Sprinkle 1/3 cup sugar in a shallow, heavy 3-1/2 quart Dutch oven; place
over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar melts (sugar
will clump) and syrup is light golden brown. Remove from heat. Combine
remaining 2-1/2 cups sugar and flour in a large saucepan, stirring well;
add milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Gradually pour one-fourth of hot mixture into caramelized sugar,
stirring constantly; add remaining hot mixture (mixture will lump, but
continue stirring until smooth).
Return to heat. Cover and cook over low heat 2 minutes. Uncover and
cook, without stirring, over medium heat until a candy thermometer
registers 238º. Add butter, stirring to blend. Remove from heat and
cool, without stirring until temperature drops to 110º (about 1 hr.).
Add vanilla and beat mixture with a wooden spoon or at medium speed of
an electric mixer until frosting reaches spreading consistency.
Tip: If frosting becomes too hard before spreading on cake, add a little
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