The Best Chocolate Frosting
This easy chocolate frosting recipe is the BEST! Made with melted chocolate, it’s silky smooth, buttery, and not at all too sugary. It’s perfect for cakes, cupcakes, brownies… anything!
Where do you fall in the frosting camp? Chocolate or vanilla?
I am squarely chocolate, all day, every day. No question.
At least 10 years ago, I saw vanilla frosting made on a local morning TV segment and I’ve been adapting it ever since. Not long after seeing it, I tried my hand at this homemade chocolate frosting version using melted chocolate; I fell head over heels in love with the insanely creamy frosting with a deep chocolate flavor. Prior to that, I had only made chocolate frosting with cocoa powder and this version blew it out of the water. It’s incredibly easy to make and you’ll never look for another frosting recipe again!
How Do You Make Homemade Chocolate Frosting with Melted Chocolate?
It’s so easy!
I took my favorite vanilla frosting recipe and adapted it to make the most amazing chocolate frosting recipe you’ll ever taste. These are the simple steps:
- Melt your chocolate and let it cool to room temperature. I like using semisweet chocolate since it’s sort of “all-purpose”, but you can totally use dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or even white chocolate, if you’d like.
- Get your butter to room temperature, then whip it with a whisk attachment for a full 5 minutes. This is crucial! It makes the frosting satiny smooth and you don’t get any of that gritty/stiff sugary texture.
- Then mix in your vanilla and powdered sugar until completely incorporated.
- Finally, pour in that melted chocolate and whip on medium-high speed for a couple of minutes, scraping as necessary, until totally combined. Try to resist eating it all with a spoon ;-)
Other Chocolate Frosting Alternatives
This is, without a doubt, my favorite chocolate frosting recipe, but there are some other variations you may want to try:
- Chocolate frosting with cocoa powder – It’s a stiffer frosting than one with melted chocolate, but my favorite version is Hershey’s perfectly chocolate frosting, which can be found alongside the Hershey’s perfectly chocolate cake recipe.
- Chocolate frosting with instant coffee – You’re in luck! My mocha cupcakes are topped with an espresso buttercream frosting, which you can easily adapt to make with this base chocolate frosting recipe if you’re looking for a mocha frosting, as well.
- Chocolate frosting with cream cheese – My chocolate dump-it cake is topped with an absolutely sublime chocolate cream cheese frosting, which I highly recommend if you like a little tang to cut the sweetness of chocolate frosting!
Whether you need a chocolate frosting for cake, cupcakes, brownies, cake pops, literally ANYTHING, this is the recipe you want to use, it will never disappoint. It frosts a cake perfectly and pipes beautifully, as well. It’s absolutely the best.
If you’re looking for a fabulous brownie recipe to put underneath this frosting, these better-than-box-mix brownies are my go-to and all-time favorite!
And that cake that’s peaking out? That’s my all-time favorite epic chocolate cake recipe, and I’ll be sharing it later this week, so stay tuned!
If You Like This Chocolate Frosting, Try These:
- 7 Minute Frosting
- Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
- Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting
- Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
Four years ago: Overnight Chilled Plum-Oatmeal Pudding
Six years ago: Peach Coffee Cake
Ten years ago: Panzanella
Eleven years ago: Samoas Brownie
The Best Chocolate Frosting
- 2 cups (454 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5 cups (600 g) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces (226.8 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments on 50% power, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed to incorporate all of the chocolate.
- Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for up to 4 hours before using. The frosting can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature and re-whip before using. The frosting can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before using.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
This recipe was originally published on October 22, 2010.
I have made this recipe many times and it is always a crowd pleaser. I noticed a comment about the sweetness of this frosting and thought that I would let you know how I have amended the recipe to my taste. First of all though; it’s frosting so it is going to be sweet! I use 1 3/4c of unsalted butter and combine it with 1/4c of salted butter. I then add only 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (you can always add more later, if you want.) and melt an entire 10oz bag of dark chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60%). The frosting still looks like the photo on this page and has a nice smooth consistency.
Hi how big of a cake will this cover? Thank you
I see that this is an old post, but for anyone who is currently browsing the comment section, the frosting will cover a two layer 9″ round cake. I have easily frosted 16 jumbo cupcakes, as well.
This was delicious! And so easy! Keeping this as my go to chocolate frosting recipe!
Two cups of butter – a whole pound, right? Just making sure!
Yes, that’s right!
Made the frosting! So simple and delicious! I refrigerated it and now I’m letting it get back to room temperature . You said to rewhip once at room temp, do you just throw it back into the bowl with the whisk attachment? Do you need to add anything or for how long? Thanks for the great recipe!
am i taking crazy pills? this was cloyingly sweet… and ruined my cake entirely. i made the recipe exactly as written by weight and even as i was measuring out the sugar i was like, hmmm this seems like way too much so i cut it back by 1 oz and it was still cloyingly sweet. i tried to dilute it a bit by softening more butter and chocolate and adding to it but it was still extremely sweet. i was going to bring this to my gf to impress her but yeah, thanks for ruining my plans.
