Yield: approximately 5 cups
2 cups sugar
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ cup cold butter
1 cup hot heavy whipping cream (see kitchen tip)
1 cup butter, softened
6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, place sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together water and corn syrup. Pour over sugar, stirring just until sugar is moistened. Cook, without stirring, over medium-high heat until mixture is golden brown. (While caramel cooks, brush any sugar crystals on sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water.) Remove from heat.
2. Using a long-handled wooden spoon, add ½ cup cold butter. Stir until butter melts. (Mixture will foam.) Slowly add hot cream, stirring until smooth. (If mixture does not get smooth, cook over low heat, stirring until smooth.) Set aside, and let mixture cool until slightly warm, approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Reserve 1⁄3 cup caramel to drizzle over assembled cake.
3. Pour caramel mixture into a large bowl; add 1 cup softened butter. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. With mixer on low speed, gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating just until smooth. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on surface of frosting. Let stand until frosting has reached a spreadable consistency, approximately 10 minutes.
Kitchen tip: To keep caramelized sugar from seizing or hardening in step two of Caramel Frosting, heat heavy whipping cream in the microwave until it is hot but not boiling, for 60 to 90 seconds, before you add it to the caramel.