This easy homemade chocolate frosting recipe is my absolute favorite for layer cakes and cupcakes. It’s creamy, silky smooth, and shiny, with a deep chocolate flavor. It looks amazing, and tastes even better!
This is The Best Chocolate Frosting Recipe
This chocolate fudge frosting is a chocolate lover’s best friend – especially when paired with a deliciously moist cake such as this one. Many of the chocolate buttercream frostings that I’ve tried were too buttery, too sweet, and didn’t have enough chocolatey flavor. This recipe has it all! You can use this delicious homemade chocolate frosting for cupcakes, cakes, and brownies, or just lick it straight from the bowl (like someone I know does).
How to Make Chocolate Frosting
Making this chocolate buttercream frosting is super easy. The recipe uses butter and powdered sugar as the base. Cocoa powder and melted chocolate are added to deepen the chocolate flavor, but they also give the icing structure, so there’s not a lot of sugar in this recipe (most frosting recipes rely on sugar for structure) and the frosting isn’t too sweet. It’s important to sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder, or the frosting will be grainy.
Start by beating the butter until it’s creamy, then add the sugar in 2 additions, until completely smooth. Take your time with it. Add cocoa powder, and beat the mixture for at least 3 minutes until completely smooth. If the frosting is somewhat grainy, switch to the whisk attachment. Add chocolate and vanilla and mix, then add heavy cream, and beat until well combined. Once you add the heavy cream, the frosting will become super smooth and silky.
Cocoa Powder – Either natural unsweetened or Dutch-processed cocoa powder are ok to use.
Chocolate – use high quality chocolate bars for the best flavor. Either milk, semisweet or bittersweet chocolate can be used. If you like to use milk chocolate, you can leave out the cocoa powder, which will make the chocolate flavor less intense.
Heavy cream – you can replace the heavy cream with whole milk, just keep in mind that it will change the taste and texture.
Corn Syrup (optional) – If you happen to have corn syrup, you can substitute some of the powdered sugar with it. This will make an extra smooth and shiny frosting. Reduce the amount of powdered sugar to 1 cup, and add 1/2 cup light corn syrup (you can add more of it later if you want the frosting to be sweeter). Add it after adding the cocoa powder and before the melted chocolate. You might need to use a bit less heavy cream (depending on the consistency).
You can add 2 tablespoons of cooled espresso to the frosting along with the heavy cream.
You May Also Like:
- Super easy Chocolate Layer Cake
- The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
- Amazing Brownie Muffins (top them with this frosting to make brownie cupcakes!)
- 2 1/2 sticks (300 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cups (240g) powdered sugar, sifted, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 170 g (6 oz.) bittersweet, semisweet, or milk chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
- Pinch of salt , optional
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat until well combined, then add the other half and beat until smooth. Add cocoa powder and beat until completely creamy and smooth. Beat in vanilla and melted chocolate until combined. Add heavy cream, a bit at a time, until desired consistency. Add more powdered sugar if necessary, until frosting is spreadable. Add a bit of salt, to taste, to cut sweetness.
Use immediately or store in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. Before using, bring to room temperature and whisk by hand until smooth.
Jess @ whatjessicabakednextNovember 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm
Chocolate buttercream frosting is definitely my most favourite! It looks delicious, Shiran! Perfect, thanks for sharing your recipe! Must try it out soon 😀
ShiranNovember 15, 2014 at 5:29 pm
Thank you Jessica! I’m glad you like it! 🙂
Ihjaz AhmadDecember 12, 2014 at 8:01 am
Oh my goodness, Chocolate Frosting looks delicious! I’m definitely making this! thanks for sharing!
IreneJanuary 5, 2015 at 8:01 am
This looks delicious. I am planning on making it for my husband’s birthday next week. Can you tell me how much corn syrup I can use as a substitution for some of the powdered sugar?
ShiranJanuary 5, 2015 at 10:38 am
Hi Irene! You can reduce the amount of powdered sugar to 1 cup, and add 1/2 cup light corn syrup. Add it after adding the cocoa and before the melted chocolate. You might need to use a bit less heavy cream (depends on the consistency). If the frosting won’t be sweet enough to your taste, you can always add more corn syrup until it is. Happy Birthday!
sierraJuly 12, 2015 at 4:40 am
hi, i really want to make this cake with its frosting but is there a way we could use less butter? thanks.