There is an overwhelming number of recipes for chocolate frosting. I feel like I’ve tried them all. Some are very good and those that are excellent I like to review.
This is definitely excellent! Not too sweet and stands up well at room temp for several days.
I’m so thrilled to hear how much you liked the frosting, Alison! Thanks for sharing your review!
If I frost the cake the day before, can the cake stay out at room temperature or will it need to be refrigerated overnight? If it can stay out at room temperature how long can it stay, the cake will be in a sealed cake carrier.
Hi Katie, It can stay out at room temperature (covered) for up to 4 days or so. No need to refrigerate!
Yum! Love your recipes, going to give this one a go!
Please post epic chocolate cake soon! It’s my husband’s birthday this weekend would love to make it with that awesome frosting!
It’s coming tomorrow! :)
What kind of chocolate do you use? Is it chocolate chips, melting wafers, Baker’s baking chocolate that comes in the squares, Ghirardelli bars that come in the various percentages of cocoa? I’ve never made chocolate frosting with anything other than cocoa powder, and melted chocolate sounds like a dream in frosting. I am liking that you said it’s good for piping as well as frosting.
Hi Michelle, I typically use the Ghiradelli semisweet bars, but have also used chocolate chips in a pinch. I hope that helps!
Hello! Sounds delicious. Is this chocolate frosting pipeable? If not, do you have a favorite pipeable chocolate frosting? Thank you!
Yes, totally! As I mentioned above, it’s perfect for piping on cupcakes or piped decorations on cakes.
So easy and so delicious. I use this recipe again and again. My family and co workers love it. It’s chocolately, luscious, but not too sweet…especially when you use dark chocolate.
Hi Brandy, I’m so thrilled that you’ve been loving this recipe! Thanks for taking the time to comment and leave a review, it’s much appreciated! xo
I am about to bake your classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting for my grandson’s 9th birthday. Which frosting should I make? – the one that appears with the recipe (which includes corn syrup which I have but have never used in frosting) or the “best chocolate buttercream for cupcakes? I want it to be perfect!
Hi Gayle, They’re both delicious! The corn syrup makes it shinier and smoother, but I absolutely adore the “best chocolate buttercream for cupcakes” – I use it for everything!
The yield for this frosting is somehow all wacky on the site. This is what it has when I try to read it….”5&FRAC12; CUPS”. I’m not sure what its trying to be. Some computer when goofy somewhere. What IS the yield amount on this frosting? Thanks!
Hi Pamela, So sorry about that! It should be 5.5 cups.
the amount of adds on this site are insane
This looks delicious! Does melted chocolate tend to make better frosting than cocoa powder?
Hi Peter, I’ve made chocolate frostings with both, and they’ve all turned out great, but I like the depth of flavor you get from melted chocolate vs just cocoa powder.
My go-to chocolate frosting recipe – everyone always loves it!
This is the best chocolate buttercream I’ve ever made or tasted. And it’s very easy to make.
This was delicious! I made one alteration — left off half a cup of sugar. At 2 cups it was thick enough, and plenty sweet enough. The secret to buttercream — start with super soft butter and make sure you give it the full 5 minutes of creaming at the start!
Just wondering if you can give me the metric measurements for the sugar as well? I’m in Australia and I think our cup sizes differ to yours. Many thanks.
Hi Lisa, It would be 283 grams for the powdered sugar. Enjoy!
Hi Michelle! I’m making a cake for my son’s second birthday. I don’t want to use corn syrup and I saw that you recommended this recipe. Will this recipe make enough for two 9 inch cakes? Thank you!!
Hi Katie, I would definitely double this for two cakes, and if you’re using it for filling as well, then I would triple it.
Thank you for this awesome recipe! I’ve used it twice now and it’s definitely my new go-to. Once to frost a yellow cake and once with chocolate cupcakes. Both times it was an absolute hit and folks begged for the recipe! So silky and smooth! By the way, I made 1.5x batch for 24 cupcakes using 1M wilton swirl technique and still had leftovers so you must be very generous with your frosting!
Just made this to top my vanilla cupcakes. It easily frosted 20 cupcakes. I used 3 oz of semi-sweet chocolate and 1 oz of unsweetened chocolate (both Bakers’ brand). Next time, I would actually go with 2 oz of unsweetened chocolate because I really like a deep chocolate taste. As it was, it was still delicious! This is so simple no one should EVER purchase that horrible frosting in the cans. Thanks for the recipe!
