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The Very Best Chocolate Frosting Recipe

The Very Best Chocolate Frosting Recipe

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This easy 5 minute Chocolate Frosting recipe is a staple for cakes and cupcakes for every celebration! It’s chocolatey and easy to work with.

For years, I bought frosting. Then I realized it was ridiculously easy to make your own and tastes so much better! If you are making a delicious cake, why not make some homemade chocolate frosting!

This easy 5 minute chocolate frosting recipe is a staple for cakes and cupcakes for every celebration! it’s chocolatey and easy to work with.

This chocolate frosting recipe is absolutely PERFECT on a chocolate layer cake or my kids’ personal favorite, vanilla cupcakes.  

It takes a whopping 5 minutes to put this recipe together. All of the ingredients you can read too, since it isn’t full of all of the preservatives that store bought frosting has.

Just 5-ingredients make up this chocolate frosting: milk, butter, powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla extract.

How to make Chocolate Frosting

Be sure to scroll down to where I have a full printable recipe for you with instructions and ingredients.

Here is what you need: 

  • hand or stand mixer 
  • a large bowl 
  • unsalted butter, room temperature
  • cocoa powder
  • powdered sugar
  • whole milk
  • vanilla extract

steps to making chocolate buttercream frosting. 

If you have a stand mixer, use that, along with the paddle attachment. If not, make your chocolate  frosting in a large bowl and use a hand mixer.

  1. Mix the butter and cocoa powder in a large bowl until well blended.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low-speed until all of the sugar is combined.
  3. Stir in milk and vanilla extract.
  4. Add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency.

DONE! Use your frosting immediately on a cake or cupcakes or you could even make it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the freezer. If you store in the freezer, just be sure to let your frosting come to room temperature for about an hour before using.

Depending on the size of the cake or the amount of cupcakes (more than 2 dozen) you are making, you may want to double this recipe.

chocolate frosting

If you read the comments from my readers about using my chocolate frosting recipe, you will see: 

  • It holds its shape
  • It’s easy to work with 
  • Perfect to use with a piping bag
  • It’s nice and fluffy
  • It’s rich and decadent

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting on a Chocolate cupcake.

Also, when it comes to cocoa powder, quality matters. Since this IS chocolate frosting, you do want it to taste high quality and chocolatey! I’ve linked my favorite cocoa powder in the full recipe below!

What is the difference between Frosting and Icing? 

There is a huge difference. Frosting is generally thick, fluffy and used for coating the outside and/or the inside of cakes and cupcakes. 

Icing on the other hand, is more for coating or decorating, such as sugar cookies. Icing has a shine and is usually a much thinner consistency. 

How do I Thicken My Chocolate Frosting?

If you find that your chocolate frosting is not thick enough, add 1-2 tablespoons of powdered sugar at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Chances are you added too much liquid initially and you need to offset that. 

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Of course, chocolate frosting and chocolate cake go hand-in-hand, so be sure to head over to my chocolate cake recipe. My chocolate cake recipe is very easy and fudgy.

Chocolate cupcakes with whipped ganache

The Very Best Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Yield: Frosting for 1 layer cake or 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
This easy 5 minute Chocolate Frosting recipe is a staple for cakes and cupcakes for every celebration! It's chocolatey and easy to work with.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ c. cocoa powder
  • 16-oz. powdered sugar
  • 1-2 T. whole milk
  • 1 t. real vanilla extract

Instructions

Mix the butter and cocoa powder in a large bowl until well blended.
Add the powdered sugar and mix on low-speed until all of the sugar is combined.
Stir in milk and vanilla extract.
Add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency to your chocolate buttercream frosting

Notes

If you have a stand mixer, use that, along with the paddle attachment. If not, make this chocolate buttercream frosting in a large bowl and use a hand mixer.

Use this Chocolate Buttercream Frosting immediately on a cake or cupcakes or you could even make it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the freezer. 

Depending on the size of the cake or the amount of cupcakes (more than 2 dozen) you are making, you may want to double this recipe. 

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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Gary

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

With this chocolate recipe can u add meringue powder to it to get a stiff consistency

momma lew

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

I am sorry Gary, I wouldn't know as I have never used meringue powder or tried anything like this before. Let me know if you do!

Carol Albrecht

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Could I add cinnamon to this recipe to give it a Mexican flavor?

momma lew

Thursday 29th of October 2020

I say go for it! I'd love to hear how it comes out!

Mallory

Saturday 24th of October 2020

Hello, I am a little unclear on the milk instructions. It says to add the milk and then additional milk 1 tbsp at a time, but the ingredient list only shows 2 tbsp total. Also, how far in advance could I make this? Thank you!

momma lew

Sunday 25th of October 2020

It's 2 tbsp milk + any additional milk you may need to use, doing it 1 tbsp at a time. You can make this a day or 2 in advance.

FRANDRIKA

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

I absolutely loves the chocolate frosting, it was easy and probably the best frosting that I have made. So you have any ideas on what I can substitute the cocoa powder with to use for my one year old smash cake. I love the consistency but don’t want to start her with chocolate. Thanks

momma lew

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

I would just substitute powdered sugar in place of the cocoa powder and make a vanilla buttercream.

Cavet Smith

Saturday 5th of September 2020

Wow I made this for my wife’s birthday cake and it was great! Thank you for the recipe will definitely use as my only frosting mix!

momma lew

Sunday 6th of September 2020

So happy to hear this!