A true caramel flavor, not that imitation caramel kind.
1/2 cup butter (no substitutions)
1 cup dark brown sugar (packed tight)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
Melt the butter over medium low heat in a saucepan that has a heavy bottom (this helps the frosting not to scorch).
Add the dark brown sugar and stir well. Bring it up to full boil (stirring all the time)
Add the heavy cream (it will bubble up a little, so make sure your saucepan is big enough). Return to a boil (stirring) and boil for 30 seconds (keep stirring), then remove from the heat.
Pour this hot mixture into a stand mixer and add the sugar, vanilla, salt and 2 tablespoons milk (add sugar one cup at a time). Beat until well combined.
If the frosting seems a little thick, add the other 2 tablespoons of milk and beat well. (I always end up putting in all 4 tablespoons of milk for some reason).
This frosting is too creamy to use in a decorator bag, but it is perfect for sheet cakes, cupcakes, etc.
Keep in mind that this is a cooked frosting and it will "set up" after its completely cooled and be ALMOST fudgy in texture.