Best Ever Caramel Frosting
Yield: 2½+ cups
This quintessential recipe can be made well in advance and will make the most of your favorite cake!


  • 2 cups (400g) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ tablespoons rum (optional)


  1. In a heavy saucepan, cook the sugar and cream over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the temperature on the candy thermometer reaches 238℉. (After uncovering the pot, you may need to raise the heat to medium-low towards medium, depending on your stove, to maintain a simmer.)
  2. Remove from the heat and drop the butter on top, but do not stir. Let sit for about an hour or until mixture is approximately 110℉. Add vanilla and rum. Beat until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. (If the frosting does not thicken, chill briefly and beat again. If you lost track of time – as I have many times – and the frosting has chilled too much, warm slightly and beat again.)
  3. Store in a container until ready to use, placing plastic wrap directly against surface. Keep at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature and stir prior to frosting your cake.


This recipe will make over 2½ cups of frosting, which is plenty to frost a two-layer cake.

Sometimes I decorate the top of the cake with caramel Hershey’s Kisses as a clever tie-in to the cake recipe.

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