New This Month

Caramel Frosting


This recipe for caramel frosting, which goes with Dr. Maya Angelou's caramel cake, can be found in her new cookbook, "Hallelujah."

  • Yield: Makes enough for one 8-inch cake

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, November Fall 2007


  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 package (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add confectioners' sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. With the mixer on low, slowly add cream; beat until smooth. If frosting seems too thick, stir another tablespoon cream into the mixture.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MausT
    2 SEP, 2013
    I agree with earlier comment that this is a brown butter frosting, not caramel. That being said, it is very delicious. I think the key is to cook butter to a very deep, nutty brown color and strain out the burnt milk solids. I think if other previous commenter found it soupy they did not let butter resolidify before whipping.
  • DoyShan
    29 AUG, 2012
    I didn't like this frosting at all....until I added 8 oz. of softened cream cheese, a touch more vanilla and some of the actual caramel syrup. Now it's good!
  • MS10218594
    3 AUG, 2012
    The measurement for powered sugar in this has to be wrong. A standard bag of powdered sugar is 32 oz.If you only use the 16oz, it's essentially just whipped butter.I added at least an additional 8 oz of powdered sugar and it seemed much more like a butter cream frosting. As for the caramel part, mentioned by an above reviewer, I believe you are meant to drizzle the caramel sauce over the frosted cake. You'll need to follow a separate recipe to make that.
  • jillinsch
    6 NOV, 2011
    This frosting was pretty soupy.
  • amy629
    12 FEB, 2008
    I have another Martha Stewart caramel frosting recipe that is made with brown sugar, heavy cream and butter (MUST use a candy thermometer too) and it has a nice caramel flavor (same say a little maple). However, it is used on a banana nut cake. Using it on a caramel flavored cake may be too much.
  • Delftblue
    16 JAN, 2008
    Where is the caramel in this frosting? Am I missing something? To me, it is more of a brown butter frosting. Very good, but not caramel tasting. Is it meant to read "frosting for Caramel Cake"? I also wonder the same for the cake recipe. It is wonderful
  • Pussycat
    22 DEC, 2007
    For the one that asked about confectioner's sugar? It is just another name for powdered sugar or 10X sugar.
  • serenity
    21 DEC, 2007
    icing sugar
  • lina-lucchi
    20 DEC, 2007
    I might sound ignorant, but what is confectioners' sugar? Would appreciate if somebody could enlighten me. Thanlks
  • lydiagb
    16 NOV, 2007
    For those who have made this cake, is the frosting enough for the whole cake? Will it cover the height of both rounds and fill it? Thanks! Lydia