★★★★★

Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Frosting

This luscious Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Frosting has a buttery caramel flavor and a hint of sea salt. Pipe it onto cupcakes for an elegant twist on a classic buttercream.

saltedcaramelcupcakes

What is Swiss Meringue Frosting

A cupcake is only as good as its frosting. We can all agree on that, right?

I love frosting in all of its forms. Give me that Chocolate Buttercream and that Cream Cheese Frosting and every other iteration of butter, sugar and cream that you can swirl on top of cake!

Swiss Meringue Frosting, though, is in a category all its own. This frosting is made by heating egg whites and sugar, then whipping to form stiff meringue peaks.

Adding butter and vanilla creates a frosting that’s stable but fluffy and spreadable.

Unlike many buttercreams, Swiss Meringue Frosting won’t leave a sugary film in your mouth. It’s just sweet enough to compliment your cupcakes without tasting syrupy.

I added caramel sauce and a sprinkle of coarse salt to create the best salted caramel frosting I’ve ever tasted. This frosting is the perfect topping for a batch of Chocolate Cupcakes or White Chocolate Cupcakes!

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Ingredient Notes

  • Egg whites – You need the whites of five eggs for this recipe to give the frosting its unique meringue consistency.
  • Kosher salt – You can sub another coarse salt, like sea salt but not table salt, which is much finer and won’t produce the same results. Ready why I always use kosher salt.
  • Vanilla – Make your own Vanilla Extract for optimal flavor; store bought tastes great too!
  • Caramel sauce – Any variety of caramel sauce you love on your ice cream is a perfect choice! My Homemade Caramel Sauce recipe works beautifully here but I usually use Hershey’s ice cream topping.

Step by Step Instructions

Making swiss meringue frosting takes a little more effort than many cupcake frostings but the results are more than worth it!

STEP 1. Heat

Cover the bottom of a sauce pan with an inch of water and bring to a low boil. In a mixing bowl placed over the pot, heat egg whites and sugar, whisking until the mixture reaches 140 degrees.

STEP 2. Beat

Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites as they cool. Keep beating until the whites are fluffy and completely cooled, then add butter, salt and vanilla. Blend in the caramel sauce.

STEP 3. Pipe

Use a frosting bag to pipe the salted caramel meringue frosting onto cooled cupcakes. If desired, drizzle the frosted cupcakes with another couple of tablespoons of caramel sauce.

I love how pretty the caramel swirls look on high mounds of frosting!

cupcakescaramel

Tips & Tricks

  • Add the butter gradually. I add mine a tablespoon or so at a time while beating to ensure it gets thoroughly combined with the other ingredients.
  • This recipe makes enough frosting to pipe HIGH onto 14 – 18 cupcakes. If you prefer less frosting, you’ll be able to frost two full dozen cupcakes.
  • Make sure the egg white and sugar mixture reaches 140 – 150 degrees before removing from the heat. I take mine off when the candy thermometer reads 145 to get the perfect meringue texture.
  • Keep in mind that this is NOT a super sweet topping. Swiss Meringue creates a buttery smooth icing similar to what you’d get on a bakery cake than a homemade whipped cream or buttercream frosting.

Recipe FAQs

Why is my butter curdling? How can I prevent this?

The butter may appear curdled as you add it to the egg whites, especially if the egg whites aren’t yet fully cooled. This is totally normal and fine. Keep blending and eventually the butter will get fully incorporated!
To minimize curdling, make sure the egg white mixture has cooled. This should happen as you beat it until double in size.

What’s the best way to store this frosting?

You can keep any leftover Swiss meringue frosting in an airtight container in the fridge. Make sure to bring any chilled frosting to room temperature before piping it onto cupcakes for best consistency and flavor.

Can I make this without a candy thermometer?

I don’t recommend taking your chances and guessing at the temperature here. Egg whites need to be heated to a precise temperature to create the chemical reaction needed to get the meringue frosting’s signature texture. You really need a candy thermometer here!

Yield: 24 servings

Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Frosting

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

This luscious Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Frosting has a buttery caramel flavor and a hint of sea salt. Pipe it onto cupcakes for an elegant twist on a classic buttercream.

