Adding Salted Caramel To Your Swiss Buttercream Is A Game Changer

Swiss meringue buttercream is a fluffy frosting that is perfect for icing cakes, piping cupcakes, and filling macarons. Many bakers choose it for decorating because of its smooth, silky finish and ability to hold its shape, which allows for detailed designs. Adding salted caramel to your Swiss buttercream is a delicious way to level up your frosting.

While traditional American buttercream uses confectioners sugar for stability, which can be overpowering, Swiss meringue buttercream is less sweet, incorporating egg whites and granulated sugar instead. Adding salted caramel is a game changer because Swiss buttercream can carry the extra sweetness of the caramel. The main ingredients in Swiss buttercream are egg whites and butter. Consequently, this frosting can run the risk of tasting like butter and nothing else. The salted caramel enhances its flavor, showcasing the caramel's sweetness and contrasting saltiness.

Salted caramel may have started a food trend, but having sky-rocketed in popularity over the past few years, it's now found in everything from coffee to ice cream. Its staying power is a testament to how well salt and caramel work together, but there is a scientific reason why we like it so much. When we eat sweet foods, our brain releases dopamine — a chemical messenger that gives us sensations of pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation. Salt stimulates different taste buds while enhancing the sweetness of the caramel and adding a hint of umami savoriness.

How to make salted caramel Swiss buttercream

Swiss meringue buttercream is made by whipping egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water on low heat. Once the sugar granules have dissolved, the mixture is transferred to a stand mixer and whisked until it forms a meringue with stiff peaks. Then, butter is slowly added until the frosting is creamy and smooth.

For the salted caramel, you can use store-bought or make your own on the stove, using sugar, butter, and heavy cream. Don't forget to add that all-important touch of salt for a satisfying blend of sweet and salty. Make sure the caramel and buttercream are completely cool before mixing them. Combined with Swiss buttercream, the deep flavor of salted caramel complements the icing's rich creaminess, creating the perfect level of sweetness — without being cloying. The salt elevates the sweetness, and you end up with a silky smooth frosting perfect for cake decorating.

You can also add salted caramel to other types of buttercream. Choose American buttercream if you like a denser, sweeter frosting that's quick to make; French buttercream for a rich, dense, but not too sweet buttercream; or Italian meringue buttercream for a super stable melt-in-your-mouth icing.