Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting – I Heart Naptime

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

Easy Cream Cheese Caramel Frosting

This wealthy and creamy frosting tastes like a mixture of caramel sauce and cream cheese frosting. As if cream cheese frosting wasn’t already the top thing in the world, add in some caramel flavor and it is simply to die for! It really is the top 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 simple to spread and pipe which makes it great for decorating. If you’re a caramel lover, you just have to try this recipe!


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 top.  
  • 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 astonishing flavor. 

How to Make Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Remove cream cheese and butter from the fridge 1 hour before using so they arrive 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 lean, you can add more powdered sugar. If you need to lean 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 Trendy cream cheese frostings, overbeating can cause it to become lean 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 cognize that the final product will be a bit runnier.


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

Great Ways to Use This Frosting

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

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

Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 10 mins

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

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