Creamy, gooey, salted, caramel frosting is perfect for icing cookies or cupcakes. Make this frosting with coconut butter (not oil), Medjool dates, and sea salt.
This salted caramel frosting is the bomb on my banana cookies! It would also be great on any vanilla, pumpkin, or spice flavored cookie or cupcake.
Back in the day before I was vegan, I used to make a rich caramel-flavored browned butter frosting by heating the butter in a pan over heat until it was nicely browned. This lent a real caramel-like flavor to my frosting.
When I started exploring vegan baking I had to come up with substitutions for dairy. No problem, I thought, I’ll just brown the vegan buttery stick. That should work, right? Nope! It didn’t quite brown up – and so I continued to heat and stir and cook until it was burned. Not exactly what I was looking for.
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In this salted caramel frosting recipe, we still use powdered sugar for the traditional flavor and texture of frosting; but also use Medjool dates because of their naturally caramel-like flavor. Read more about cooking with the Medjool date here.
Tips and Suggestions for Making Crazy Good Salted Caramel Frosting:
- First things first – start soaking those Medjool dates! Your dates will need at least 30 minutes to completely soak in hot water. They should be mushy and falling apart when finished.
- Put the pitted, soaked dates along with your plant milk and vanilla in a high-speed blender or food processor. You’ll know it is finished when most of the Medjool dates have been blended and incorporated. A few tiny dark flecks of date might remain. This is normal and expected.
- Coconut butter is not the same this as coconut oil. If you use coconut oil, your frosting will be oily and may not set up as well. If you are having a hard time finding coconut butter, (affiliate link) you can order this one on Amazon.
- The recipe calls for two cups of organic powdered sugar. Add in 1/2 cup at a time and beat well with a hand mixer.
- There is already salt in the recipe ingredients. However, a little sprinkling of sea salt on top adds just the right salted flavor. I also like to top with pecans or other nuts; especially if the cookie or cupcake I am icing has nuts as one of the ingredients.
- This frosting will take a little longer to “harden” or develop that slight crust on top. It will still taste amazing though if you are too impatient to wait!
Items I found helpful making this recipe:
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Salted Caramel Frosting
- 8 Medjool dates pitted and soaked
- 1/3 cup plant milk
- 1/2 cup coconut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Pit and soak the Medjool dates for about 30 minutes or until soft. Drain.
- Put soaked and drained dates into a food processor along with plant milk and vanilla. Process until dates are smooth.
- Put date mixture into a large bowl. Add in coconut butter and sea salt. Use a hand mixer and mix until smooth.
- Add in powdered sugar 1/2 at a time. Beat until thoroughly mixed and frosting is light and fluffy.