Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Caramel is surprisingly easy to make and imparts a rich, delicious flavor to this buttercream frosting. Martha made this recipe on Martha Bakes episode 604.

  • Yield: Makes 7 cups

Photography: Mike Krautter

Source: Martha Bakes


  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 9 large egg whites
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Combine 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Brush down sides of pan with a damp pastry brush, and cook, without stirring, until dark amber. Remove from heat, and quickly dip bottom of pan in a bowl of ice water to stop it from cooking further. Gradually stir in cream until caramel is smooth.

  2. Whisk together remaining 1 cup sugar, the egg whites, and salt in a standing mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm. Transfer bowl to a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whisk on medium-high speed until fluffy, cool and stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time and whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Slowly pour in caramel with mixer on medium speed, and whisk until incorporated. Increase to high speed (the mixture will look curdled), and continue to whisk until smooth, about 3 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Use immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before using, and beat until smooth.


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