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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

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Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Step 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. Step 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.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, November Fall 2007

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Reviews (10)

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 6 Nov, 2011

    This frosting was pretty soupy.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 22 Dec, 2007

    For the one that asked about confectioner's sugar?
    It is just another name for powdered sugar or 10X sugar.

  • 21 Dec, 2007

    icing sugar

  • 20 Dec, 2007

    I might sound ignorant, but what is confectioners' sugar? Would appreciate if somebody could enlighten me. Thanlks

  • 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