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Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Dulce de leche is the star of this caramel cream cheese frosting and makes a perfect topping for cakes, cookies, sweet rolls, and more!

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Easy Cream Cheese Caramel Frosting

This rich and creamy frosting tastes like a mixture of caramel sauce and cream cheese frosting. As if cream cheese frosting wasn’t already the best thing in the world, add in some caramel flavor and it is simply to die for! It really is the best of both worlds!

Made with only 5 simple ingredients in one bowl, no heavy cream or eggs, it’s a no-fuss icing that turns your baking into something really special.

The silky-smooth texture makes it super easy to spread and pipe which makes it great for decorating. If you’re a caramel lover, you just have to try this recipe!

Ingredients

This frosting starts out with all the ingredients in a traditional cream cheese frosting, with the addition of one very special ingredient:

  • Cream cheese – the full-fat block-style kind works the best.  
  • Unsalted butter – you can add in some salt later if you want to make a salted caramel frosting.
  • Powdered sugar – works well in this frosting as it incorporates easily with the butter and the cream cheese.
  • Vanilla extract – use this to taste. Keep in mind that the more you use, the thinner the frosting will become.
  • Dulce de leche – a caramel sauce that is the secret to this frosting’s amazing flavor. 

How to Make Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Remove cream cheese and butter from the fridge 1 hour before using so they come to room temperature. (*See my tip below).
  2. Mix the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl using an electric mixer. Beat at medium-high speed until smooth. This will take a minute or two. You can do this step by hand using a wooden spoon to stir, it will just take you longer.
  3. Mix the confectioners’ sugar with the cream cheese mixture using the electric mixer. Keep mixing everything until you’ve reached a creamy texture.
  4. Add in the dulce de leche and vanilla and continue to mix everything until smooth.
  5. If your frosting looks too thin, you can add more powdered sugar. If you need to thin it out a bit, you can add a small splash of milk until you’ve reached the desired consistency. 

Helpful Tips

  • Make sure the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature before you begin to mix. If you need to do this quickly, check out my tutorial on how to soften cream cheese.
  • Be careful not to overbeat the frosting. As with most cream cheese frostings, overbeating can cause it to become thin and runny.
  • For even more caramel flavor, drizzle some dulce de leche over the frosting once you’ve spread it onto your cookies or cakes.

Salted Caramel Variation

Salted caramel sauce is a popular flavor for so many things and cream cheese frosting is no exception! If you would like to have more of a salted caramel taste, then simply add a pinch of salt to taste. Alternatively, you could use salted butter, instead of unsalted butter to achieve a salted caramel flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is dulce de leche?

Dulce de leche is a sweet South American milky caramel sauce made from condensed milk, or milk and sugar. The condensed milk is cooked down until the sugar caramelizes and the milk becomes a nutty brown color.

Where can I find dulce de leche?

You can find dulce de leche in many local grocery stores either in cans or jars. Look for it in the baking aisle near the condensed milk. Alternatively, you can also buy it online.

Can I use low-fat cream cheese?

I recommend using full-fat cream cheese for this frosting, as it has a firmer texture and will be more stable. That being said, you can opt to use a low-fat variety, but just know that the final product will be a bit runnier.

Storage

The frosting is best stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Great Ways to Use This Frosting

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Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 5 votes
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Dulce de leche is the star of this caramel cream cheese frosting and makes a perfect topping for cakes, cookies, sweet rolls, and more!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 9

Ingredients 

  • 6 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar , more if needed
  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche , more for topping if desired
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Beat together the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
    cream cheese and butter in bowl
  • Mix in dulce de leche and vanilla until smooth. Add more powdered sugar until you reach desired thickness and sweetness.
  • Frost a cake with the cream cheese frosting, then cover until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 16mg | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 244IU | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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