy you tried my recipe and loved it, Trish! Thank you so much for your feedback!! Swiss buttercream is my favorite!

  5. Um… might want to re-edit your recipe and descriptions above. Some confusion between “chocolate” and “caramel”.