This is the perfect buttercream frosting. I’ve been looking for one that all the family would love…and this is it. My granddaughter keeps asking me to make chocolate cupcakes with this frosting. Not too sweet and when kept in fridge it tastes like chocolate ice cream. Definitely a keeper in our house :)
I’m torn between this recipe and the icing on the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes recipe, but I’m guessing that icing goes better with the cupcake base in that particular recipe?
Hi Steph, Which recipe in this list are you referring to?
Oh sorry, I meant the “The Best Chocolate Buttercream for Cupcakes” recipe vs. the icing from the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes recipe, to use with the base from the e Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes recipe,.
Hi Steph, They are totally different types of frostings, and it really is a matter of personal preference. This one is your standard cupcake frosting, which is primarily sweet. The one from the ultimate chocolate cupcakes is much silkier and smooth, and more buttery tasting. It just depends on what you like! Enjoy!
Great recipe! Not too sweet, so makes a perfect balance on cake. I used this recipe and it is the ideal amount for a 9×13, so if that helps anyone in determining how much they need for various size cakes – it’s exactly what you need for one 9×13 sheet cake. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!
I made this recipe a few days ago… Best frosting I’ve ever made. All my other frostings either turned out too soggy or too hard. But this recipe is so perfect! I minimized the butter amount to 3/4 of a cup. Still delicious! Thank you so much for this recipe!
I know this recipe is specifically for cupcakes, but do you think it would also work fine with a 3-layer cake (or would a stiffer icing be better)?
I’ve used this before for cupcakes, and it was great (tastes like chocolate ice cream to me). Do you think this icing would hold up as the icing for the middle and outside of a 2-layer cake? I’m planning to make a yellow birthday cake, and I don’t care for the suggested chocolate icing in the recipe. Thanks!
Hi Betty, I think it would be just fine. You might need to double the recipe, I’m not sure. If you find it to be too stiff for icing, just add a tablespoon of cream at a time until it’s the consistency you need.
Hi. Can I use a half butter-half shortening ratio in this icing? I know 100% butter tastes much better but I live in Jamaica and full butter frostings get soft and don’t hold piping detail as well once out of the fridge (we don’t tend to use air conditioning throughout our homes either)
Hi Kimberley, Yes, you could do half shortening without an issue. Enjoy!
OMG, I am never using store bought icing ever again. This recipe is amazing and sooo easy! I used this frosting with chocolate caramel pecan cupcakes that I for my husbands birthday and it was perfect. Thank you!
Very simple recipe, but it’s a but sweet and a bit thick. Way to thick to pipe. I think next time I’ll cut back the sugar a bit and use the paddle attachment instead of the whisk.
Well, this frosting lived up to the hype. Put it on some marble cupcakes and they were a hit. Piped beautifully and tasted perfect right off a spoon :)
Cream cheese frosting of yours held beautifully as well. Thanks!
Used this recipe when I didn’t have any cocoa powder in the house. Used Nestles semi-sweet morsels (melted in micro) and the frosting came out great! Got a lot of compliments on how delicious from my family
Hi, Michelle – this frosting looks to be exactly what I am looking for to top my yellow cake, chocolate pudding filled cupcakes for my nephew’s birthday tomorrow. Question – how far in advance can I frost the cupcakes with this frosting before serving?
Hi Shirlee, You can frost cupcakes with this frosting up to a day in advance and keep them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Thank you so much! They came out great – wish I could post a picture!
Does this work as a vanilla buttercream if I leave out the chocolate? I saw the vanilla bean buttercream recipe, but I’m looking for something that’s made without cream or milk.
Hi Meghan, If you are looking for a vanilla buttercream without cream or milk, I would recommend this one: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/10/28/vanilla-cupcakes-vanilla-buttercream-frosting/
Hi Michelle! Do you think I can use this frosting for macaroons as well? Let me know and thanks for all the wonderful recipes and tips! My family and I have a get-together almost every weekend to bake at least one of your recipes!
I’m not a macaroni maker, so I can’t really say. If you just use regular buttercream for the filling, then yes, this would certainly work!
Have you ever tried this buttercream on the outside of a German chocolate cake? plan to use your recipe for the German chocolate cake this weekend, but I wanted to frost the outside with something other than the chocolate frosting so I was thinking of maybe a chocolate buttercream, I’m looking for it to be like and fluffy not overly sweet with just the right amount of chocolate flavor. Do you suggest this recipe for what I’m looking for, if not do you have any other recipe similar to what I’m looking for?
Hi Shalena, I think the chocolate ganache that goes along with the German chocolate cake would be your best bet – it’s a fabulous match for that cake. I have not used this frosting with that cake, so I can’t say for sure how well it pairs.
Hi Michelle – I’m making this frosting recipe tomorrow night to frost a 2 layer round chocolate cake. Very excited! Will the measurements in this recipe yield enough to frost a whole cake? Or is it enough just for cupcakes? Thanks!