Ingredients

  • 1 batch chocolate cupcakes
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup caramel sauce, plus 2 Tbsp (I used Hershey's ice cream topping)

Instructions

  1. Heat a small saucepan with one inch of water on the bottom to boil. Turn to low (simmer). Place mixing bowl over simmering pot. Add egg whites and sugar to bowl, whisk until combined. Use a candy thermometer and continue whisking and heating until temperature reaches 140-150 degrees. (I took mine off at 145 degrees).
  2. In mixing bowl, attached to stand mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed until the egg whites have doubled in size and cooled. For me, this was about 8 minutes.
  3. Slowly add butter, one tablespoon at a time. Keep mixing until all butter has been added. It may appear curdled, but that is okay. Keep mixing. Add salt and vanilla extract. This process took me another 8-10 minutes. When frosting becomes desired consistency, beat in the caramel sauce.
  4. Pipe onto cooled chocolate cupcakes! This is enough frosting to pipe HIGH onto 14-18 cupcakes. Or frosts two dozen, not so high.
  5. Drizzle with extra 2 Tbsp caramel sauce, if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1 cupcake

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 79mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 1g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Swiss Meringue Buttercream blended with salted caramel is paradise in frosting form! It’s time to elevate your favorite cupcakes to new heights with this luxuriously delicious frosting recipe.

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on September 6, 2012

Comments & Reviews

  1. Sorry, but this was pretty disappointing. I thought I was making something delicious, but it’s just not sweet or flavorful enough. It’s more like whipped butter than a frosting. My delicious homemade caramel sauce can barely be tasted in it. I might just use  this as a topping for waffles. I’ll see if it melts like whipped butter . Can’t imagine putting this on cupcakes.

    1. Swiss Meringue is definitely NOT as sweet as a buttercream or whipped cream. It’s a more buttery smooth frosting like you would get on a bakery cake than a homemade buttercream.

  2. I made Swiss Meringue frosting for the first time over the weekend for my Mom’s birthday cake. It turned out so smooth and creamy. I can’t wait for a chance to try this on a chocolate cake (Mom’s loves white cake, so that is was she got 🙂 )!

  3. Swiss meringue and caramel? I die! These look so amazing. You should share them in the cupcake crown contest: http://www.celebrations.com/cupcakecrown/

  4. Can i use vanilla bean PASTE instead of the extract? Please reply! I would love to try out this recipe (: I’m currently searching for a bunch of cool recipes that I can use with vanilla bean paste. Thanks! Btw, these look YUM <3

  5. Your frosting look absolutely amazing, and must be so tasty, too. I’ve featured this recipes on my blog! I hope you don’t mind! If you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.

  6. I love SMBC. Its all I been making for years and years now for frosting. Well that and Italian meringue buttercream. For some reason Swiss tends to be more caramelly tasting and Italian is more marshmallowy. I use Swiss for salted caramel, pumpkin, spiced, vanilla bourbon, anything like that. I tend to use the Italian for more fruitty like raspberry or citrusy frostings. I won’t ever go back to powdered sugar frostings again. Well cream cheese frosting uses it but that’s different. I love the creamy butteryness of the meringue buttercreams and how they aren’t overly sweet. People always tell me my cupcakes taste better than a professional bakery when I make them with meringue buttercreams. I’ll take it!!

  7. Oh God they look soooooooo appetizing
    but I know that these can cause me gain a million pound
    I wish if someone can invent a frosting that tastes good yet doesn’t make you feeling so guilty 🙂

  8. Swiss meringue frosting is my FAVORITE frosting, so I had to make this frosting. It was delicious and compliments chocolate cupcakes perfectly. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. They totally look like ice cream cones! Really insanely delicious ice cream cones 🙂 I would consider not eating them because they’re too pretty, but that would never actually happen!

  10. Hi! This looks absolutely delicious! I found you at the Six Sisters’ Link party and would love for you to share them at my link party at http://mommyssweetconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/09/sweet-confessions-sunday-link-party-6.html . See you at the party!

  11. Oh, baby. I can’t wait to try this! I’ve loved looking through your blog! I wanted to invite you to share over at my link party too! It’s hosted every Saturday and is all about ‘Your Great Idea’. Hope to see you soon! http://www.oneshetwoshe.com/2012/09/hello-weekend-50-mikarose-giveaway.html

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