Pair this rich frosting with our Banana Cupcakes.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook, undisturbed, until caramel is dark amber. Remove from heat, and slowly add cream, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let cool.

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  • Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

  • Place whites and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.

  • Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add beaten butter, cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.

  • Switch to paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add caramel, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.

Variations

On "Martha Bakes," Martha used 1/3 cup heavy cream in this recipe, and added 1/4 teaspoon salt at the same time as the vanilla.

Reviews (10)

92 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 32
  • 4 star values: 34
  • 3 star values: 13
  • 2 star values: 9
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: Unrated
06/23/2012
This recipe was way too buttery for me. I could barely taste the caramel. Disappointed I wasted all those ingredients.
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2012
Is it okay to leave this out a few hours?
Rating: Unrated
03/15/2011
I just made this frosting and it came out runny. Did anyone have this problem?
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Rating: Unrated
02/05/2011
This frosting is delicious! I made the caramel and it had crystals so I tried again and it worked out great -- I think the trick is not stirring it at all, just let it cook.
Rating: Unrated
02/18/2010
SO Yummy! The recipe from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book is a bit different and I didn't have any trouble...going from memory...Step 1 said to swirl once and a while; Step 3 didn't require a candy thermometer, instead whisk until mixture is smooth when rubbed between fingers (sugar is melted); Step 4 said to add butter 1/4 cups at a time. I know my post is close to a year off, but hope this helps.
Rating: Unrated
05/29/2009
I didn't add the entire caramel mixture. I thought it would have made the frosting to runny. However, my egg whites didn't produce as much volume as I expected.
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Rating: Unrated
04/13/2009
Vivianita the other 1/2 cup sugar goes into part #3. Hope this helps you.
Rating: Unrated
03/02/2009
I had the same problem so I reheated the carmel and added it hot to the butter mixture, but it still hardened as soon as it left the pot. I am not sure how this is supposed to work...
Rating: Unrated
02/04/2009
1/2 c 2 tbls is for the caramel and the remaining 1/2 c is for the egg whites. I made this recipe last night and would suggest not making caramel first. It hardens if it cools too much before mixing it into the buttercream. End result = caramel pieces in the buttercream rather than caramel buttercream. Still delicious though!
Rating: Unrated
02/03/2009
Hi.... I was wondering if the recipe calls for 1/2 a cup sugar or 1 cup sugar? In the ingredients it says 1 cup plus 2 tbs. In the directions it says 1/2 cup plus 2 tbs. Can someone please tell me which one is the correct.... Thanks!