Hi Sarah, I think you’ll need to double it to have enough.
This recipe is soooo easy! It came out fine ü how can onemake it smoother?
Thank you for sharing!
Do you have the recipe for the chocolate cupcakes? The frosting looks really good but the cupcake makes me even more hungry. I’m trying these new recipes and I hope I can add this one to my collections!
Hi Madison, I actually just posted chocolate cupcakes today, which are, without a doubt, the best chocolate cupcake/frosting combo I’ve made to date: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2013/08/19/best-chocolate-cupcakes-recipe/
If I frost my cupcakes today, will they hold until tomorrow?
Hi Monica, Yes, not a problem. Enjoy!
This is freaking incredible. I’ve and so many icing failures in the past, but this turned out perfectly, thanks in part to your specific instructions.
I’ve found that I like the texture when it’s fresh, AND refrigerated… The thick, cool smoothness is something else.
Once I’m done basking in the creamy, chocolatey glory, I’m going to use this recipe as a base, and play with some different flavors next time, just for kicks. I’m sold!
Hi! I may be so late to leave a comment here but I came across this post while looking for the best chocolate buttercream and I made this yesterday. Seriously they are good! But I have some problem though : I can still tasted the icing sugar in them. It always happened to me whenever I made buttercream like this. Do I need to keep beating it or is it normal? Please help! Thanks!
Make sure you are using confectioners or powdered sugar; I’m not sure how close icing sugar is to either of those. If it’s more like white granulated sugar, it will not dissolve completely in the other ingredients. If you are using confectioners/powdered sugar and it still tastes gritty, try sifting it before using it.
I live in Malaysia and “Icing (Confectioner’s) Sugar” (that’s what on the bag’s label) is the finest sugar available here. I did sifting them for few times but didn’t work either so I’m sooo curious! Maybe I should throw them into the food processor for a few minutes? What do you think? Thanks for your reply Michelle!
If sifting it didn’t help, I’m really at a loss as to what else you could do. You could try the food processor.
This recipe is perfection..love it!!
Could I use half semisweet and half bittersweet?
Greetings from Malaysia :). I just finished baking your dark chocolate cupcakes (but I baked it as a whole cake in an 8″ round pan). It turned out great and I’ve just frosted it with this buttercream recipe. I hope I got the measurements correct because we use the metric system here. Is the buttercream supposed to be slightly on the thick side? In any case, it tastes fantastic !
Hi Sarah, Yes, the buttercream should be a little thick; still spreadable, but not “loose”. I hope that makes sense; enjoy the cake!
This buttercream recipe is the perfect consistency! However, I found it to be overly sweet and I was forced to add sour cream to my frosting to balance out the sweetness, which caused my buttercream to be very thin. I would definately recommend halfing the amount of sugar.
OK, I am a little confused. You have Butter at 1 cup (8 oz.). Isn’t 1 cup of butter 16 oz.? Which amount do you use — 1 cup or 1/2 cup (8oz.)??
Barb, 1 cup of butter is 8 ounces (you can double check the measurements on the butter packaging if you’d like).
A very good frosting. I was searching for a frosting that used melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder and found this one to be easy and tasty. However, I found that a half batch was more than enough to frost 12 standard cupcakes, if I had made an ordinary batch I would’ve had at least half left over.
i have to try these!!!!!!!!!1
I never thought you could whip this type, am always beating… I will now whip instead of beating… Alas… thanks Michelle and also thanks for your response on colouring for Red Velvet. Very helpful. All i need now is someone to get me a bottle of McCormicks.
Also, if you use unsalted butter, make sure to add a pinch of salt.
This is a lovely frosting, but if you are making cupcakes from a box you will want to double it. It doesn’t make much.
This is the most amazing chocolate frosting Ive ever had! I made it for a cake and its the perfect amount for a cake…it holds up amazing and the taste is out of the world! Awesome recipe. Thank you for sharing!~Kim
Made this icing with vanilla cupcakes last night: it is amazing!!!
I’ve made numerous buttercreams, but this one takes the cake! All that whipping of the butter made is so lusciously light and creamy. I will never use another recipe for frosting again! Ty.
A tip for melted chocolate: preheat oven to 350. Turn oven OFF. Put chocolate in an oven proof bowl then into the oven for 10 min. It will be perfectly melted.
Oh my goodness! This is the best ever. Thank you!!! I used it to fill a cake and to pipe swirls onto cupcakes. I’m usually not a frosting person (I leave it on my plate) but this one is amazing!!
This was so good!! May I share the recipe on my blog for a cupcake post?
Hi Victoria, Sure, I just ask that you provide a link back to this post. Thanks!
This was soooo decadent! I didn’t even use the full amount of chocolate or butter and it was beyond delicious! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!
I want to marry this frosting.
