The only frosting we’ll eat in our house

Salted Caramel Frosting
Yields: Enough to generously frost 12 cupcakes or a 9-inch cake.


1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon crushed sea salt, plus extra for garnish
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted


Making the Caramel: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the granulated sugar with water over medium heat. Once dissolved, increase the heat and let the mixture boil until it reaches a deep amber color. Remember, stirring is forbidden here; a gentle swirling of the pot is all that’s needed. Incorporating the Cream: Off the heat, stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Be prepared for the mixture to bubble vigorously. Continue stirring until smooth, then add the sea salt. Transfer the caramel to a bowl and let it cool completely.

Butter Base: In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy, then gradually mix in the powdered sugar until you achieve a fluffy and well-combined consistency. Combining with Caramel: With the cooled caramel, incorporate it into the butter mixture. Beat until the frosting becomes light and airy. If it seems too soft, a brief chilling followed by additional beating can bring it to the perfect consistency.

Variations and Tips:

A Splash of Bourbon: For an adult twist, add a tablespoon of bourbon into the caramel before cooling. Sweet Adjustments: If you prefer less salty caramel, reduce the sea salt to just a pinch for a classic caramel taste. Storage Solutions: Excess frosting can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen, ensuring you’re always ready for spontaneous baking adventures. Decorative Touches: Enhance the frosted delights with edible dried flowers for an elegant, springtime look. Quality Matters: Choosing high-quality sea salt not only enhances the flavor but also introduces a delightful texture into the frosting.

This salted caramel frosting is more than just a recipe; it’s a testament to the traditions that enrich our lives, shared through the universal language of food.