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This Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream is incredibly easy to make, perfectly sweetened, and has a light, silky texture. It is the perfect topping for cakes or cupcakes! Its silky texture makes it the best frosting to achieve that perfectly smooth coating on a layer cake.

Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream Black Background

Basically it tastes like a caramel whipped cloud.

I am generally a card-carrying member of the Italian Meringue Buttercream Club, but IMB can be a bit tricky with the timing of the meringue and the sugar syrup, and the temperature of the butter. When I’m feeling pressed for time, I will lean on my old friend Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB).

Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream Marble Slab
Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream Closeup Featured
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She is steadfast and stable: the buttercream version of the best friend who always has your back and will pick up your call no matter the time!

This SMB is the perfect amount of sweetness and is light and silky. It almost melts in your mouth! I have flavored mine with my caramel sauce! You can also flavor it with vanilla extract like in this Swiss Meringue Buttercream, lemon curd, melted chocolate, mixed berry jam or any number of extracts. It really is the perfect base for any flavor!

Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream Mixing Bowl

What are the benefits of Caramel SMB?

  • The meringue will make the buttercream more stable than its American or German counterparts. This means that if your buttercream needs to be in a warm room for an hour or two, you’ll be alright!
  • The meringue makes the frosting more structurally sound. IMB or SMB are perfect for those extravagant layer cakes or cakes with a looser frosting. The butter and meringue set solid in the refrigerator, so you can tier up! Just be sure to use cake straws or skewers to give the additional layers stability. Even the best SMB will crush under the weight of two tiers of cake, filling and buttercream! It’s not magic!
  • The Caramel Swiss Meringue is faster than any other meringue based buttercream!
  • Unlike Italian Meringue, where I do not suggest making it without the protection of a stand mixer, SMB can safely be done with a hand mixer.
Caramel SMB Paddle Attachment
Caramel SMB Silver Bowl
  • The meringue not only adds stability but it cuts the sweetness of traditional American buttercream. In American frostings you have to use confectioner’s sugar for the stability, but the meringue gives you all the perks without the cloying sweetness.

Wait, but…

Caramel SMB White Background

How do I know if I should use Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream or Italian Meringue Buttercream?

So glad you asked, my inner pastry nerd could hardly contain herself!

  • Generally speaking either Caramel SMB or IMB will give you the same stability. IMB is a bit more stable because there is additional sugar in the syrup. The more sugar, the more stable a meringue. If you find yourself in need of extra support or you are in a hot environment, I would lean towards IMB.
  • Like I said above, SMB is much faster to make than IMB. It also hash less margin for error, so if you are tight on time, I would go with SMB.

Ultimately it’s all about you! You can watch my YouTube tutorial on IMB and then decide, which buttercream speaks to you.

5 from 1 ratings

Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

This Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream is incredibly easy to make, perfectly sweetened and has a light, silky texture. It is the perfect topping for cakes or cupcakes! Its silky texture makes it the perfect frosting to achieve that perfectly smooth coating on a layer cake.
Prep: 45 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 36 people



  • Heat about an inch of water up in a medium sauce pot until it is just about simmering. The most important thing is that the bowl of your stand mixer should fit inside so that it is “nested” but the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
  • Whisk together egg whites and sugar. Then place bowl over top of simmering water and continue whisking constantly. Cook the whites and sugar just until it reaches 130°F on an instant read thermometer or until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch. The meringue will have started to gain a bit of volume and feel lighter at this point as well.
  • Move the bowl to your stand mixer and fit with the whisk attachment. Be careful and use a towel because the bowl will be hot if you have a gas burner! Beat on high speed until the meringue reaches stiff peaks and cools slightly.
  • Switch to the paddle attachment and then add all the butter. Beat on medium until all the butter works itself into the meringue and a silky smooth buttercream forms.
  • If there are a few stubborn bits of butter, you can gently heat the sides of the bowl with a kitchen torch and it will melt those remaining pieces. Don’t do it too much or for too long in one spot, or the other butter will melt and you can’t come back from that.
  • If you add your butter when your meringue is too warm, and you now have a soup, don’t stress! Let the butter work in completely (or it will solidify in the fridge and you’ll then have a chunky buttercream) and then pop the whole bowl and attachment in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. Continue the mixing process. The NUMBER ONE RULE is be patient!
  • Once your buttercream comes together, add the caramel sauce and vanilla extract, switch back to the whisk and beat it up until it is light and fluffy!
  • Frost away!



Yield: 1 ½ Quarts
You can make a larger batch and then keep it in the refrigerator (or freezer) to bring out when you need it!


Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 14mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 319IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Swiss
Calories: 130
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Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream Caramel Spoon
Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream Caramel Sauce

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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  1. Hello, this recipe looks like exactly what I’m hoping to make, I don’t have a stand mixer though. Is this possible to do with a hand mixer?

    Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Hi Stashia! You could definitely use a hand mixer (mine is broken!), you just won’t really be able to walk away from it. It’s better if you’re able to switch the attachments out between the little beaters and the whisks so that you can have more control of how much air you’re putting in as you go. Excited to hear what you end up frosting!

  2. I’m looking at using this for a 3 layer 8″ cake I’m making today, how many yields do you think I’d need for the whole thing? Thanks!

    1. Hi MJ! Sorry I missed your comment by a day, I hope you were able to frost your cake. This recipe makes enough buttercream to frost a 2-3 tiered cake or 24 cupcakes. If you’re at all worried, you can absolutely make a slightly larger batch and then store any leftovers for the next round of baking.

  3. Hi, I see the recipe makes 1 ½ Quarts of icing, would this be enough for 2 8-inch cakes, as well as extra for decorating?

    1. Hi Caitlin, I would double it to have more than enough for your decorations. You can always freeze leftovers to store for later use.

    1. Hi Emily, I apologize for that. It goes in with the caramel sauce. I have updated the recipe instructions to include it. Happy baking!