Rating: 3.5 stars
6 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2

There are few things better than homemade Caramel Frosting, and our recipe takes the cake. You might be tempted to stick to the store-bought variety to cut back on time and all the extra steps but, we assure you, this is one frosting recipe that is well worth the effort. Most icing recipes don't take quite as much stirring, mixing, cooking, and caramelizing, but, then again, most icing recipes don't even come close to being quite as delicious as this caramel icing. Homemade caramel frosting is a labor of love. It takes time and patience but the result is lick-the-spoon good, every time. Whether you're just learning how to make caramel icing or are a seasoned veteran, give our caramel icing recipe a try and you'll likely never look back. Some things are just better when they're made right at home and this frosting recipe is no exception.


Credit: Jennifer Davick

Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr
1 hr 50 mins
30 mins
Makes 3 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Sprinkle 1/3 cup sugar in a shallow, heavy 3½-qt. Dutch oven; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until sugar is melted and syrup is light golden brown (sugar will clump). Remove from heat.

  • Stir together 1 Tbsp. flour and 2½ cups sugar in a large saucepan; add milk, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.

  • Gradually pour about one-fourth hot milk mixture into caramelized sugar, stirring constantly; gradually stir in remaining hot milk mixture until smooth. (Mixture will lump, but continue stirring until smooth.)

  • Cover and cook over low heat 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium; uncover and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 238° (soft-ball stage, about 10 minutes). Add butter, stirring until blended. Remove from heat and let stand, without stirring, until temperature drops to 110° (about 1 hour).

  • Pour into bowl of heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Add vanilla, and beat at medium speed (setting 4) with whisk attachment until spreading consistency (about 20 minutes).