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ISO caramel icing for applesauce cake

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i'm making an applesauce cake and i want to frost it with a spreadable but good holding - and not overly sweet - caramel frosting. the frostings i've found could work but i want to avoid caramel fudge!! i'm a new baker. i wonder if i could get a rec. here are some i've found online:

caramel buttercream:
http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/c...

standard buttercream w/caramel extract:
http://gourmet-eats.blogspot.com/2008...
http://the-cupcakery-blog.blogspot.co...

caramel that isn't buttercream:
moosewood's caramel: http://invertedspoon.blogspot.com/200...
betty crocker: http://www.bettycrocker.com/Recipes/R...
http://invertedspoon.blogspot.com/200...

caramel cream cheese:
test the waters and mix a can of dulce de leche with cream cheese until i get the desired consistency?
-http://www.cottageliving.com/cottage/...

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  1. Joy of Cooking has a recipe for Old Fashioned Caramel Frosting that looks great.

    1. I use the caramel frosting from the 1950 version of the Betty Crocker Picture book......

      heat 1/3 cup cream and 6 tbls butter. carmelize 2 tbls sugar by melting it in a heavy pan over low heat stirring constantly until golden brown. add cream butter mixture to the carmelized sugar and stir until the lumps are gone. Add 3 cups sifted confectioners sugar to the mixture and beat until smooth and the right consistance. You can add a bit more cream if it gets to thick.

      enjoy, jill