Chocolate buttercream frosting is easy to make from scratch. All you need is 5 ingredients and you’ll have fluffy frosting in no time!

glass bowl filled with chocolate butter cream frosting and a pink rubber spatula

Frosting is the best part of the cake and every baker needs a good chocolate frosting recipe. This chocolate buttercream is unbelievably good. It’s rich and fluffy—the perfect topping for cakes and cupcakes!

Why this recipe works: I used my popular buttercream frosting recipe and added unsweetened cocoa powder. This creates a rich, semisweet frosting that holds its shape on cupcakes and cakes.

chocolate buttercream frosting ingredients in bowls with text
photo collage demonstrating how to make chocolate buttercream frosting from scratch

Overview: How to make chocolate buttercream frosting

Chocolate buttercream frosting is easy to make from scratch. Use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder, and beat until combined. Add milk and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Tips for making frosting

To make fluffy, smooth frosting, follow these tips. Bring all ingredients to room temperature. The butter will be softer and fluffier. Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. This will remove all clumps for an extra smooth frosting, Use milk to reach desired consistency. Start with 1-2 Tablespoons and add more if you need a thinner consistency.

bowl of chocolate frosting with beaters of hand mixer in the frosting

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store buttercream frosting:

Place frosting in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Bring to room temperature before frosting. Frosting will keep at room temperature on cake for 2 days.

Can you freeze chocolate frosting?

Yes. Place frosting in a freezer bag and remove all the air. Store in the freezer for one month. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature.

What’s the best cocoa powder for chocolate frosting?

Unsweetened cocoa powder works best. The better quality cocoa powder, the better the frosting will taste. I prefer Ghirardelli 100% Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.

Desserts with chocolate frosting

Chocolate buttercream frosting pairs well with many desserts. My favorite is chocolate sheet cake. Chocolate on chocolate is the best! You can also add chocolate frosting to chocolate cupcakes or vanilla cupcakes. If you really love chocolate, try spreading chocolate buttercream frosting on top of these fudgy brownies.

chocolate cake with layer of chocolate buttercream frosting on top
chocolate buttercream frosting on top of chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate buttercream frosting is the best frosting if you love chocolate. It’s rich, smooth and just the right amount of sweet. This recipe makes enough frosting to frost a 9×13 cake or 18 cupcakes. What will you use this frosting for? Let me see on social media by tagging @ifyougiveablondeakitchen. I’ll share my favorites on Instagram!

chocolate buttercream frosting on top of cupcakes

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate buttercream frosting is easy to make from scratch. All you need is 5 ingredients and you'll have fluffy frosting in no time!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226 g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter,, room temperature
  • 2 cups (240 g) confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup (48 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk, room temperature

Instructions 

  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Place the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder in a fine mesh strainer or sifter. Sift over the bowl with the butter. Beat on medium speed until combined.
  • Add the vanilla and 2 Tablespoons milk, and beat for a minute, until fluffy. Add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired.
  • Transfer to a frosting bag with tip and frost away!

Notes

Store buttercream frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before using. When frosting is on a cake or cupcake it is safe to stay at room temperature for 2 or 3 days.
Freeze buttercream frosting in a freezer bag with all the air removed. Place in the freezer and store for up to a month. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 149kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 3mg, Potassium: 42mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 315IU, Calcium: 8mg, Iron: 1mg

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