ShiranJuly 13, 2015 at 10:21 am
Hi Sierra, the butter is necessary for this recipe not just for flavor, but also for texture. If you prefer, you can frost the chocolate cake with chocolate ganache.
F.April 30, 2017 at 6:28 am
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It’s in the fridge now & I cannot tell you how much I am happy with its texture and taste!! It is delicious!! I couldn’t help licking the tablespoon several times while mixing it at the end!! It is shiny & very chocolatey while not being too sweet.
I can’t wait to add it to your chocolate layer cake (in process!).
Again, delicious, restaurant like frosting. The best from all what I have ever tried.
I wish you the best,
ShiranMay 5, 2017 at 5:19 am
I’m so glad! Thank you so much for your comment.
RoseMarch 5, 2020 at 6:52 am
So I didn’t follow the recipe about using softened butter because I forgot to take the butter out. I ended up doing it the lazy way and melting it first then letting it cool. The consistency was a little weird at first but it eventually came out great. I made it for cupcakes and took it work. Everyone devoured it. Frosting was soooo good. I had some leftover so I had it in the fridge the next couple days to snack on which I did! Yum. Will make again and next time, I’ll use softened butter!
BeckyFebruary 8, 2018 at 10:32 pm
I’m not sure if I should go by 2 1/2 sticks of butter or 300 grams? My sticks of butter are 113.5 grams each, so 2.5 sticks would be 283.75grams, not 300. What do you recommend? Thanks!
ShiranFebruary 10, 2018 at 9:52 am
Hi Becky, just use 2.5 sticks, that’s fine!
JulieMarch 6, 2018 at 5:32 pm
This frosting is out of this world fabulous!! It’s not just “brown” as some chocolate frostings are, but this has incredible chocolate flavor. (I know that also depends on the quality of ingredients you use). But this frosting was easy to make and went well with the chocolate layer cake recipe. Everybody licked up all of their frosting instead of leaving half on the side because it’s too sweet or not tasty. This is the perfect chocolatey chocolate frosting. Thank you!
AllisonMarch 29, 2018 at 6:20 pm
Does this make enough frosting to ice a three layer cake (8 or 9 inch round)?
ShiranApril 1, 2018 at 5:30 am
Hi Allison, it’s enough to frost a 2-layer 9-inch cake. If you want to be on the safe side, I recommend to multiply the recipe by 1.5.
מעייןMay 30, 2018 at 3:11 pm
הי שירן, המתכונים נראים מעולים! האם יש אם לצד האנגלית שיהיה כתוב גם בעברית?
SimoneJune 8, 2018 at 3:34 am
Hi Shiran! Your Chocolate Frosting Recipe looks amazing and so I have decided to make your Chocolate Layer Cake with this Frosting for my sister’s birthday. But I have a problem.. My sister doesn’t like butter. So can I use oil or something else instead of butter? Thank You!
ShiranJune 10, 2018 at 8:24 am
The butter can’t be substituted for oil, because it gives the frosting its texture.
Mor WinklerSeptember 17, 2018 at 1:25 am
היי שירן! מה הדבר הכי קרוב ל heavy cream ??
אני רוצה להכין את הציפוי שלך ולא בטוחה…שאלה נוספת, במה את משתמשת כדיי לאחסן את העוגה במקרר?צריך פעמון גבוה במיוחד? תודה רבה!
ShiranSeptember 17, 2018 at 2:57 am
Hi Mor, in Israel heavy cream = ‘Shamenet Metuka’ 38%. You can store cakes in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap. For layer cakes I use a cake stand with a dome cover.
MArilynSeptember 24, 2018 at 4:39 pm
CAN I substitute non dairy creamer for the heavy cream. thanks
ShiranSeptember 25, 2018 at 11:03 am
I recommend sticking to the recipe. If you can’t find heavy cream leave it out or use a few teaspoons of whole milk instead.
Rachel GomezNovember 12, 2018 at 5:27 am
Hi wow this looks amazing question: if I wanted to use corn syrup how much of corn syrup should I use and how much of powdered sugar should I take away?
