How to make chocolate cream cheese frosting! This recipe is made with cocoa powder and is simple, fool-proof, and richly chocolaty.
It’s creamy and smooth but is still sturdy enough for piping and would be the perfect complement to your favorite cake or cupcake recipe!
Due to popular demand (and a persistent sweet tooth), I’ve been trying to amp up my frosting section on the blog recently.
So far I’ve covered some of my favorite frostings, including a decadent, silky smooth (but not too-sweet) chocolate frosting and a classic (and perfect, it’s literally my favorite) cream cheese frosting, and today I’m marrying these two favorites together into this chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe.
Despite my afore-mentioned sweet tooth, buttercream frostings were always too sweet for me growing up, so as soon as I discovered cream cheese frosting my mom switched over to icing and decorating my birthday cakes exclusively with classic and chocolate cream cheese frosting. While many cream cheese frostings don’t stand up well to piping or decorating (too many are too soft and runny), this recipe is stiff enough for decorating and, as you can see in the above picture, works perfectly for piping on top a cupcake.
Chocolate cream cheese frosting only requires 6 ingredients and for my recipe I always use cocoa powder (rather than melted chocolate) to give my frosting a rich chocolaty flavor.
Take a good look at your cocoa powder before adding it in to your mixer, and if it looks particularly clumpy I recommend running it through a sifter with your powdered sugar so that you don’t have any lumps when you go to pipe the frosting — there’s nothing more annoying than ruining that perfect chocolate swirl because your piping tip has a lump of cocoa powder or powdered sugar jamming up the flow.
Another tip for silky smooth frosting: Make sure that your cream cheese and butter are softened before beating them together. Cream cheese that’s still cold can also cause lumps in your frosting. I always recommend beating the cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer first until both are well-combined and lump-free, and then adding your other ingredients.
Alright, I think that’s all I have to say about today’s super simple frosting recipe. I’m also just back from vacation and recovering from a crazy/wonderful week of sunny days and late 2AM nights with 29 of my favorite family members, so hopefully everything I just typed came out as coherently as possible 😉
And if you’re wondering about the cupcakes in this picture, I just made my favorite vanilla cake recipe, added a handful of sprinkles, and baked into cupcakes. My funfetti cake or chocolate cupcakes would also work nicely!
How to Make Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
This chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe will cover either one 2-layer 8" or 9" cake, 24 cupcakes, or generously frost (as much frosting as in the photos) 12 cupcakes.
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter softened (113g)
- 8 oz cream cheese softened brick-style, not spreadable (226g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar* 440g
- 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder 65g
Combine the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer or a stand mixer to beat until creamy, well-combined, and lump-free.
Add vanilla extract and salt and stir well to combine.
With mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined.
Add cocoa powder and beat until well-incorporated into the frosting -- be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that all ingredients are well-combined.
Frost completely cooled cake or cupcakes.
*If you plan to pipe the frosting with a small tip, I recommend sifting the powdered sugar and cocoa powder (after measuring) to remove any lumps. The cupcakes in these photos were frosted using an Ateco 848 tip.