Sandra Lee was always one of my least favorite Food Network shows (I had particular disdain for the episode where she dressed the table in denim and diamonds). Then I saw the Food Network’s documentary on her and developed a new respect for what she does. She came from a broken family, so by default ended up having to look after her siblings at a young age. The money- and time-saving shortcuts on her show were inspired by those early years.
Anyway, I like to make cupcakes using a yellow cake box mix topped with her caramel rum icing, which is way easy and way yummy.
For the icing:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup milk (I substituted half and half)
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (I used closer to 2 cups—taste it as you go along)
- 1 teaspoon rum extract (I substituted 1 tablespoon dark rum)
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter with brown sugar and rum extract. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add milk and bring to a hard boil. Stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved; about 2 minutes.
Let cool to room temperature and transfer to a medium bowl. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat in powdered sugar until smooth. If too thick, add a little milk. If too thin, add a little powdered sugar.
Using an offset spatula, evenly spread icing on top of each cake round. Stack and ice the top of the cake. You may have frosting leftover.