OMG awesome icing recipe! Just topped some chocolate cuppies off with it and you inspired me to use a fancy piping bag- so yummy, thanks for sharing :-)
I am about to attempt this recipe this weekend. Do I need to sift the powdered sugar first? Thanks!!!
Hi Heather, I usually don’t because it typically gets smoothed out, but if yours is particularly clumpy, it’s not a bad idea – you’ll get a smoother frosting.
I was excited to try this recipe because it looked super easy for a buttercream. The consistency was very velvety and light, but it was just not chocolatey enough for my taste. I added 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, a few tablespoons of half-and-half, and a pinch of kosher salt and it was perfect! My friends and family couldn’t stop raving about it :)
I don’t have a stand mixer, I only have a hand electric beater with just a beating attachment, no whisk attachment =(
Should I whisk the butter by hand using a normal hand whisk instead? Will it come out the same?
Hi Rida, I would go ahead and beat the butter with your handheld mixer and proceed with the rest of the recipe as indicated. It should come out just fine.
Thank you for posting this recipe. I made a chocolate cake yesterday and was looking for a great icing, so I searched Pinterest and found your recipe. The icing turned out fabulous. I have not been very successful in making buttercream icing prior to this, but it turned out great. When I incorporated the cooled melted chocolate into the icing, I forgot to turn the mixer off so my whisk hit some of the chocolate as I was pouring it into the bowl and caused it to instantley harden, which then made tiny little bitty chocolate chips to be incorporated throughout the icing; talk about serendipity. It turned out wonderful. Thanks again for such a great recipe.
This was a complete flop for me. It didn’t have much of a buttery texture nor didn’t have a chocolate taste. Just sugary. My kids liked it, but my husband and I really ddin’t like that at all. I must have done something wrong?! Should we use confectionar sugar, right?
confectioners sugar is powdered suger
Will this hold up if left at room temperature for 3-ish hours? Thanks!
I have never once had luck with buttercream, but made this yesterday to frost the sides of a slightly wonky layered german chocolate cake.
IT. IS. PERFECT. Everyone at our Easter dinner oohed and ahhed over it.
:) Thank you, Michelle. I have had 100% success with every recipe from your collection.
Good golly this was AWESOME!! In 20+ years of home “baking” I’ve tried making buttercream exactly 3 times before this recipe, all were disappointing (hence the reason I’ve been reluctant to try it)… But this was creamy, smooth, fluffy and DELICIOUS!!! 5 Stars! THANK YOU!!!! :)
I tried this with unsweetened chocolate, and it works just fine! It gives the frosting a very rich, almost mocha note.
I just made the frosting for my cupcakes. Its really good. But it was a little light for me so I doubled the chocolate chips. Made it even better!
I was asked to bake cupcakes for a baby shower I’m attending tomorrow. And I was wondering if, when piped, the frosting stands up nice and keeps it’s shape or if it’s too soft? It looks to die for and would love to try it!!
Hi Amy, I have had great success piping this frosting, it doesn’t get soft on me. Enjoy!
Hi, I was hoping to use this frosting to make cupcakes for Easter and i would like to use a whip cream filling but i’m not sure if it would clash with the taste of the chocolate butter cream. Would this idea be a yes or no?
I don’t think it would clash, at least I can’t think of a reason why it would! Go for it!
Made this buttercream today~ IT IS THE BEST!
I found this recipe while looking for a chocolate chip muffin recipe on your site and I want to try it for my son’s 1st birthday cake. I wanted chocolate buttercream icing and think I’ve found it! My question is can you use a hand mixer if you have yet to win or buy a stand mixer ;-)? Off to make your Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Muffins for the kids for breakfast before school today =)
Hi Christine, Yes you could definitely use a hand mixer!
I’ve struggled with finding a good frosting recipe for too long considering how long I have been baking, and this finally solved my problem. It’s light with almost a whipped consistency, the chocolate flavor is undeniably there but it’s not overwhelming, it’s not overly sweet and it stays fresh beautifully. Absolutely perfect frosting, thank you so much!
Thank you! I made a batch just now…and it is absolutely HEAVENLY!
hi! sorry im new to baking but im giving it a try :) was wondering whats the best way to measure chopped chocolate to be ezactly 4oz? melt it first and than measure?
I would weigh it before you start to chop it, that would be easiest. I use a Ghiradelli baking bar that is sold in 4 ounces bars, so it’s easy – you just need one!
ok one quick question…is it weird that my frosting tasted “buttery” even after putting all the sugar and chocolate in it. Maybe this is how it’s supposed to taste…?
Also, is there a way to make this frosting with granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar?
Last question, what determines whether you use the wire whisk attachment or the paddle attachment when mixing buttercream frostings? I have seen it both ways and was wondering what the differences are?
