Thursday, September 9, 2010


This morning, I posted my recipe for Honey Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting ... and, well, 'twould seem that there's a problem with the frosting. Hmmmm ....

Here are the instructions I gave earlier:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, melted and cooled a bit
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Make the frosting: Beat together the butter and the brown sugar. Alternately add milk and confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth with each addition. Spread the frosting onto the cakes.

I took these notes straight from my recipe files, and I know I've made the frosting before; so why did something go wrong today???

I'm a pro-active kinda girl, so I baked the cupcakes ahead of time so that I could freeze them and then just defrost them for Rosh Hashanah. But I needed one for this photo op, so I used some leftover buttercream frosting just to make one cupcake look pretty.

So today -- after a VERY stressful and rather miserable day -- I defrosted the rest of the cupcakes for tomorrow's dessert, and I set about making my caramel frosting. This would be therapeutic for me, right??? Groan ....

First the sugar wouldn't melt. So I added about 1 or 2 tablespoons of water (in all honesty, I just dribbled it from the faucet into the saucepan) and then the sugar liquified ... except for a number of chunks that wouldn't melt, wouldn't smush, wouldn't blend in, wouldn't cooperate at all. Oh, well -- I left 'em in.

But when I poured even the cooled mixture over the butter, everything melted. Add the confectioners' sugar ... and stare down at brownish liquid. Add some more confectioners' sugar ... now stare down at tan-ish liquid. Add virtually every scrap of confectioners' sugar in your cupboard ... and watch it clump up. Add a touch of half-and-half (because you have a 19-year-old son who drinks a gallon of milk every day and didn't leave any for you) and finally watch the frosting become creamy ... with the exception of the little brown sugar nibs.

So, how does it taste??? That is, of course, a key component. It tastes fabulous! The little sugar nibs add some texture and character, though I'd have preferred smooth frosting. And the cupcakes will be okay. But I just wanted to be sure everyone knew that they'd have to either tinker with what I wrote or simply use a favorite frosting recipe of their own. I couldn't, in good conscience, just let folks try this as it was written and then wonder what they'd done wrong ....


Robin said...

Now I know what went wrong with my honey cakes!

Just kidding. We both know I don't bake.

Kelsey said...

Ooooooh yeah, the sugar would be the problem. I make my own frosting all the time, and my recipe is:

1/2 cup butter or Brummel and Brown
1/2 cup Crisco
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
5-6 cups confestioners sugar

I cream the butter and shortening, add vanilla, then add sugar 1 cup at a time until it looks dry and clumpy...then add the milk and beat until light and smooth. It is delicious, but if you use B&B, it sweats in the fridge, so eat it fast! I will definately try to make your recipe though, it sounds so yummy!

Oh, I started a weight loss blog (haha, I DO have a diet cupcake recipe with pumpkin for oil/eggs), hope you will check it out!

Cranberry Morning said...

Thank you for going to to the trouble to post your explanation, for I am planning to make these and the frosting was the most attractive bit to me. :-) I never grew out of liking frosting, I'm afraid. :-(

Unknown said...

That was too kind of you to let us know what to expect. I probably just would have made it and thought, dang it, what did I do wrong? I so wish mine looked like Mary's!! lol

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