Our Favorite Caramel Buttercream, Courtesy of Joshua John Russell


What's better than coating your cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream? Combining that creamy goodness with sweet and salty caramel, obviously! Take your frosting to the next level with this mouthwatering recipe by Bluprint's own Joshua John Russell.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

Mix together two parts Swiss Meringue Buttercream to one part Salted Caramel (by weight). Make sure the caramel is completely cooled before you mix these!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Yield: Enough to fill and ice one 10-inch two-layer cake


  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • *3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract

*Note: In warmer climates/seasons you will want to change the amount of butter to 2 cups (4 sticks/455 g) and add 1½ cups (276 g) vegetable shortening to the buttercream. This will give more stability when the weather is hot.


1. Over a double boiler, positioned so the top bowl is not touching the water below, heat the whites, granulated sugar, and salt, whisking constantly, until all the sugar is dissolved. Heat this slowly; you don’t want scrambled eggs!

2. Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment and whip on high until a peak forms and the mixture is cool, about 5 minutes.

3. Turn the mixer to medium speed and add the softened butter a little at a time. Remember: depending on the temperature, you may need more or less butter (see note above). Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Salted Caramel

Yield: About 4 cups


  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup agave syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons salt


1. Combine the sugar, cream of tartar, and agave in a large saucepan and place on high heat. You can stir the mixture to incorporate, but once bubble begin to appear around the edge of the pan, do not stir anymore.

2. As the mixture boils, use a damp pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals from the sides of the pot.

3. While the mixture is boiling, combine the cream, milk, butter, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and heat until it just starts to boil; remove from the heat.

4. Once the sugar and agave mixture has reached the desired color (it should be a nice deep, golden brown), remove from heat and add small amounts of the milk mixture while whisking. Adding the milk will cause the caramel to boil up high because of the temperature change, so go very slowly, adding very small amounts.

5. When the milk mixture is all incorporated, let the caramel cool in the pot for 30 minutes, then transfer it to a storage container.

6. Store covered in the refrigerator and bring back to room temperature before using.

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Sink your teeth into current cake decorating trends! In the Man About Cake series, originally on YouTube, Joshua John Russell partners with Bluprint to deliver incredible tips for creating modern edible masterpieces. Each week, he decorates an original cake, shares his favorite recipes and gives pointers for designing like a pro.
Joshua John Russell
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Our Favorite Caramel Buttercream, Courtesy of Joshua John Russell