Desserts

Delicious Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

at a glance
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 cups

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Rich, chocolatey, smooth, and buttery deliciousness – this chocolate buttercream will level up just about any dessert! 

Stand mixer whisk with chocolate buttercream.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I love a good smooth and creamy chocolate frosting. Chocolate buttercream on chocolate cake is one of my favorite combinations. It’s such a classic flavor profile – you really can’t go wrong! I’m not a huge baker (although I aspire to be one!) and had never made buttercream before I tried out this recipe. No real reason other than I had built up in my mind that the process was far more intimidating than it actually is. I was so pleasantly surprised by how easy this recipe came together, and it makes me feel like I can be more adventurous in living out my buttercream piping dreams. I also love that this frosting isn’t overly sweet and was really easy to work with, and I know you will too!

Ingredients for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

The ingredients are pretty straightforward and easy to make this frosting. Here’s what you’ll need:

Chocolate buttercream ingredients on a gray and white marble surface.
  • 8 ounces of softened butter
  • 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
  • ½ cup of milk
  • ½ cup of cocoa powder
  • ½ tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe Variations

  • Make it dairy free – substitute a vegan butter and coconut milk or coconut cream to make this a dairy free buttercream. 
  • Use heavy cream – for the most decadent frosting, use 1 cup of heavy cream in place of the milk. 

How to Make Chocolate Buttercream

Here’s how you’ll make this deliciously creamy buttercream:

Chocolate buttercream ingredients in a stand mixer bowl.
White bowl with chocolate buttercream
  1. Add ingredients to the mixer – using a whisk attachment, add all of the ingredients to a stand mixer.
  2. Blend until smooth – start on a low speed and blend the ingredients until combined.
  3. Increase speed – increase the speed to medium-high and blend until smooth.
  4. Frost – use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Tips for the Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Gradually add the dry ingredients – if you have a smaller mixing bowl, we recommend creaming the butter first, then gradually incorporating the dry ingredients so that you don’t have a cloud of powdered sugar explode in the kitchen.
  • Don’t let it get too hot – if your buttercream gets too hot, it may become runny. If this happens, try cooling it in the fridge for 30 minutes to help it set up. 

How to Decorate with Chocolate Buttercream

This chocolate buttercream can be spread on cupcakes or a cake using a knife or spatula. You can also use a piping bag for smooth and fun decorations!

Top down view of 12 chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream frosting swirled on top with chocolate sprinkles.

How to Serve Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate buttercream is delicious on cupcakes (chocolate or funfetti would be yummy) or cake. It is also beautiful and tasty piped on top of sugar or chocolate chip cookies. Really, anything you would enjoy with chocolate would go great with this buttercream!

How to Store Buttercream Frosting

This chocolate buttercream is best stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and used within 5 days. Before using, let the frosting come to room temperature and re-whip if needed to reach a fluffy consistency.

Q How much frosting does this make?
A

This recipe makes enough frosting to generously coat a single layer of cake or frost 24 cupcakes, or about 4-6 cups of frosting.

Q Can this frosting be made in advance?
A

Yes! You can make this frosting in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. Bring the frosting to room temperature before using it. Re-whip if needed to fluff up the texture.

Q What can I do if my frosting is runny?
A

If your frosting is runny, it is possible it’s because it’s gotten too hot. Try refrigerating the bowl for 30 minutes to cool the frosting down.

Q Can I use this chocolate buttercream for cakes and cupcakes?
A

Yes! This chocolate buttercream is perfect for cakes and cupcakes.

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Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Servings: 6 cups
Rich, chocolatey, smooth, and buttery deliciousness – this chocolate buttercream will level up just about any dessert!

Ingredients  

  • 8 ounces butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup milk whole
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  • Start on a low speed and blend the ingredients until they start to become incorporated.
  • Increase the speed to medium-high and blend until smooth.
  • Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes

Tips:
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients – if you have a smaller mixing bowl, we recommend creaming the butter first, then gradually incorporating the dry ingredients so that you don’t have a cloud of powdered sugar explode in the kitchen.
  • Don’t let it get too hot – if your buttercream gets too hot, it may become runny. If this happens, try cooling it in the fridge for 30 minutes to help it set up. 
Ingredient Variations:
  • Make it dairy free – substitute a vegan butter and coconut milk or coconut cream to make this a dairy free buttercream. 
  • Use heavy cream – for the most decadent frosting, use 1 cup of heavy cream in place of the milk. 
 
Meet the Author
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Melissa Guevara

Melissa spends the bulk of her time writing, managing our content calendar, and lending a hand in recipe shoots. She values time spent exploring outdoors with her family and baking all things sourdough.⁠
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