The Best Brown Sugar Frosting Recipe (Carmel Frosting)

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by TheFarmChicken

brown sugar frosting on cake

I am so excited to share this recipe with you! Remember this is our little secret! This frosting is by far my favorite. And let me start out by saying this, I think “The Best” is an overused term. I try to stay clear of using that phrase when explaining my recipes, but this frosting recipe has for sure earned it. So here it is, The Best Brown Sugar Frosting Recipe (Carmel Frosting).

Whipped to fluffy and caramelized excellence you can’t go wrong with this rich brown sugar, caramel-like flavor frosting. Just 2 simple ingredients and you have the perfect topping for your chocolate or sourdough chocolate cake. Have you ever had The Best Brown Sugar Frosting (Caramel Frosting): A Recipe from the Farm?

I grew up around this frosting and it is one of my dad’s favorite desserts; paired with chocolate cake. This specific brown sugar frosting recipe was one that was shared by a good church friend who is known for all her delicious baked goods she shares at church events. Every church group has that lady that bakes so well and in our church circle she is definitely one of them! You can thank her for this recipe being shared here today!

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The Ingredients to the Brown Sugar Frosting:

Light Brown Sugar

Big surprise that one of the 2 ingredients is brown sugar huh? The brown sugar is simply measured and added to a large saucepan. I usually use light brown sugar but I’m sure you could do a dark brown sugar for an even deeper flavor.

Heavy Cream

The second ingredient to this decadent frosting is heavy cream. Simply add this to the pan and mix the two ingredients together with a whisk.

Tips When Making Brown Sugar Frosting:

  • After you whisk the heavy cream and sugar together initially you place the frosting on the heat and DO NOT stir it until it is done. I know it’s hard to do but it can be done!
  • Sometimes the frosting will cook onto the bottom of the pan so just be mindful of this when you are scraping around on the bottom you don’t want to get any burnt like bits in your frosting. If this does happen, the burning to the bottom, simply transfer the frosting to a large bowl to whisk.
  • A great way to tell it is done is when the frosting quits steaming.
  • The longer you boil the frosting the deeper the flavor will be.

Ways to Enjoy this Wonderful Frosting:

What size of cake?

This is enough frosting for a 9×13 cake or a sheet cake. You could also use it on cupcakes!

My favorite way is on a chocolate sheet cake as the ratio of frosting to cake seems just right.

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The Best Brown Sugar Frosting Recipe (Carmel Frosting)

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

  • First, start by adding the brown sugar and heavy cream to a large saucepan. Make sure it is a large pan as you don’t want it to boil out.
  • Then whisk until combined and being careful not to get a bunch of the mixture on the sides of the pan.
  • Next place the pan on low to medium heat and cook WITHOUT stirring. The mixture will boil up and back down. This takes roughly around 40-60 minutes. You will know the mixture is done when it is no longer steaming, seems fairly thick and is a medium brown color. (See picture)
  • Remove from the heat and set the pan in either ice water or very cold water to cool for 10 minutes or more depending on how quickly it cools.
  • Whisk for a little bit and if it still seems warm after the 10 minutes transfer to a large mixing bowl and place it in the fridge to cool.
  • Once cooled the next step is to whisk the frosting by hand or with an electric mixer on medium speed for 5-10 minutes or until it becomes thick and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
  • When the frosting is no longer glossy but fluffy and matte you have reached the desired consistency.
  • You can also whip the frosting up in a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
  • Spread on the chocolate cake using a rubber spatula or pastry bag and enjoy!
  • Make sure to let your cake cool before adding the frosting.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
  • This frosting spreads best at room temperature so you will want to take it out of the fridge for a while before trying to spread it.

Makes: 2-2 ½ cups of frosting

whipped and finished brown sugar frosting
Finished Brown Sugar Frosting

The Best Brown Sugar Frosting Recipe (Carmel Frosting)

This frosting is so good! Rich flavor, creamy texture and perfect for a chocolate cake or any cake really!
Print Recipe
brown sugar frosting on cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  • First, start by adding the brown sugar and heavy cream to a large saucepan. Make sure it is a large pan as you don’t want it to boil out.
  • Then whisk until combined and being careful not to get a bunch of the mixture on the sides of the pan.
  • Next place the pan on low to medium heat and cook WITHOUT stirring. The mixture will boil up and back down. This takes roughly around 40-60 minutes. You will know the mixture is done when it is no longer steaming, seems fairly thick and is a medium brown color. (See picture)
    cooked frosting before it has been whipped
  • Remove from the heat and set the pan in either ice water or very cold water to cool for 10 minutes or more depending on how quickly it cools.
  • Whisk for a little bit and if it still seems warm after the 10 minutes transfer to a large mixing bowl and place it in the fridge to cool.
  • Once cooled the next step is to whisk the frosting by hand or with an electric mixer on medium speed for 5-10 minutes or until it becomes thick and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
  • When the frosting is no longer glossy but fluffy and matte you have reached the desired consistency.
  • You can also whip the frosting up in a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
  • Spread on the chocolate cake using a rubber spatula or pastry bag and enjoy!
  • Make sure to let your cake cool before adding the frosting.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Notes

This frosting spreads best at room temperature so you will want to take it out of the fridge for a while before trying to spread it.
Servings: 2.5 cups

FAQ:

Why is my frosting not whipping up?

Chances are you either didn’t boil it long enough or it isn’t cool enough yet. Try popping it back in the fridge and then whisk to see if that helps.

Why is my frosting burnt on the bottom of the pan?

You probably had your heat too high, and it scorched the bottom. As long as you didn’t mix the burnt pieces in you should be able to just transfer the frosting to a different container to mix up.

How do I know if it is the right consistency?

When the frosting goes from glossy to more of a flat and fluffy texture you have reached the right consistency.

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