My Chocolate Frosting recipe comes together with just five ingredients. It is perfect for all of your cupcakes, cookies, and cakes.
Homemade frosting is so easy to make. It requires just a few ingredients, and is far better than store-bought frosting. In fact, my Vanilla Frosting was one of my first recipes to go viral. When it did, I had so many readers ask me for a chocolate counterpart.
This Chocolate Frosting is bound to become a favorite in your house. It is easy to make and perfect for all of your cakes and cupcakes. That being said, I you want to just eat it with a spoon then we are birds of a feather, my friend.
Chocolate Frosting Ingredients
Just like my vanilla frosting, this recipe for chocolate frosting is easy and made with just five ingredients you probably already have on hand.
- Unsalted Butter: You can’t make a buttercream without starting with butter. I like to use unsalted butter because it allows us to control the amount of salt in the recipe. Additionally, it is absolutely key that the butter is room temperature.
- Vanilla: Even though this is chocolate frosting, the vanilla adds a smooth, rich flavor to help keep the chocolate from tasting too bitter or chalky.
- Cocoa Powder: This is what gives the homemade buttercream frosting a rich chocolaty taste.
- Powdered Sugar: Regular confectioner’s sugar works great in this recipe; the finer the better. Many recipes call for you to sift the sugar first so it doesn’t clump. This isn’t a step that I find necessary, and as you can see the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Heavy Cream: Here’s where your frosting will achieve its fluffy, airy texture. Heavy whipping cream blends with the other ingredients beautifully, making this frosting lighter than air!
- Salt: Adding salt to recipes helps enhance the flavor of all the other ingredients. This applies to savory and sweet recipes. We are adding just a pinch here and it is the perfect final touch.
How to Make Chocolate Frosting
Here is a brief overview of how this easy chocolate frosting recipe comes together. For the full recipe and all measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Whip the butter. It is important that your butter is at room temperature. Beat it with a hand mixer or in your stand mixer. Add in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
- Add the powdered sugar. Slowly add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Then add in the heavy cream and mix until combined. The frosting might seem really thick at this point, but when you add in the heavy cream it will turn into the delightful smooth frosting you see here.
- Use right away or refrigerate until ready to use.
The Key to The Best Chocolate Frosting Recipe
Make sure your butter is room temperature. Room temperature butter is key to making sure that this recipe works well. If it is too cold it won’t blend well with the other ingredients. If it is too soft, it won’t pipe well or hold its shape. Room temperature butter is the perfect balance and results in the best frosting.
A few things to keep in mind with room temperature butter:
- Room temperature butter is cold to the touch.
- You should be able to easily dent it with a finger without your finger going all the way through.
- Do not microwave the butter to achieve room temperature. The outside of the butter will melt while the inside of the stick of butter is still too cold.
- To achieve room temperature butter quickly, cut the stick of butter into one inch pieces and leave it on the counter for 30 minutes.
Tips For The Perfect Frosting
- Once all the ingredients are added, whip at a high speed for a couple of minutes until the chocolate buttercream frosting is fluffy.
- If the frosting seems too soft, you can add a tiny bit more powdered sugar, but be aware that it does stiffen up slightly once it sets. It pipes beautifully, then sets up a little bit more.
- If it’s too stiff, add a bit more heavy cream until the chocolate frosting is the consistency you like.
This homemade chocolate frosting can be spread on cupcakes, cakes, or cookies. It makes about 2 3/4 cups of frosting. If you use 2 tablespoons of frosting per cupcake you can frost 22 cupcakes. If you would like the cupcakes to have that beautiful piped swirl, I recommend doubling the frosting recipe and using a good piping set like the one below.
If you are making this frosting to frost a 9 by 13 inch cake, you can make the recipe just as written. If you are making a layered cake, I would suggest doubling the recipe here so that you have plenty for each layer and to coat the cake.
Store any leftover frosting in the refrigerator for up to two days. You may need to whip it for a minute or two to make it fluffy again. If you plan to make the frosting ahead of time, I would store it separately from the cupcakes and frost them when you are ready to eat them so you don’t have to keep the cupcakes in the fridge.
How to Use Chocolate Frosting Recipe
Frosting is my absolute weakness. I remember as a kid how my mom would let me put frosting between graham crackers for a little frosting sandwich treat. Try this easy chocolate frosting in all kinds of ways:
- Sugar Cookie Bars: Use it as the frosting for these delicious cookie bars
- Pumpkin Cupcakes: Chocolate and pumpkin go great together and this frosting would be fantastic on those cupcakes.
- Banana Cake: This would go fantastic on my banana cake – one of my very favorite flavor combos.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake: I love it for decorating this great cake. Make it for your next birthday!
I can’t wait to hear how your frosting turns out! If you try this easy chocolate frosting recipe, please drop me a comment below and let me know what you think.
Chocolate Frosting Recipe
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature (113 grams)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder (42 grams)
- 4 cups powdered sugar (454 grams)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (118.29 ml)
- pinch of salt
- Beat the butter in a stand mixer or a large bowl with a handheld mixer.1/2 cup unsalted butter
- Add in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Slowly add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Then add in the heavy cream. Finally, add a pinch of salt.2 teaspoons vanilla, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 4 cups powdered sugar, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Use right away, or store in an airtight container until you are ready to use.