Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (6-Minute Recipe)


This American Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is silky, whipped, decadent, and chocolatey with just the right amount of sweetness. It spreads and pipes beautifully over cakes and Chocolate Cupcakes.

Chocolate buttercream frosting on chocolate cupcake

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We love homemade frosting recipes from Vanilla Buttercream to Cream Cheese Frosting and of course this easy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Homemade frostings have better ingredients and taste way better than store-bought.

Chocolate Frosting Video Tutorial

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Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

This chocolate buttercream frosting is thick and fluffy. It holds its shape well just like Swiss Meringue Buttercream so it’s great for decorating and piping. It also has a rich chocolate flavor.

fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting on whisk

How much frosting does this make?

Frosting Cupcakes? This recipe yields about 2 1/4 cups frosting and generously frosts 12 cupcakes or lightly frosts 24 cupcakes.

Frosting a Cakes? To frost a 9” 2-layer cake, increase the recipe by 50% (i.e. 1 1/2 cups butter, 4 1/2 cups sugar, etc). 

Chocolate Frosting in mixing bowl with green spatula

The Key to Great Buttercream

For the best-textured buttercream, make sure the butter is at the correct temperature. Properly softened butter should be left at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours, or watch our video on how to soften butter in 5 minutes.

Your butter should feel cool to the touch and you should be able to indent it with your fingertip. Never melt or oversoften butter for the frosting.

Ingredients for Chocolate Buttercream

  • Unsalted butter – should be softened at room temperature
  • Confectioners sugar – also known as powdered sugar. Measured before sifting (sifting is not necessary).
  • Cocoa powdered – natural unsweetened cocoa powder or dutch process.
  • Heavy whipping cream – lightens up and thins the frosting.
  • Vanilla extract – we use real vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Salt – balances the sweetness of the buttercream. It’s the secret ingredient in buttercream that makes it taste not too sweet. We use fine sea salt.
Ingredients for making chocolate buttercream frosting with confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, butter, vanilla, salt and cream

How to Make Chocolate Buttercream

The best [Title] is easier and takes less time than you think! (Amazon links for tools used)

  1. Beat butter in a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment on high speed for 3 minutes until creamy and lightened in color.
  2. Add remaining ingredients – confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt.
  3. Beat together on low speed until powdered sugar is incorporated then on medium/high speed for another 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Add more cream if needed to thin the frosting.
Beating butter in mixing bowl
Adding cocoa, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and cream

Pro Tip: Scrape down the bowl several times to ensure the frosting is evenly blended and even in color. 

Whipped chocolate buttercream frosting made in a mixing bowl

Common Questions

What is the best cocoa powder to use?

Use either unsweetened natural cocoa powder such as Hershey’s brand or dutch process cocoa powder for making chocolate buttercream.

Can I Substitute Heavy Cream?

You can thin the frosting with milk instead of heavy cream, but you may need slightly less. Add it until you reach your desired texture.

Can I double the recipe?

You can easily double the recipe, increasing your mixing times slightly. 

Do I need to sift the dry ingredients?

Funny story, I spent years sifting the dry ingredients for this recipe until I decided to skip the step one day and found it did not make a difference. The ingredients incorporate easily without sifting.

How to Serve Chocolate Buttercream

This frosting is delicious over cakes, cupcakes, sweet bread, cookies you name it! Here are some of our favorite ways to use Chocolate Buttercream frosting:

Chocolate buttercream frosting served on a chocolate cupcake

Make-Ahead

  • To Refrigerate: Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to a week (do not store near fish or meat as it may absorb those fridge odors). Bring to room temperature and re-whip to make the frosting fluffy.
  • Freezing: Package the same way as for refrigerating, then freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then bring to room temperature before re-whipping to a fluffy consistency.

Enjoy this easy 6-minute Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. It’s one I’ve been making for years and I will never stop loving this recipe.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (6-Minute Recipe)

Prep Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 6 minutes

This American chocolate buttercream frosting is decadent, indulgent, and chocolatey. It has just the right amount of sweetness and is perfect for spreading or piping on cakes or cupcakes.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk

Skill Level:

Easy

Cost to Make:

$6-$8

Keyword:

American chocolate buttercream, chocolate buttercream frosting

Cuisine:

American

Course:

Dessert

Calories: 275 kcal

Servings: 12 cupcakes

  • 1
    cup
    unsalted butter
    softened
  • 3
    cups
    confectioners sugar
  • 1/2
    cup
    unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3 to 4
    Tbsp
    heavy whipping cream
  • 2
    tsp
    pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4
    tsp
    salt
  1. With a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat butter on high speed for about 3 minutes or until creamy and lightened in color, scraping down the bowl as needed.

  2. Add confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, 3 Tbsp heavy cream, 2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/4 tsp salt.

  3. Beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated then increase to medium/high speed and beat for 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times to ensure everything is well blended. Add another Tablespoon of heavy cream if needed to thin the frosting.

Nutrition Facts

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (6-Minute Recipe)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 275
Calories from Fat 153

% Daily Value*

Fat 17g26%

Saturated Fat 11g69%

Trans Fat 1g

Cholesterol 46mg15%

Sodium 53mg2%

Potassium 64mg2%

Carbohydrates 32g11%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 30g33%

Protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 528IU11%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 12mg1%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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