A surprisingly simple recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. This recipe is based off of my classic buttercream frosting, only modified to be a silky, rich, chocolate version! Easy and foolproof, this icing can be ready in under 10 minutes!
Silky smooth. Richly chocolatey. Perfect for decorating. Foolproof and flawless. Ready in under 10 minutes.
What more could you ask for in a chocolate buttercream frosting? Today’s recipe came by request from my mom. She told me that after making my vanilla cake, she found that she didn’t have the chocolate bars to make my existing chocolate frosting. My little sister insisted on chocolate, though, so she went somewhere else on the internet for one.
Oh, no 😅. I just can’t let that happen again. Fortunately, today’s recipe was super simple to whip up, an easy alteration of my classic American buttercream frosting. You only need a handful of ingredients and just as many minutes. I’m working on building up my frosting library so hopefully you (and my mom) can find every variation you need here on Sugar Spun Run.
What You Need (and some notes on substitutes):
Basic buttercream ingredients are all you need to make today’s recipe.
- Butter. I use unsalted and add salt (you can read more about why, or how to substitute salted butter). Make sure it has had some time to soften
- Powdered sugar. This should be weighed with a scale or measured the same way that flour is measured to avoid accidentally over-measuring and making the buttercream too thick.
- Cocoa powder. You can use natural or Dutch processed cocoa for this recipe. My preference is natural cocoa powder. If you have neither on hand but do have chocolate bars or chocolate chips, try my other chocolate frosting recipe instead.
- Vanilla extract. Even though this is a chocolate frosting, you want to add vanilla extract for depth of flavor.
- Salt. See above regarding the butter.
- Heavy cream. This gives the icing a silky smooth consistency. If you don’t have cream you can substitute milk, but you will most likely need less than indicated as milk is thinner.
This recipe may be doubled or tripled, granted your mixing bowl is large enough.
How to Store
Once you frost your cake (or cupcakes), the frosting can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for two days, or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
If you want to make the frosting in advance to use later, I recommend storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Before spreading or piping it over a cake or cupcakes, you will need to allow it to come to room temperature again and then you may need to whip it once more with an electric mixer to help it return to the proper consistency.
Does this Chocolate Buttercream hold up to high temperatures?
As with most frostings, this recipe fares very well at room temperature, but does not hold up well to high temperatures.
Will it work under fondant?
Yes! This recipe is fine to use underneath fondant.
Other Frosting Recipes to Try:
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Peanut Butter Frosting
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a large bowl and an electric mixer) and beat on low-speed until creamy and smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
- Add 2 cups (250g) of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream and turn mixer to low speed. Stir until well-combined.3 ½ cups (435 g) powdered sugar, ⅔ cup (65 g) cocoa powder¹, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅛-¼ teaspoon salt, 3-4 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk, A pinch of espresso powder would also be great in this recipe!
- Gradually (with mixer on low-speed) add remaining powdered sugar. The icing may appear pretty dry, this is OK.
- Add remaining heavy cream or milk, one tablespoon at a time. Start with mixer on low-speed and gradually increase speed to medium-high, beating on this speed for several seconds to whip each Tablespoon of cream into the batter. Add additional tablespoons of cream until a smooth, pipe-able consistency is reached.
- I recommend piping icing over your cupcakes or frosting your cake immediately. See notes in the post on how to store buttercream and use at a later date.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.