This scrumptious caramel-flavored frosting is the perfect frosting for any yummy cake. It is perfect on basic yellow cake as well as homemade pound cake. Some love it on chocolate cake as well.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
15 mins
additional:
15 mins
total:
40 mins
Servings:
24
Yield:
2 cups
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Ingredients

24
Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in half-and-half cream and salt and return to a boil, continuing to stir. Remove the caramel from the heat and allow to cool to lukewarm, then add vanilla.

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  • Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer until smooth, being careful not to over-beat. If the frosting becomes too thick, hot water can be added to thin it out. Spread over a cooled cake and sprinkle with pecans. Allow the frosting to set before serving, about 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

124 calories; protein 0.3g 1% DV; carbohydrates 19.7g 6% DV; fat 5.2g 8% DV; cholesterol 11.1mg 4% DV; sodium 31mg 1% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (49)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/28/2009
In "my version" of this popular southern recipe, if you do not use a hand mixer, it is important to use sifted powdered sugar to make sure you have smooth frosting. *Edited to add*: It is also very important to let the caramel cool to lukewarm before adding the powdered sugar, so it can thicken sufficiently. Enjoy. Read More
(51)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
10/10/2013
Made this exactly as written and it was GRITTY. I knew it had something to do with bringing the sugar up to temperature too quickly, and my googling confirmed that. If the sugar granules aren't dissolved before coming to a boil, they will never dissolve. I made it a second time, bringing it up to 250 degrees F slowly and the icing is perfect. But the way this is written did not work for me and there was no fixing it... had to start over. But when I did, it was awesome! Read More
(14)
55 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 40
  • 4 star values: 10
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
07/28/2009
In "my version" of this popular southern recipe, if you do not use a hand mixer, it is important to use sifted powdered sugar to make sure you have smooth frosting. *Edited to add*: It is also very important to let the caramel cool to lukewarm before adding the powdered sugar, so it can thicken sufficiently. Enjoy. Read More
(51)
Rating: 5 stars
08/04/2009
MMM...delicious frosting. It was perfect in the sweetness department. As it cooled it took a more pipe-able consistency which is what I was hoping for (otherwise I would have needed to add extra sugar) It made beautiful roses on my mini chocolate cupcakes. I had to put them in the fridge to hold their shape but it was perfect. Thanks for sharing! Update:- I initially put it in the fridge because it was looking pretty glossy as if it may melt. After leaving it in the fridge for a few hours it hardened nicely. I then decided to leave it out overnight and during most of the day to see if it would hold up and it did! My roses are still looking lovely:). Read More
(25)
Rating: 5 stars
09/15/2009
This is such an easy yummy frosting recipe! I made it to top some zucchini spice cupcakes...it was super yummy! I didn't have any half-and-half so I just used milk instead. It turned out perfectly and looked beautiful on my cupcakes. Thanks for sharing this one! Read More
(17)
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Rating: 2 stars
10/10/2013
Made this exactly as written and it was GRITTY. I knew it had something to do with bringing the sugar up to temperature too quickly, and my googling confirmed that. If the sugar granules aren't dissolved before coming to a boil, they will never dissolve. I made it a second time, bringing it up to 250 degrees F slowly and the icing is perfect. But the way this is written did not work for me and there was no fixing it... had to start over. But when I did, it was awesome! Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
06/20/2011
Ridiculously sweet and really not my thing... but I made this to top cupcakes for a client...and she said it was delicious and perfect so there you go! The instructions are well-written which is helpful. I will add a tip: if you're icing LOTS of cupcakes (I did 4 dozen) part way through icing it will start to crystalize... simply stir in a bit more cream/milk to get the right consistency again and you're good to go! Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
11/16/2009
Outstanding! I followed the recipe exactly (except left out the pecans). It's delicious creamy and caramelly. Perfect as written. I used it on an apple spice cake. Everyone loved it. Thanks. Read More
(10)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/03/2009
I made this for my Dil's bday and everyone loved it. I had to leave off the nuts(allergies) but my grandson found some and added to his piece. He said yummiest cake ever. Thanks for it Read More
(9)
Rating: 4 stars
11/30/2010
Made exactly as written with no experimentation or variations. Very good taste. The texture is really dependent on cooling the cooked mixture adequately. I made one batch and thought it was lukewarm when it was not; it went from thin to hard without a good spreading phase in between. For the second try I took a reading with my instant read thermometer and held back on beating until it was just 104 degrees. That batch had a much better spreading consistency. It still tended to want to slide down the sides of the cake and then surface harden fairly quickly which didn't make for a completely attractive final product. You can't work and rework the surface like a buttercream. One more thing it is a heavy icing and needs a sturdy cake to support it. My little yellow cake layers got somewhat compacted under the weight. But we all enjoyed the taste. It never became piping consistency as some others have written so if that's important to you think twice about this recipe. Maybe there are some tricks to making it pipe worthy that I just don't know yet. Read More
(8)
Rating: 4 stars
10/13/2009
Delicious and fudgey just like it's supposed to be! I like this frosting because it can be enjoyed warm and didn't melt into the still-warm cupcakes. Perfect! Read More
(7)