Caramel Frosting

Yield: 2 ½ cups frosting
Recipe: 23/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 144

    For my sister’s 18th birthday I wanted to make her a special cake. She has quite the sweet tooth and I was consequently looking for a sweet and ideally chocolatey dessert. As I flipped through the pages of my favorite cookbook, I came across a recipe for a chocolate cake with caramel frosting. Yum!! I will post the cake recipe next, but for now the caramel frosting. I did not read the directions before doing the recipe, so although I made sure I had all the necessary ingredients I realized too late that I did not possess the candy thermometer required. I thus blindly guessed when the frosting seemed “hot” or cooked enough to 245°F (I guessed less than 5 minutes…), but I think that I may have heated the caramel a bit too long. Although the taste was delicious, very similar to sucre à la crème, the color of the caramel was very dark compared to what I was expecting. Next time I will definitely make sure that I have a candy thermometer on hand! Even considering this technical difficulty, this caramel frosting is delectable and smells heavenly. I think you can actually smell the sugar! I highly appreciate this frosting, it is a good change from the classic buttercream I usually make.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 ½ cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • candy thermometer


  1. In a saucepot over medium heat, melt ½ cup of the butter, the brown sugar and the salt, stirring occasionally. Bring to a full boil and boil for 4 minutes, stirring once or twice during this time.
  2. Whisk in the cream and boil until the candy thermometer reads 245°F (118°C).
  3. Remove from the heat and cool for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  4. Using electric beaters, beat the still warm frosting mixture.
  5. Add the icing sugar and continue beating until the frosting is close to room temperature.
  6. Add the remaining ½ cup of butter and the vanilla extract. Beat until the frosting is smooth and of a desired consistency for spreading.
  7. Valerie