If you're a chocolate lover like me, this super easy chocolate buttercream frosting recipe will quickly become your new favorite. With a heavenly chocolate flavor, balanced by a light and fluffy texture, this one-bowl frosting could not be easier to make and is perfect for any and all of your frosting needs!
- The BEST chocolate buttercream frosting...like ever.
- What you'll need to make this easy recipe...
- Special tools and equipment you'll need...
- How to make chocolate buttercream from scratch...
- What baking principal does this recipe teach us?
- What are the three types of buttercream?
- *Tips and Tricks* for making the BEST chocolate buttercream frosting...
- Other recipes fans of this buttercream will love:
- ~The Sweet Recipe Card~
- Are you ready to learn how to bake everything better?
The BEST chocolate buttercream frosting...like ever.
When it comes to recipes, you usually have me at "one bowl." But I'm telling you, this recipe has SO much more going for it.
Flavor: rich and fudgy chocolate
Texture: super light and fluffy
Mix Method: one bowl, quick, so easy
I mean really...what more could you want?!
Not only is this a super easy chocolate buttercream frosting, but it's also the perfect recipe for so many of our sweet needs: from cupcakes, to cakes, to whoopie pies and more!
I love this buttercream for macarons as well. It has an uber-rich flavor, so just a little filling will pack a ton of flavor in perfect proportion to your crisp and chewy macaron shells.
What you'll need to make this easy recipe...
(Pssst…if you're ready to just get baking, get all the details in the recipe card below!)
- powdered sugar
- cocoa powder
- unsalted butter: make sure you use unsalted butter so we can control the salt level in the recipe!
- milk: you need a good deal of liquid to properly hydrate the cocoa powder
- vanilla extract: it may seem counter-intuitive but vanilla actually helps to make chocolate seem more chocolatey
Special tools and equipment you'll need...
The only special tool you'll need for this easy chocolate buttercream frosting is a mixer!
You may be wondering, can I make this recipe by hand though?
Well, technically, you probably could, but it won't really be worth the effort. For more info on why it's really important to use a mixer for certain recipes, check out our lesson all about mixer basics: Mixers 101: do you really need one?.
How to make chocolate buttercream from scratch...
(Pssst…if you're ready to just get baking, get all the details in the recipe card below!)
- Roughly blend all your ingredients: this is just so you don't end up with a cocoa bomb flying out of your mixer!
- Beat until light and fluffy.
- Frost, share and enjoy!
What baking principal does this recipe teach us?
For quick mix recipes like this one, ingredient prep is super important. You need soft enough butter to not end up with chunks, and you want to sift your powdered sugar and cocoa (and they can be sifted together right into your mixing bowl) so there's no clumps.
This will make sure you end up with a nice, smooth frosting.
What are the three types of buttercream?
This is a really common question I hear from home bakers, and the answer is there are actually five. (Although three of them involve cooking eggs, which is usually what people are referring to.)
Some are more common/classic and more well-defined than others. But here's a quick overview of buttercream breakdown…
What are the three classic buttercream frostings? (with eggs)
- Italian Buttercream: cooked sugar syrup (water + sugar) is slowly poured into raw whipping egg whites to cook them right in the mixer bowl, with butter added in slowly at the end
- Swiss Buttercream: egg whites and sugar are whisked over a double boiler to dissolve the sugar and cook the eggs; then they are whipped on a mixer, with butter slowly added in at the end
- French Buttercream: cooked sugar syrup (water + sugar) is slowly poured into raw whipping egg yolks to cook them right in the mixer bowl, with butter added in slowly at the end
What are the quick-mix buttercream frostings? (without eggs)
- American Buttercream: powdered sugar and butter whipped together with a little milk or cream (this recipe for easy chocolate buttercream frosting falls into this category as does our Easy Vanilla Buttercream!)
- English Buttercream: powdered sugar and butter whipped together (no liquid)
*Tips and Tricks* for making the BEST chocolate buttercream frosting...
What's the TOP TIP for making the best easy chocolate buttercream ?
Like I mentioned above, you want to make sure your butter is at room temperature so it fully incorporates without leaving any chunks in your frosting.
Can you make this chocolate frosting ahead of time?
Yes! This frosting will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. It should be stored in the fridge if made before you plan to use it, and then brought back to room temperature and briefly rewhipped to freshen it up before use.
What substitutions can you make?
If you'd like an extra dark chocolate flavor for your frosting and/or a darker color, you can substitute two tablespoons of black cocoa for the regular cocoa.
What is this chocolate fudge frosting good for?
EVERYTHING! You need chocolate frosting for cakes? Use this! Chocolate frosting for cupcakes? This is your recipe! Chocolate buttercream for macarons? You guessed it...just whip up a batch of this tasty icing!
Why is there so much liquid in this buttercream? The vanilla buttercream has only 2 tablespoons...
This is a great question. So, cocoa powder absorbs a lot of liquid, which means we need to add a good deal of it to help that cocoa hydrate in our frosting so it can fully dissolve into a smooth and delicious frosting.
Other recipes fans of this buttercream will love:
- Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- Easy Vanilla Sheet Cake
- Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies
- Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
~The Sweet Recipe Card~
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 5 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- 1 ⅓ cups cocoa powder (sifted)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup milk or water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Roughly blend ingredients: Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and beat with a stand or hand mixer for 30 seconds on low just until the dries and liquids are roughly incorporated.
- Beat until light and fluffy: Increase speed to medium-high, can beat for an additional 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Frost, share and enjoy: frost one 8" or 9" round two-layer cake, two 9” x 13” sheet cakes, or 28-34 cupcakes, then share the sweetness and enjoy! (or grab a spoon a give it a try right out of the bowl - no judgement here *wink*wink)
Test Kitchen Tips
- Make sure your butter is properly soft for this recipe as you'll need soft, creamy butter to properly whip it into a light and fluffy buttercream. I also recommend using a higher quality butter as the flavor is really going to come through in this recipe.
- A 1X batch of this frosting makes about 4 cups when whipped to full volume, which is enough to frost one two-layer 8" or 9" round cake, two 9" x 13" sheet cakes, or 28-34 full-sized cupcakes, depending on how generous you are with your frosting.
- This recipe is super light and fluffy which means you will see bubbles, but if you'd like to smooth it out a bit for frosting a cake, allow it to mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes when you finish whipping it to eliminate some bubbles. You also can use a spatula to work the frosting back and forth against the side of the bowl to smooth it out and remove some bubbles as well.
- When deciding between liquids, I recommend using milk for a lighter "milk chocolate" flavored frosting, and water for a "dark chocolate" flavor. For an extra dark color and flavor, you can also add in 2 tablespoons of black cocoa to the batter as well.
I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this recipe and when you give these a try, please share (literally and electronically!) and tag me on Instagram or Facebook @mint.and.mallow.kitchen so I can see all your amazing sweets and help you with any baking conundrums that come up!
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