Chocolate buttercream frosting: Lucious, smooth, chocolatey velvet homemade frosting, amp up the wow factor of any homemade cake or cupcakes. This easy chocolate buttercream icing is a staple for any at home baker and takes your cakes to the next level. It’s soft and spreadable, smooth and chocolatey.
With no more effort than driving to the store to buy store bought frosting, you can add a gourmet touch and turn a basic cake into a chocolate heaven. This chocolate buttercream is whipped to a fluffy cream with chocolate added, and your mixer does most of the work while you take all the credit. Prepare for the oohs and ahhs.
Having a classic chocolate frosting recipe in your pocket is a must for anyone who ever plans to bake. And this one is perfect as it is versatile, delicious, and just so much fun. It is simple and easy to make, turns out great, and is ideal for cakes, cupcakes, whoopee pies, or eating with a spoon.
How do you make chocolate buttercream frosting?
Chocolate buttercream frosting is quite simple as most of the ingredients are found in your pantry and refrigerator. The primary players are:
- Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- Cocoa powder, unsweetened
- Milk or heavy cream
Of course, how you combine these simple ingredients is what really makes or breaks your icing or frosting recipe. The basic steps for a fluffy, well mixed, and delicious chocolate buttercream frosting are:
- Whip the butter till it’s light and airy. This takes about a minute with a whisk attachment
- Add the sugar slowly, mixing on low.
- When most of the sugar is incorporated add the cocoa powder
- To get the right consistency add the milk or cream a teaspoon at a time. Or be prepared to adjust after the fact.
- Add vanilla with the milk.
- Frost your deserts and enjoy.
How do you make chocolate buttercream with cocoa powder?
Cocoa powder is a lovely way to add a deep chocolatey flavor to your icing, and the great thing is that it’s super customizable. Playing with the sugar and cocoa powder ratio allows you to suit your darkness or milk chocolatey taste exactly how you want. You can get it as sweet or bitter as you prefer. Cocoa powder is added with the sugar and whipped into the butter for a heavenly chocolate buttercream.
One thing to keep in mind when making a chocolate buttercream frosting recipe with cocoa powder, especially if you want a dark chocolate flavor, is that you might have to add a bit more liquid to account for the extra powder. Ultimately, the consistency to look for is soft and spreadable but will hold its shape.
How do you make creamy chocolate frosting?
Whip, whip and whip some more. To make decadent silky homemade chocolate frosting the key is to get enough air into the butter. Things to look for are:
- When your butter is nice and airy it’ll be whiter than when it started
- It’ll have increased in volume
Once the butter is nice and whippy add the sugar and beat once again putting more air into the mixture. At this point it’ll get pretty stiff but once the milk and vanilla are added it’ll loosen up beautifully and spread like butter…pun intended.
You will see in the instructions to whip for a full 3 minutes, don’t shortcut this. If you do, you won’t get the consistency you really want in that buttercream frosting.
Tip: Adding the sugar and milk a little at a time will help it incorporate better and produce a creamier frosting.
Can I add melted chocolate to buttercream?
Absolutely! This particular recipe does not call for melted chocolate, but adding Melted chocolate to your chocolate buttercream frosting recipe is a great way to add even more of a milk chocolatey flavor. A few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t melt your chocolate until it’s ready to go into the frosting.
- Work quickly once it’s added to the butter and sugar. You don’t want it to start to set otherwise it could turn clumpy and not give you the satiny texture you’re looking for.
You’ll notice that in this recipe I use cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate, cocoa powder makes things a bit more simple, since you don’t have to worry about the temperature of the chocolate and still adds the chocolate punch. If you really want more chocolate, a drizzle over the top could also work well.
How do you make chocolate butter icing?
For our friends in the UK or Down-under let me say, welcome. This is a great chocolate butter icing for you. As a point of clarification in the UK frosting is called icing, instead of the more fluid glazed topping we consider icing in the states. Regardless of the word used, however, chocolate frosting is delicious and the process is the same world wide for making this chocolate frosting aka icing. Here are the quantities of this recipe converted to metric for your convenience:
- 284 g butter
- 448 g icing sugar
- 96 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1.42 g salt
- 5 ml vanilla
- 60 ml milk or cream
How do you make easy chocolate frosting?
Easy answer. Follow my recipe. In my opinion it’s the best chocolate buttercream frosting around. Ok all boasting aside, chocolate frosting is actually really simple to make. I love that it’s flexible and customizable and adds the right amount of pizzaz and wow to any cake. The key is to taste as you go to get the flavor you want, and whip, whip, whip!
Looking for a place to spread this buttercream frosting?
- Chocolate Cake: This lovely layer cake is the perfect receptacle for creamy chocolate frosting.
- Eclair Icebox Cake: I use a chocolate ganache as a topping, but this buttercream could be a great substitution.
Chocolate Buttercream Icing
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy cream half-and-half, or whole milk
- Place softened butter in a mixing bowl.
- Using the whisk attachment on a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute).
- Then, turn mixer to a low speed, and slowly add confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and cream.
- Once you have added everything, turn the mixer speed up to high.
- Beat for a full 3 minutes to incorporate everything and get a nice smooth icing.
- Check icing, and adjust for thickness, and sweetness:
- Add 1-2 Tbs confectioners' sugar if frosting is too thin
- Add 1-2 more Tbs of cream, half and half, or milk if frosting is too thick.
- Add a pinch more salt if it's too sweet.
- Refrigerate if not using immediately.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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