ShiranNovember 13, 2018 at 3:27 pm
Hi Rachel, you can reduce the amount of powdered sugar to 1 cup, and add 1/2 cup light corn syrup. Add it after adding the cocoa powder and before the melted chocolate. If the frosting isn’t thick or sweet enough, add more powdered sugar.
TammyDecember 18, 2018 at 4:34 am
Are you using the baking chocolate bars or regular candy bar?
ShiranDecember 18, 2018 at 8:31 am
Hi Tammy, use regular bittersweet chocolate bars that you like to eat. Don’t use baking chocolate if it’s unsweetened.
ChandelleDecember 18, 2018 at 5:15 pm
Can I use whipped cream instead of heavy cream?
ShiranDecember 19, 2018 at 8:15 am
You can use heavy cream/whipping cream (in liquid form), but not whipped cream.
MarieDecember 29, 2018 at 10:23 am
Made this for my son’s birthday along with the chocolate cake. The icing is the best buttercream I have had. The texture was lovely when first made but I put the cake in the fridge since we wouldn’t be eating it for a few hours and the icing became really stiff even though the cake sat out for a bit before slicing. I didn’t add the entire amount of heavy cream as the instructions said to add enough until desired consistency. Could the cream be the problem or should I have left the cake on the counter? Also, I don’t bake very often so any advice is appreciated for this novice.
JanetteJanuary 5, 2019 at 7:34 am
Can this frosting be frozen? I am making a cake for a special occasion that I have to travel to. I will be making the cake a week before the party and freezing it so I can transport it. I thought I’d decorate it when I get there.
NinaJanuary 25, 2019 at 4:20 am
I’d love to try this frosting for a layered cake under fondant. Will it be stiff enough to hold fondant on it?
ShiranFebruary 6, 2019 at 5:37 am
The cake is soft and moist but it should be ok.
CharlotteFebruary 9, 2019 at 11:19 am
This is honestly the best chocolate buttercream I’ve ever had in my life! My coworkers go crazy for this on top of your easy chocolate layer cake!
ErinJune 11, 2019 at 6:55 pm
would the frosting hold up if made and frosted on a cake a day in advance? i do not like to refrigerate cakes so am just wondering if I covered the cake and left it on the counter at room temp over night. thanks for sharing the recipe.
LoriNovember 10, 2019 at 12:29 pm
B KienkerDecember 13, 2019 at 9:49 am
Can I use regular salted butter
Derya RugglesMay 10, 2020 at 11:58 pm
I was seeking a really special frosting for my sister’s birthday cake and this wonderfully fluffy, flavorful frosting was perfect. Considering how much butter is in it, it is remarkably light. (The cake was good, but I didn’t have cake flour and shopping these days is something I avoid. Your fantastic frosting deserves the more delicate texture cake flour imparts. Next time.)
AndreaMay 11, 2020 at 4:24 pm
This is so delicious ! Thank you. I have so much leftover, can I freeze it?
ShiranMay 13, 2020 at 1:53 am
Yes! Thaw it overnight in the fridge (and then at room temperature) before using.
Claire MeagherSeptember 8, 2020 at 7:51 am
Is this enough frosting to do the top and sides of a 2 layer cake? I only want to do the 2 top layers, if I divided the recipe by half would this be enough?
FransieDecember 23, 2020 at 2:46 am
Hi there. I need one tub dark chocolate frosting to make the no-bake-eclair-cake-easy-recipe. This chocolate frosting recipe of yours – how much does it make (grams)? Thanks
Natasha MerchantMarch 21, 2021 at 3:27 pm
I used 1/2 cup of corn syrup for the addition cup of sugar, and this is seriously the best chocolate frosting! It’s not grainy at all and really chocolaty!
CakeJune 15, 2021 at 3:08 pm
QUestion: How many cups is 2.5 sticks of butter.
taliaJune 19, 2021 at 3:57 am
Hello! 2.5 sticks of butter is equal to 1 1/4 cups 🙂
Maddy DayMarch 15, 2022 at 2:17 pm
I can not for the life of me get rid of the grainy texture in buttercreams. Hoping this one is the answer to my dreams!