Honey buttercream is perfect on a vanilla, buttermilk, or spice cake. The recipe for honey caramel makes a little more than you need for the buttercream. Put the extra caramel to use as a cake filling, ice cream topping, or as a fruit dip. Thank you to Sue Bee for sponsoring this recipe! Sue Bee is a classic. It’s the honey I grew up eating. So, it’s especially nostalgic for me to use it in my baking now. They also make a raw and unfiltered honey called Aunt Sue’s, if you prefer that in your baking, but either honey is delicious and works well in this recipe.
160g Sue Bee Honey
95g heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanila extract
150g granulated sugar
3 tbsp water
56g unsalted butter, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white vinegar
Heat the honey and cream until luke warm. You can do this on the stove top over low heat or microwave. Add the vanilla to the cream. Set aside.
In a 2-quart sauce pot, combine the sugar and water. Shake it around a bit to make sure the sugar is evenly wet. Cook the mixture without stirring, without stirring, without stirring, over medium heat. Once the mixture has started to bubble, increase the heat to medium-high. Do not stir!!! Stay with the pot, watch for it to turn from clear to a light caramel color. Once this happens, let it go a bit further until a deeper amber color. You may see a few wafts of smoke. That means you have bravely taken it far enough.
Remove the caramel from the heat and whisk in the warmed honey vanilla cream. It will bubble up, be careful of the steam! Once the mixture is smooth again, add in your diced butter. Finally, whisk in the salt and vinegar.
Carefully pour the caramel in to a heat proof container to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Before using in recipes, allow it to cool to room temperature.
HONEY CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
300g honey caramel, room temperature
226g unsalted butter, room temperature
65g heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp salt
850g powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the honey caramel and butter until completely smooth. Scrape down the bowl at this point, and continue scraping down the bowl as needed throughout the mixing process.
Add in half of the heavy whipping cream and the salt. Continue mixing on low until mostly incorporated.
Add in half of the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix on low for a few minutes. The frosting should look very smooth.
Add in the remaining milk. Mix until smooth. Add in the remaining sugar. Mix until very smooth.
Use the frosting immediately or cover tightly and chill for up to two days in the refrigerator. Bring back to room temperature and mix on low for a few minutes before using.
For the design shown in the picture, I filled and crumb coated the cake using the honey buttercream.
After chilling the crumb coated cake for 15 minutes in the refrigerator, I applied another layer of smooth frosting to the sides and top.
To finish the cake, I piped swirls, starting from the center and swirling out. I used a Wilton 4B piping tip, but a Wilton 1M would be beautiful too.
Just after piping, I sprinkled some tiny, white sugar pearls. Do this quickly because, if you wait, the frosting will set and the sprinkles will bounce off instead of sticking.
Thank you to Sue Bee Honey for sponsoring this recipe! Anything that I have said about Aunt Sue’s and its product is accurate and reflects my honest opinion and experience. Sue Bee Honey and Aunt’s Sue’s Raw & Unfiltered Honey can be found in most major grocery stores or are available online at www.siouxhoney.com.