Hi Jamie, The beauty about this particular buttercream is that it does taste buttery and is not overly-sweet and stiff like some frostings with a powdered sugar base can be. You could not substitute granulated sugar for the powdered here because you aren’t cooking down the sugar and would end up with a gritty texture. As far as using the whisk attachment vs. paddle – a couple of years ago I started using the whisk only because I found that really whipping the butter with the whisk attachment allowed a lot more air in and created a softer, lighter texture, which I loved.
Hi Michelle, I came across this recipe when searching for chocolate frosting to,make with chocolate chips. I just made it to go on vanilla cupcakes which are waiting in the oven. All I can say is, OMG. Thank you thank you for posting such an easy recipe! All of your recipes can be made with things I already have on hand- love it! I will be visiting your site often from now on. Thanks again!
Holy Moley! I am a frosting officiando (tasting, not making) and this icing is he beat chocolate buttercream that I have ever had. It piped onto 24 mini cupcakes very nicely ( with a generous amount used in the qc process :). Thanks so much for this recipe!
thank you for the recipe. would try to make them this coming weekend for my cousin’s 2nd birthday. hope the frosting could be piped on cupcakes too =)
hi..if i am going to use chocolate powder instead of the melted chocolate, how much do i need to use in the recipe? thank you! =)
I have never used cocoa powder in this particular frosting recipe, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you. The melted chocolate is what gives it the depth of flavor and consistency. If you definitely want to use cocoa powder, I can recommend this recipe: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2007/08/03/perfectly-chocolate-everything/
My 12-year-old daughter just made this frosting using Baker’s semi-sweet baking squares for the chocolate flavor. It is incredibly delicious! I like it much more than the frosting on cupcakes we buy in stores. Thanks for the recipe!
MMMMM I just made this and its so simple and sooooo yummy. Im not crazy over chocolate but LOVE THIS!
Michelle, I made a milk chocolate version and it is very tasty! It was super creamy when I made it but I refrigerated it over night, let it sit, and beat it with a hand mixer briefly. It was as tasty, but not as creamy. Any thoughts or suggestions?
Hi Erica, I find that frosting that is refrigerated and then beat again never ends up with quite the same consistency. I would recommend making frosting the same day you want to frost cupcakes.
This frosting was absolutely delicious! :)
This was the best buttercream frosting I ever had and was so simple to make. Just made it tonite and frosted 12 cupcakes but still had some left over. So creamy and tasty. Thanks for the recipe :)
Wow! I have just iced my first 12 cupcakes with this frosting and it’s amazing.
For Brits, I halved quantity and this was more than adequate (not piled quite as high, but beautiful with some spare).
Metric measure for half quantity, 110gm butter, 170 gm icing sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla ext, 60 gm of dark choc. I used wooden spoon not whisk, still worked a treat.
I think my cakes will sell out first at the school fair!
This looks absolutely divine and I will certainly be trying it out as soon as my grocery store opens. (It’s currently 10 pm.) Question, how does this frosting hold up in high temps? Has anyone had any issues with melting? I’m wondering how this will behave for an outdoor event in Dallas TX during the summer. So delicious looking though, I don’t think I can wait till tomorrow morning. I’m on my way to an all night grocer right now!
Tammy, I honestly don’t know for sure. I have air conditioning and have never set these outside for long periods of time in the mid-summer heat and humidity. My guess is that they would start to sweat or melt a bit, just like any other buttercream. Could you maybe make a small batch, and do a trial run w/them outside?
I want to make this icing for my son’s wedding cake. He’s a choco-holic. I’m making 2 10in layers that are 3in in depth. First, I need to know how much I should ‘double’ up the recipe. I don’t mind having too much. I can be a bit heavy handed when I ice. Secondly, I wanted to make sure that I would be able to pipe this icing… This is my first time to your website and I LOVE it… Thanks so much!!
Hi Cydney, Welcome! I would at least triple this recipe, maybe even go 4’s on it if you don’t mind having leftover and if you’re heavy handed. It can definitely be piped. Congratulations to your son; have fun!
I love this icing!! I have done it with both white and semisweet chocolate so far, and they were both hits! Thank you for sharing!
I made these cupcakes & frosting for my best friends bridal shower…let me tell you-best frosting I’ve ever had! People are still talking about those cupcakes 5 weeks later :) I’d say they were a hit, Thank You!
I love all your recipes! thank you for sharing them, will try them out soon esp. the cupcakes and lemon bar. =)
I absolutely looooved your website! I made this and your peanut butter frosting this weekend and put both on your dark chocolate cup cake (not together :) ). This buttercream is delicious!!! But with both frosting, I did something wrong. They were super thick and I couldn’t pipe them – I could hardly spread them! Lol! I guess I beat them too long??? I’ll just have to try again! And I’ll be making your Oreo look-a-like cake for my oldest son’s birthday this weekend. Thanks for sharing your recipes!
