Deliciously Indulgent: Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Looking for the perfect frosting recipe to elevate your cakes and cupcakes to new heights of deliciousness? Look no further than this chocolate buttercream frosting recipe. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out on your cake-making journey, this easy-to-make and deliciously creamy frosting is sure to impress.

The secret to the perfect chocolate buttercream frosting lies in the quality of the ingredients used. By using unsweetened cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, and unsalted butter, we are able to create a rich, chocolatey flavor that perfectly complements any cake or cupcake recipe.

This frosting is also incredibly versatile, lending itself well to a range of flavor variations and substitutions. So whether you prefer to switch things up with different extracts or add-in ingredients like coffee or peanut butter, this chocolate buttercream frosting recipe can be adapted to suit your tastes.

So why settle for store-bought frosting when you can easily make your own at home? Follow along with our simple recipe and discover how easy it can be to make the perfect chocolate buttercream frosting every time you bake.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate lovers, unite! If you’re looking for a heavenly frosting recipe that will make your taste buds dance with joy, look no further. This chocolate buttercream frosting is exactly what you need in your life. Trust me; once you try it, you won’t be going back to any other frosting.

What sets this chocolate buttercream apart is the balance of flavors that melts in your mouth. It has that perfect sweetness from the confectioners’ sugar mixed with rich, smooth chocolatey bliss from the cocoa powder and melted chocolate. Not to mention that hint of vanilla extract, adding just the right amount of warmth to make each bite simply perfect.

This easy-to-make recipe only requires a few ingredients—unsalted butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, and vanilla extract. All of which can be found easily at your local grocery store or already on-hand in your pantry. Trust me; this recipe only takes minutes to whip up but tastes as if it took all day to perfect.

Another thing we’re confident you’ll love about this recipe is how versatile it is. This recipe allows for substitutions and variations if you want to experiment with different types of chocolates or switch out the milk for heavy cream for a deeper flavor profile. You can also adjust the recipe’s sweetness level by using less or more sugar depending on personal preference.

This chocolate buttercream frosting is perfect for filling cakes or cupcakes, topping off brownies or cookies, and anything else your heart desires for an added touch of decadence. And best of all? It stays creamy and luscious even after being refrigerated.

Trust us when we say that this is the best chocolate buttercream frosting recipe out there. Don’t take our word for it—mix up a batch yourself and prepare for a taste explosion!

Ingredient List

 A perfect chocolate buttercream frosting, just waiting to be spread on your favorite cake!
A perfect chocolate buttercream frosting, just waiting to be spread on your favorite cake!

Here are the ingredients you will need for this best chocolate buttercream frosting recipe:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Note: For best results, use high-quality ingredients. Make sure your butter is truly at room temperature and your chocolate is melted and cooled before using it in the recipe.

This easy chocolate frosting recipe calls for just a handful of simple, pantry-staple ingredients that you likely already have on-hand. The combination of rich butter, dark cocoa powder, powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, and a splash of milk creates a luxuriously smooth and creamy frosting that is perfect for spreading on cakes, cupcakes or cookies.

The Recipe How-To

 This frosting is so decadent that it'll make you feel like you've died and gone to chocolate heaven!
This frosting is so decadent that it’ll make you feel like you’ve died and gone to chocolate heaven!

Step-by-Step Guide for the Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This chocolate buttercream frosting recipe is simple and easy to make with just a few ingredients. It is creamy, fluffy, and has a rich chocolate flavor that is not too sweet.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Step 1: Cream the Butter

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat softened butter until smooth and creamy for about 2 minutes. You can also use a hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer.

A tip for perfect results: Use room temperature butter, it will blend more easily with other ingredients.

Step 2: Add the Cocoa Powder and Confectioners’ Sugar

Next, add unsweetened cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar to the bowl and start beating on low speed until everything is combined.

Step 3: Mix in Milk and Vanilla Extract

After that, mix in milk (start with 1/4 cup) and pure vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy, adding up to 1/4 cup more milk if needed to reach desired spreading consistency. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for an additional minute.

A tip for perfect results: Use whole milk or half-and-half in place of skim milk. They will add richness to your frosting.

Step 4 (Optional): Add Melted Chocolate

If you want to make this frosting into a chocolate buttercream frosting, you can add melted cooled chocolate after step three. Mix until the chocolate is fully incorporated.

A tip for perfect results: For melted chocolate, use high-quality chocolate like Lindt, Ghirardelli, or Baker’s chocolate for an authentic flavor taste.

