This great burnt sugar icing recipe is from my husband's grandmother. It is delicious spread on your favorite cake or cupcakes.

Gallery

Recipe Summary

cook:
15 mins
total:
15 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
1 cup
Advertisement

Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Over a low heat, pour 1/2 cup sugar into a heavy pan. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 8 to 10 minutes; or until it is caramelized (light brown colored).

    Advertisement
  • Pour the boiling water into the caramelized sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the butter, milk, salt and remaining sugar. Boil the mixture until it reaches soft ball stage, approximately 236 degrees F (115 degrees C). Cool the mixture to room temperature. When the mixture has cooled, stir in the vanilla extract.

  • With an electric mixer, beat the mixture until it is thick and creamy. Spread on cake.

Nutrition Facts

456 calories; protein 1.1g; carbohydrates 101.5g; fat 6.4g; cholesterol 17.7mg; sodium 126.2mg. Full Nutrition
Advertisement

Reviews (19)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
09/14/2005
My recipe for Burnt sugar Icing is very similar as this one. For those who want to try this in the future and read the latter reviews the seizing up of the caramel is normal. You have to bring it back to a boil and redissolve the caranel then continue with the recipe. Also add a tablespoon of light corn syrup with the milk and sugar to help with early crystalization which leads to graininess. I like this recipe better than what most people consider caramel icing which is really penuche. (nothing against penuche that is yummy also) This technique has a true caramel flavor. Hope this helps everyone.;-) Read More
(61)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
10/09/2003
This was a disaster. I followed the directions EXACTLY and when I added the 1/4 cup boiling water the sugar immediately clumped together became rock hard and stuck to the pan. Don't know the trick to this but I wouldn't try it again. Read More
(23)
20 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 4 stars
09/14/2005
My recipe for Burnt sugar Icing is very similar as this one. For those who want to try this in the future and read the latter reviews the seizing up of the caramel is normal. You have to bring it back to a boil and redissolve the caranel then continue with the recipe. Also add a tablespoon of light corn syrup with the milk and sugar to help with early crystalization which leads to graininess. I like this recipe better than what most people consider caramel icing which is really penuche. (nothing against penuche that is yummy also) This technique has a true caramel flavor. Hope this helps everyone.;-) Read More
(61)
Rating: 1 stars
10/09/2003
This was a disaster. I followed the directions EXACTLY and when I added the 1/4 cup boiling water the sugar immediately clumped together became rock hard and stuck to the pan. Don't know the trick to this but I wouldn't try it again. Read More
(23)
Rating: 5 stars
04/23/2003
This is a old family favorite...The recipe was lost for years after a great aunt death..I'm thrilled to have it again! Read More
(21)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
06/24/2007
part of the secret to this recipe is to use a cast iron skillet! It regulates heat better than regular pans. Read More
(16)
Rating: 4 stars
01/02/2008
I didn't realize how much work frosting is before engaging in this recipe. It took me more than 15 minutes to make and I ended up with a rather thick mixture. Don't know what I did wrong but probably didn't know when to stop boiling. We all really enjoyed the result though and I am calling it one of my favorites. Four stars because it took more than 15 minutes to make--cutting into my nap time!:) Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
12/15/2003
My mother used this icing for her irish potato cake and I lost it. I'm so glad to have found it again. This community is great! Read More
(9)
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
08/11/2007
This is a time consuming recipe but the instructions were simple to understand. The icing was FABULOUS! It did set up when I added the boiling water but after about 15 minutes it was liquid again. After cooling I popped it back in the mixer for a few minutes and it looked just like my grandmother's caramel icing. Tastes like it too. The only bad thing is that my toddler picked that moment to get hurt so I walked away from the icing. Upon my return it was already set up in the bowl. After a minute in the microwave it was able to spread it on the cake and it set right back up. Excellent recipe! I doubled it with no problems whatsoever and the only change I made was a little extra salt because it tasted really sweet... possibly from doubling the recipe though. Thumbs up! I'll try this one again! Read More
(8)
Rating: 1 stars
02/15/2005
It sounded interesting but this was awful - like a previous reviewer my sugar seized up as soon as I added the boiling water. I thought adding the other ingredients (ie more liquid) would alleviate the problem but the whole thing become one huge hard rock! I now have brittle instead of icing. I think the trick is not to over-caramelize the sugar - add the water BEFORE the sugar melts and recrystalizes. Once the crystals form you're in trouble. Read More
(7)
Rating: 3 stars
09/11/2009
it was probably my fault but this turned out rock hard i think the problem was that i thought the soft ball stage meant it turned into a soft ball but really it must just mean you have to use a candy thermometer to see when it reaches the soft ball temperature. however i just added some milk and microwaved it to remelt and it tasted great however doing it this way it made a sauce which i did put on my cupcakes and it tasted amazing especially while still warm...will try again but using the candy thermometer and hope for better results Read More
(5)
Advertisement