Hi Jennifer, Hmm both of these, especially the peanut butter frosting, should spread and pipe really easily. I’m wondering if maybe your butter was still too cold, or if you refrigerated the frosting after you made it?
I love your entire blog and turn to it regularly when looking for recipes. I bake at least 3 to 4 times a week, and have made many, many recipes of yours. Could you tell me what size star tip you use? It’s an open star tip, no? I just love how it looks like ribbons of frosting, piled on top of each other. Mmmm. Thanks for all your recipes!
Hi Rachel, I use a Wilton 1M for all of my “swirly” looking cupcakes.
Tks a mil. I’ll be sure to get one soon. Made your PB Cup RK Treats today. Lordy. Good stuff.
Love your cupcakes they taste amazing!!! The chocolate icing and vanilla cupcakes rock!!
I love to bake!
So excited to try out this Chocolate buttercream recipe..I have a hard time with chocolate frostings from scratch, I find they don’t taste “Chocolatey” enough or something just not right..So this looks fab and can’t wait to see if hits the mark! Love your blog by the way one of my favs to follow!
Thanks, what i meant was if there was a special technique to pipe it so neatly, sorry if it was a bit confuzzling. But thank you, i’m going to make this gorgeous looking buttercream today, so wish me luck!
There are two main types of buttercreams. The European buttercreams start with some sort of meringue and then LOTS of butter. The American buttercreams are a mixture of butter creamed with confectioners’ sugar. Flavorings are added then to both types. Technically they are both buttercreams.
Just a quick question on how you pipped the buttercream so it looks so thin? Is there a special writing nossle or a special technique. Sorry to be a pain but I need advice soon as i’m making them in 2 days time.
Hi Poppy, Not sure what you mean? I didn’t alter the recipe at all for the piping you see above. If you mean you need it to be thin to pipe writing or something like that, I would use a Wilton #1 or #2 tip and if you find the frosting to be too thick, you can thin it a bit at a time with a few drops of cream.
I made this divine chocolate buttercream for some Halloween cupcakes I was making for a friend’s dinner party – so I was really counting on it to come through for me since I didn’t have time for a trial run before making them. It was unbelievable! I’ve been searching for a great go-to chocolate buttercream and this has become the one. I love that it is simple and comes together quickly. The taste is creamy and chocolate-y and exactly what I was looking for. Thanks, Michelle!
Yay so happy you loved this Melanie!
looks Gorgeous! How do you make the color dark brown? I tried adding wilton brown color gel. it didn’t work. shouls I be adding black or is there any other trick to this?
Pearse – The melted chocolate gives it the dark brown color!
This is a great easy version of buttercream and if it tastes as good as it looks, then you have a winner here!
Thank you for posting. I am so looking forward to making these cupcakes, they look absolutely stunning!!!! Beautiful! Thanks again!!
There are a lot of frosting recipes from your blog that I want to try and this is certainly one of them. I have a good buttercream frosting but I’ve never tried chocolate. I also want to try your peanut butter frosting on the dark chocolate cupcakes!
Oh, melts chocolate for the recipe, excellent. Usually I see cocoa for such recipes and frankly I find that can be a bit gritty.
This sounds wonderful! I’m definitely going to give it a try!
I totally trust your judgment! Bookmarking this for future use! Thank you!
You and I both have chocolate on the brain today. I just posted my favorite chocolate ganache recipe. Heck both the frosting & ganache would go great on your cupcakes!
I will HAVE to try this! It looks so delicious!
This was delicious! I saw the recipe this morning, thought about it all day, then made the icing to top your mocha cupcakes…and indulgent treat for Friday night…everyone loved them. Thanks! Theresa
Oooh yay, I love that you made them so quickly! So happy to hear the mocha cupcakes and this buttercream was a hit!
I just posted my cupcakes (which, are, of course, your cupcakes (and icing too)) http://www.foodbuzz.com/blogs/2876394-mocha-cupcakes-with-chocolate-buttercream
Thanks for the great icing…it’s a keeper!
I’m all about frostings people are ready to call the best of :) I totally want to make a chocolate chip cupcake and top it with this frosting! Yum!
mmm that frosting looks so rich and chocolatey! yummm
I love that your buttercream has no shortening in it. Great looking frosting.
They look decadent!
OMG does this look delicious. I love buttercream frosting. There used to be this cake at Ebinger’s Bakery when I was little that was Strawberry Buttercream. My mom would buy one every once in awhile and we would all be in heaven. They also had a Maple Buttercream, if I’m not mistaken, too.
Thanks for the recipe. Next time I need a buttercream frosting, I know where to go. Making me so hungry. Dinner isn’t until 8!