Step 5 (Optional): Adjust Consistency

If your frosting is too thick, add a splash more of milk – if it’s too soft, add more confectioners’ sugar.

Step 6: Fill and Frost Your Baked Goods

Your fresh homemade chocolate buttercream frosting is ready! Spread it over your cupcakes or cakes with an offset spatula or use a piping bag to add decorative swirls on top.

A tip for perfect results: Spread the frosting on completely cooled cupcakes or cakes because warm temperatures can make frosting melt.

Substitutions and Variations

 Just look at this velvety smooth frosting, it's almost too pretty to eat (almost)!
Just look at this velvety smooth frosting, it’s almost too pretty to eat (almost)!

The beauty of this chocolate buttercream frosting recipe is that it offers a lot of room for experimentation and customization. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Milk: You can use any type of milk you prefer in this recipe, from whole milk to almond milk. Just make sure to adjust the quantity if necessary as different milk types have different densities.

– Cocoa Powder: Feel free to swap the unsweetened cocoa powder with dark cocoa powder for a more intense chocolate flavor. You can also add some melted dark chocolate to the frosting for an even richer taste.

– Butter: If you don’t have unsalted butter on hand, you can use salted butter instead. Just be mindful not to add additional salt to the recipe to prevent the frosting from becoming too salty. You can also substitute part of the butter with cream cheese for a tangy twist.

– Sugar: You can adjust the amount of confectioners’ sugar according to your preference for sweetness. However, note that decreasing the amount of sugar will result in a less stable frosting that may be harder to pipe or spread.

– Vanilla: While vanilla extract is the go-to flavoring for this recipe, you can experiment with other extracts such as almond or peppermint for a unique variation.

– Non-Dairy: For those who have dietary restrictions, you can use dairy-free substitutes like coconut cream and vegan butter in place of regular dairy ingredients.

These are just some of the possible substitutions and variations you can try with this recipe. It’s always fun to experiment and find your perfect version of chocolate buttercream frosting that suits your taste buds!

Serving and Pairing

 Chocoholics rejoice! This frosting is the answer to all of your chocolatey dreams.
Chocoholics rejoice! This frosting is the answer to all of your chocolatey dreams.

Now, it’s time to indulge in the deliciousness of your chocolate buttercream frosting. This frosting recipe is an absolute crowd-pleaser that will make any dessert irresistible. Smeared onto cakes, cupcakes, or cookies, it adds a rich and velvety texture that complements any baked dessert.

This chocolate buttercream frosting is perfect for layer cakes such as Classic Vanilla or Chocolate cake, Red Velvet Cake or even cheesecake. Pro tip: to take your cakes to the next level, try alternating layers of cake and filling (such as caramel) with this frosting – it’s an instant showstopper!

Not just limited to enhancing baked treats, this easy chocolate buttercream frosting also makes a fantastic filling for macarons, sandwich cookies or as a dip for fresh fruits like strawberries and sliced pears.

When pairing with drinks, it’s important to take note that this frosting is quite sweet on its own. The richness of the chocolate is well balanced with a cup of strong coffee or tea or even a glass of full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon.

Overall, this indulgent chocolate buttercream frosting is perfect for when you want to enhance your desserts with ease and bring something special to the table. Whether serving a fancy anniversary cake or a fun-filled kids’ birthday party cupcakes, this recipe is sure to impress!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A match made in culinary heaven - our chocolate buttercream frosting and your favorite cake!
A match made in culinary heaven – our chocolate buttercream frosting and your favorite cake!

Once you have made the chocolate buttercream frosting, you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. If you’re planning to make it ahead of time, it’s worth noting that the frosting will harden as it cools, so you’ll need to let it sit at room temperature for about an hour before using it.

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Before reusing, allow the frosting to come to room temperature and then mix it again for a smooth consistency.

Reheating the frosting is not recommended as the heat may cause the buttercream to separate, and no amount of stirring will bring it back together. However, if you want to reuse refrigerated frosting, allow it to come back to room temperature before using it.

When serving cakes or cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting, they don’t need refrigerated and are perfect at room temperature. However, be mindful when packing or storing them for any length of time at higher temperatures, as the frosting may melt.

Overall, this recipe produces a creamy and fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting that can be stored for up to two days at room temperature and up to one week in the refrigerator. Just remember to let it come back to room temperature before using or mixing again for a smoother consistency.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Frosting a cake has never been easier or more delicious than with this chocolate buttercream recipe.
Frosting a cake has never been easier or more delicious than with this chocolate buttercream recipe.

