What Frosting Goes With Caramel Cake

Caramel cake is a delicious and indulgent dessert that features the rich and sweet flavor of caramel. It’s a favorite for many cake enthusiasts, and choosing the right frosting can enhance its taste and presentation.

caramel cake
caramel cake

Understanding Caramel Cake

Caramel cake is a moist and tender cake that incorporates caramel into its batter. It typically has a golden-brown color and a sweet, buttery taste.

The caramel flavor infuses every bite, making it a delectable treat for any occasion.

What is Caramel Cake?

Caramel cake is a classic dessert made with caramelized sugar, butter, flour, eggs, and other ingredients.

The cake layers are often soaked in caramel syrup or topped with caramel sauce, adding extra moisture and flavor. Caramel cakes can be baked in different shapes, such as round layers or sheet cakes, depending on personal preference.

The Appeal of Caramel Cake

The allure of caramel cake lies in its unique flavor profile. The caramelization process creates a distinct and rich taste that is both sweet and slightly savory. This complexity makes caramel cake a standout dessert, loved by those who appreciate the depth of flavor.

Exploring Frosting Options

When it comes to frosting caramel cake, several options can enhance its taste and texture. Let’s delve into some popular choices:

Traditional Buttercream

Buttercream frosting is a classic choice that pairs well with caramel cake. Its creamy texture and buttery flavor complement the sweetness of the caramel. You can opt for a vanilla buttercream to keep the focus on the caramel or try a caramel-flavored buttercream for an intensified caramel experience.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting offers a tangy and slightly savory contrast to the sweetness of caramel cake. The creamy and smooth texture of cream cheese frosting complements the moistness of the cake, creating a delightful balance of flavors.

Whipped Cream Frosting

For those who prefer a lighter and less sweet option, whipped cream frosting is an excellent choice. The airy and fluffy texture of whipped cream adds a refreshing element to the caramel cake. Consider adding a hint of caramel flavor to the whipped cream for a subtle twist.

Salted Caramel Frosting

If you want to amplify the caramel flavor in your caramel cake, salted caramel frosting is a fantastic option. The combination of sweet caramel and a touch of salt creates a perfect balance of flavors. The salted caramel frosting adds a hint of savory complexity that enhances the overall taste of the cake.

Chocolate Ganache

For chocolate lovers, chocolate ganache is an irresistible frosting choice for caramel cake. The smooth and glossy ganache provides a luscious chocolate coating that complements the caramel undertones. The combination of chocolate and caramel creates a heavenly marriage of flavors.

Pairing Frosting with Caramel

When selecting a frosting for your caramel cake, consider how it can enhance the caramel flavor and create harmonious taste combinations.

Enhancing Caramel Flavor

To enhance the caramel flavor in your cake, opt for frostings that either incorporate caramel or complement its taste. Buttercream and cream cheese frostings, both in their traditional and caramel variations, work well to intensify the caramel experience. Their creamy textures and rich flavors add depth to every bite.

Complementary Flavors

Experimenting with complementary flavors can take your caramel cake to new heights. Pairing caramel cake with frosting flavors such as coffee, almond, or cinnamon can create a delightful fusion of tastes. These complementary flavors add dimension to the overall dessert, making it even more enjoyable.

Tips for Decorating

Decorating your caramel cake is an opportunity to showcase your creativity and make it visually appealing. Here are some tips to help you achieve a beautiful presentation:

Smooth and Even Application

When applying frosting, ensure a smooth and even layer on the cake’s surface. Use an offset spatula or a cake scraper to create a seamless finish. This technique not only makes the cake look professional but also allows the flavors to meld together harmoniously.

Creative Decorating Ideas

Consider decorating your caramel cake with additional elements that complement the flavors and create a visually stunning dessert.

You can sprinkle crushed caramel candies, drizzle caramel sauce, or add caramel swirls on top of the frosting. Fresh fruits, edible flowers, or chocolate shavings can also be used to enhance the cake’s aesthetic appeal.


Can I use store-bought caramel sauce as a frosting for my caramel cake?

While you can certainly use store-bought caramel sauce as a topping, it may not have the right consistency for frosting a cake. It might be too thin and runny. It’s better to choose a frosting specifically formulated for cakes, like caramel-flavored buttercream or cream cheese frosting.

Can I freeze a caramel cake with frosting?

Yes, you can freeze a caramel cake with frosting. Ensure the cake is properly wrapped or stored in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator before serving, and it should retain its taste and texture.

Can I make a vegan caramel cake with suitable frosting options?

Yes, you can make a vegan caramel cake and choose vegan-friendly frosting options. For the cake, you can substitute eggs with ingredients like applesauce, mashed bananas, or flaxseed meal mixed with water. As for the frosting, you can use dairy-free alternatives such as vegan butter or coconut oil for buttercream, vegan cream cheese for cream cheese frosting, and coconut cream for whipped cream frosting. There are also vegan caramel sauces available or you can make your own using plant-based ingredients.

Can I use a different cake flavor with caramel frosting?

Absolutely! Caramel frosting pairs well with a variety of cake flavors. While it is commonly used with vanilla or caramel-flavored cakes, you can also try it with chocolate, spice, or even carrot cake. The combination of caramel frosting and a different cake flavor can create a delightful contrast and unique taste experience.


In conclusion, choosing the right frosting for your caramel cake is crucial to elevate its flavor and presentation. Whether you prefer the classic buttercream, tangy cream cheese frosting, light whipped cream, salted caramel, or decadent chocolate ganache, each option brings its unique characteristics to complement the caramel base.

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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