My favorite combination is definitely peanut butter and chocolate! This recipe looks delish, but I just wanted to point out that it’s not technically a buttercream. I don’t mean to be all nerdy and OCD about it, but “buttercream” tends to scare a lot of people off since they don’t like the taste of it. A true buttercream has either a base of an Italian meringue or pate a bomb with butter (and flavorings) added. It makes for a super sweet, buttery frosting that isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea (or cupcake with frosting). I wouldn’t want anyone to write off this recipe just because it’s called a “buttercream” because it looks like the perfect, classic chocolate confectioner’s icing!
Hi Morgan, I have definitely seen (and made a couple of times) Swiss and Italian style buttercreams, but I have many cookbooks that also refer to recipes such as this one (butter + powdered sugar and flavorings) as buttercream as well.
Hello from frosty Germany,
I totally love this blog and I just wanted to give you my point of view on the Buttercream topic. German buttercream is a mixture of butter and vanilla/chocolate pudding. I was more than surprised when I first encountred american buttercream and american frostings because they both are different from the ones we make here in Germany!
This is an American Buttercream.
My sister always makes cupcakes, so this recipe would be perfect for her and so much tastier than the canned frosting we’ve been using all this time. By the way, I just made your pumpkin pie bars and loved them. They’re just what I’ve been looking for in a pumpkin blondie and I will save the recipe to make time and time again. Thank you for sharing such a winner.
Oooh yes Lisa, much tastier than the canned frosting! So happy you enjoyed the pumpkin pie pars!
I’ve never made buttercream frosting but I absolutely love the taste of it. I usually just stick to cream cheese frosting. I’ll have to give this a try!
Love chocolate buttercream. Such a simple elegant recipe.
I always love a good and simple frosting recipe. I will be trying this one.
Looks wonderful…and one of my favs too; heck if we’re in the mood, frosting on a graham cracker works for me!
My most favorite frosting is an espresso mocha buttercream with mascarpone cheese. The espresso cake I make it for is really good too; but it’s really just a vessel for that frosting which you could, and I have…eaten with a spoon.
You just may be my frosting savior! I have a great classic vanilla frosting but have failed so many times at the perfect chocolate frosting that is as delicious as it is the perfect consistency to pipe with. Without a doubt, I will be trying this…and very soon!
Sounds fabulous! I’ll definitely be trying this recipe!
The frosting looks perfect! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
You read my mind! I’ve tried a couple chocolate buttercream recipes but none of them were good enough to make again, I can’t wait to try this one out! Quick question, how can you make this milk chocolate instead? Just use milk chocolate chips?
Hi Melissa, Yep! Use milk chocolate chips or a milk chocolate baking bar like Ghiradelli or Lindt.
This sounds divine — and because I can’t help myself…I think instead of vanilla, I’ll add a bit of strong brewed coffee , and a teeny bit of salt, just to amp it up. :)
These are stunning, Michelle, and so rich looking! If I stop by your neighborhood with a pumpkin pail in hand this Halloween, will you give me a few of these? ;)
Absolutely! Come on by!
This looks amazing! I made your chocolate peanut butter cupcakes last month and was just thinking the other day how I wanted to find a good chocolate frosting to pair with the cake portion (not that the PB frosting wasn’t awesome!) I’ll probably try this soon!
This certainly does look like a good buttercream recipe! Mmmm.
I how I love buttercream and those cupcakes look fantastic!
We use this recipe for our cupcakes and we LOVE it! It has the perfect amount of chocolate and still tastes buttery at the same time! Great job!
These look fantastic and I’m going to have to give them a try
I dont know what is it with me and fronstings but I havent been able to make one that works for me. And to this day, I think I don’t like buttercream. Maybe I havent tasted the right one…
Amalia, This Kittencal is the best chocolate buttercream frosting I’ve had. It’s very smooth and doesn’t even taste like buttercream. I usually make the medium level. I could eat that all day!
Just note that you will need to double it to frost a cake. https://www.google.com/#q=kittencal+chocolate+buttercream+frosting
MMM buttercream…I have a wickedly sweet tooth and you may not get rid of me after today. Chocolate buttercream? Yes PLEASE! Oh I bet these just melt. I have to try to make these.
My favorite combo was a chocolate cupcake with a coffee frosting that was so light and rich I actually ate it slowly to really enjoy it. I would jump up and down if I could find a recipe like that so I could make something like that for myself.
Hi Dionne, I actually made mocha cupcakes with espresso buttercream not too long ago. Here is the link:
I bet you would love them!
I’ve used that mocha frosting recipe and it’s amazing!!!
Hey i used this recipe on a cake .. i don’t like the way it turned out i added Heavy cream just too thin it out i think they forgot that in the recipe .
First of all, the buttercream sounds delicious!!! Second of all, the photo is unreal… I’m drooling just looking at those! I am adding this to my “attempt” list. Thank you for sharing the recipe!