This is my all-time favorite chocolate frosting recipe, and I think that once you try it it’ll be yours, too! This is a simple chocolate frosting that needs just 6 ingredients — it will easily frost a 2 layer 8″ or 9″ cake or generously ice a dozen cupcakes!
I’ve been using this chocolate frosting recipe for a while, but I’ve never shared it on its own yet. You may have spied it on my favorite chocolate cake, vanilla cupcakes, or my marble cake, and in the picture above it’s covering a cake that I’ll be sharing with you on Wednesday (can you guess the flavor!?).
This is my favorite chocolate frosting because it’s so incredibly smooth and silky thanks to the use of real melted chocolate (rather than cocoa powder) and two tablespoons of heavy cream.
Whipping the heavy cream into the frosting gives it an incredibly light texture that keeps this luxuriously rich chocolate frosting from feeling too heavy. Instead, it’s silky smooth and melts in your mouth, and the hardest part about making it is mustering up the willpower to keep from eating it all with a spoon before it makes it onto your cake or cupcakes!
Because we’re using melted chocolate in this recipe you will have to pay careful attention to the temperature of the chocolate (don’t worry, no actual thermometer is required), and I offer some tips below on how to make chocolate frosting using melted chocolate.
While I’ve written this recipe using semisweet chocolate bars, I also include tips on how to make the frosting using chocolate chips, instead. I’ve made this frosting both ways plenty of times and the frosting always tastes great regardless of which I use.
Tips on How to Make Chocolate Frosting:
- Be sure to coarsely cut the chocolate into pieces that are roughly the same size. When microwaving (regardless of whether you are using chocolate bars or chocolate chips), pause to stir your chocolate frequently (every 15 seconds), otherwise the chocolate can become too hot and seize.
- Allow your chocolate to cool at least 10 or 15 minutes before adding it to your butter. If it’s too hot, it will melt the butter and the sugar and you’ll just have a runny mess on your hands!
- Your butter should be at room temperature. If it’s too cold, some of your chocolate will harden as your ingredients are being combined and you will have chocolate pieces in your frosting rather than a smooth chocolate frosting.
- This recipe calls for unsalted butter (and you can read my post on salted vs unsalted butter to better understand why), but if you only have salted butter on hand you can still make this chocolate frosting, just leave out the salt that the recipe calls for.
This chocolate frosting recipe will frost one 8″ or 9″ 2-layer cake or will generously frost 12 cupcakes (see above photo of my vanilla cupcakes). If you’re more sparing with your frosting you could frost 2 dozen cupcakes.
Chocolate Frosting Recipe
- Place your chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well. Return chocolate to microwave and heat for another 15 seconds and stir again. Continue heating chocolate for 15 seconds, stirring after each, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
- Allow chocolate to cool for at least 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want chocolate to cool so that it is not hot to the touch, otherwise it will melt your butter and sugar and the frosting will not turn out.
- While the chocolate is cooling, place butter in a separate bowl and use a stand mixer or electric mixer to beat until creamy.
- Add melted, cooled chocolate and stir well.
- Gradually add sugar, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl occasionally so that ingredients are well combined.
- Sprinkle in salt and vanilla extract, stir well.
- With mixer on low, gradually add heavy cream to frosting. Gradually increase speed to high and beat for 30 seconds.
- Pipe or spread frosting onto prepared, cooled baked good.