I got the caramel icing recipe from My Yellow Bluff. I looked at many, many recipes and this
one struck me as the most authentic. I am reprinting it here with a bit more detail and my notes.
Yield: Enough to frost 24 cupcakes with plenty left over (I filled my cupcakes with the extra
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cups unsalted butter (the original recipe called for margarine, but I only use butter)
3/4 cups evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, mix butter, evaporated milk and two cups
Heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Do not allow to come to a boil.
Once sugar dissolves, reduce heat to low.
In a small cast iron skillet on medium-low heat, melt half cup of sugar – stirring
constantly until liquid and brown (as shown below).
Pour the browned sugar into the saucepan and quickly stir to incorporate.
Stir regularly until the liquid reaches the soft ball stage. It’s easiest to check for the soft
ball stage with a candy thermometer (the caramel should be about 235 F). If you don’t
have a candy thermometer, you can test by dropping a small amount of caramel into
water to see if it forms a soft ball (hence the name). It may take up to thirty minutes to
reach the soft ball stage. Here’s where the patience kicks in. Resist the temptation to
turn up the heat because the caramel can easily burn.
Let cool slightly. If you wait too long, the caramel will become difficult to spread.
Mix in vanilla.
Spread on caramel cake/cupcakes (or anything).
Posted by Johan Snyder