To ensure that your chocolate buttercream frosting turns out perfectly, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. These tips will make sure that your frosting is smooth, creamy, and rich, making it the perfect topping for any cupcakes or cakes. Here are some tips for creating the best chocolate buttercream frosting:

1. Use room temperature ingredients: Before you begin making your frosting, ensure that all your ingredients have been left out at room temperature for at least an hour. When ingredients such as butter and cream cheese are at room temperature, they incorporate much easier into the frosting and create a smoother texture.

2. Sift your powdered sugar: Powdered sugar tends to clump together during storage, so it’s important to sift it before adding it to the frosting. This will prevent any lumps from forming in the frosting, resulting in a smooth consistency.

3. Don’t overbeat the butter: While incorporating the butter into the frosting, avoid overbeating it as this can cause air bubbles and create a less dense but runny frosting. Beat just enough until fluffy and smooth.

4. Use high-quality cocoa powder: To get the best-tasting chocolate buttercream frosting, use high-quality cocoa powder such as unsweetened natural or dark chocolate powder in combination with melted cooled chocolate pieces for extra flavor.

5. Add milk or cream one tablespoon at a time: If you prefer thinner consistency for spreading on cakes or beating air into the mixture, add milk or heavy cream one tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

By following these tips for creating the best chocolate buttercream frosting recipe, you’ll end up with a creamy, decadent icing that’s perfect for any occasion. Don’t forget to taste test your frosting with every addition of powdered sugar or other ingredients so you can adjust accordingly!


As any recipe goes, there can be a few uncertainties that arise during the cooking process. However, with this chocolate buttercream frosting recipe, you can find all the answers to your most commonly asked questions right here in this FAQ section. So, grab a cup of milk and let’s dive into some of the most frequently asked questions!

What is the difference between frosting and buttercream?

When it comes to identifying the difference between frosting and buttercream, the ingredients used can be a helpful indicator. While both require powdered sugar, fat, flavouring and occasionally milk or water, buttercream is made using butter, whereas frosting typically omits butter in favour of alternatives like shortening or cream cheese. This distinction may seem small, but it can definitely affect the flavour and texture of your final product.

How do you make chocolate buttercream Martha Stewart?

For this recipe, we will need 4 sticks of unsalted butter that’s at room temperature, 12 ounces of melted and cooled semisweet chocolate, 3 tablespoons of milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract, and 5 cups of confectioners’ sugar.

Does chocolate buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated?

When preparing buttercream frosting, it is recommended that you refrigerate it until it is ready to be used in the next week. To store it, transfer the frosting into a container that has an airtight seal. Take it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before using it. Before piping the frosting onto your cakes or cupcakes, make sure to give it a good re-whip to achieve its light and fluffy texture.

Which buttercream is best for filling cakes?

If you’re in the mood for some delectable baked goods, you might want to try a recipe that calls for American buttercream. This creamy and sweet frosting is made by blending butter, icing sugar, and a little bit of milk or cream for the right consistency. American buttercream is versatile and can be used to fill cakes, cover cakes, or top cupcakes. So, if you want to impress your guests with scrumptious desserts, give this frosting a shot!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting is a must-try for all bakers and dessert enthusiasts alike. The perfect balance of sweetness and richness that comes from the combination of cocoa powder, powdered sugar, butter, and a touch of vanilla extract makes this recipe stand out from the rest.

Not only is it easy to make with minimal ingredients, but it can also be adapted to suit different variations and substitutions to cater to your unique taste preferences.

Whether you choose to use it as a filling in cakes or cupcakes or as an icing on donuts or cookies, this frosting is sure to take your desserts to a whole new level.

So what are you waiting for? Give this recipe a try and discover the perfection of chocolate buttercream frosting for yourself.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Global
Keyword: < 15 Mins, Dessert, Easy, Kid-Friendly, Low Protein, No-Cook
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 556.6kcal


  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


  • Place butter in a bowl and beat until creamy.
  • Add sugar and cocoa, mixing well.
  • Stir in milk in portions, stirring each time.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Spread on cooled cake or other items needing frosting.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 532g | Calories: 556.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 92.9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20.3g | Saturated Fat: 12.2g | Cholesterol: 51.9mg | Sodium: 174.7mg | Fiber: 2.1g | Sugar: 83.8g

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