Chocolate Buttercream Frosting makes any cake become the ultimate indulgence. The flavor is rich, it’s creamy-dreamy-delicious and oh so chocolatey!
We can’t resist using it on a rich chocolate cake or a yummy coconut cupcake (Or um, a spoon. Don’t judge.)!
Whether you are topping cupcakes or filling chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, this smoothly blended combination of butter, powdered sugar and cocoa powder makes for a simply divine chocolate buttercream and is delicious on so many different baked goods!
What is Buttercream?
There are actually 4 different versions of a Buttercream Frosting! It’s basically a mixture of fat (butter) and sugar (white or powdered) and is used as a filling, frosting or icing.
- The American version is softened butter, powdered sugar, and a splash of vanilla.
- The Swiss version is whipped egg whites, light corn syrup, white finely granulated sugar and softened butter.
- The French version is whipped egg yolks, simple sugar syrup and softened butter.
- The Italian version is simple sugar syrup, whipped egg whites, white finely granulated sugar and softened butter.
While each of these is unique, they all make a simply delicious buttercream frosting (and this recipe uses the American version). You won’t be disappointed!
How To Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
A good chocolate buttercream frosting recipe starts with good quality ingredients. Be sure to soften the butter, shortening, and have the milk at room temperature before starting. While I don’t use shortening all that often, it really makes for a great flavor and texture in this recipe and I’d highly recommend trying it just as written!
- Mix together the dry ingredients (cocoa powder and powdered sugar) and set aside.
- Combine butter and shortening until nice and fluffy.
- Slowly alternate adding cocoa and milk until fully incorporated. Continue to beat about 3 minutes until it’s light and fluffy!
We recommend licking the beaters at this point…or performing quality control as some may say!
How to Make Chocolate Buttercream Darker
This chocolate buttercream icing recipe can be made into a light chocolate flavor or deepened into a rich chocolate flavor, you decide!
You can make your chocolate buttercream icing more chocolate-y by adding a little more cocoa to the mixture. You can even add a drop or two of black food coloring to darken the buttercream frosting just a tiny bit.
Does Buttercream Frosting Need to be Refrigerated?
Since the best chocolate buttercream frosting is made with butter and milk, it can last in the refrigerator up to 5 to 7 days and can be frozen about 3 months. It may have to be refreshed somewhat using a whisk and adding a bit more cocoa powder, but it will still look and taste great on your pastries!
We pull it out of the fridge 30-60 minutes before serving to allow it to soften.
More Delicious Ways to Use This Frosting…
- Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies – chocolate on chocolate, need we say more!
- Bunny Butt Cupcakes – cute and delicious no matter what time of year.
- Sunflower Peep Cake – great for using up those leftover Easter peeps!
- Grandpa’s Light & Fluffy Banana Cupcakes – a family favorite recipe!
- Zucchini Brownies – irresistible way to use your garden vegetables/
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 6 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 2 ⅔ cups powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup milk (room temp)
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- Mix together icing sugar and cocoa. Set aside.
- Combine shortening and butter in a bowl.
- Combine milk and vanilla.
- Beat shortening and butter until creamed.
- Slowly alternate adding cocoa mixture and milk mixture
- Beat until combined and fluffy (approx 3 minutes).
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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How many cupcakes will your chocolate
Frosting recipe cover?
And to frost a 8 inch double layer cake
Should the recipe be doubled?
This makes approximately 3 cups of frosting which should be enough to do a double layer cake or for 18 cupcakes.
Hi! Do you use salted butter or unsalted? I use a vanilla recipe with shortening only, but I add a little salt. So it makes sense to use salted butter to compliment the sweetness, but I don’t want to ruin my batch!
I always use salted butter (unless the recipe specifies otherwise). Enjoy Molly!
And an Amazing Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe it is! I needed a little boost so I added a few teaspoons of instant coffee, and it boldly intensified what already is a great recipe. It was just what I needed. It sent the flavor through the roof with this small adjustment. 5 stars and 5 yummies! Thank you, and God bless you and your loved ones.❤️
So glad you enjoyed it Andrea! A little instant coffee would be a delicious addition.
HI HOLLY TED ASKING FOR YOUR HELP DO YOU HAVE A ZUCCHINI CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE. I WANT TO USE UP MY ZUCCHINI DID FOR BAKING. I PUT TWO CUPS TO A BAG. THANK-YOU FOR ALL THE RECIPES. GREATLY APPRECIATED. TAKE-CARE. SINCERELY TED
I have chocolate zucchini brownies which are a bit of a cross between a cake and a brownie.
Here are a couple of other favorite zucchini baking recipes:
zucchini banana bread
Hope that helps!
Is this icing good for decorating using a piping bag?
Yes, the icing is still soft but should hold up well to decorate a cupcake.
I used this for the chocolate cake. Would I be required to put the cake in the fridge the day of eating or can it sit out? Thanks!
I usually leave it out for the day.
Hi!!! :) I made this cake today and it turned out awesome! It was just right, not too sweet, not too bland. I also made your chocolate frosting, which turned out just as great! Now I’m sitting on my couch having eaten round about 11 slices of cake and feeling very happy :D Thanks a lot for this recipe…It made my day :)
Aww, thanks Utsa! So happy to hear that, enjoy your cake!
I’m from South Africa, and I have no clue what “shortening” is
Hi Shaakirah, shortening is a fat that is often used in baking. In a pinch, you could replace it with an additional tablespoon of butter.
Can you use vegetable oil instead of shortening??
Hi Amy, I don’t think the frosting would have the same texture and hold is you used vegetable oil instead of shortening. You could try replacing the shortening with margarine though. I think you would have better results with that.
it turned out well, thanks for the tip on using less cocoa
My frosting turned out very very soupy and I don’t k ow what went wrong
Oh no, I am sorry to hear that Bella! Did you slowly alternate adding cocoa mixture and milk mixture? Also, was your milk at room temperature before adding to the frosting?
I didn’t go far enough to see measurements. I have them now.
Don’t see measurements of ingredients. ☹️
What kind of milk do you use? Can I use almond milk?
I just use regular 2% milk, I haven’t tried it but I do think almond milk should work just fine.
I have been using Dark Cocoa powder in mine. It’s delicious!
Hi! It’ 2 cups and 2/3 cups of icing sugar or just 2 cups 2/3 size? Thanks!
2 and ⅔ cups. :)
How much frosting does this make?
Approximately 3 cups.
I may be dumb but just what is icing sugar ??
It’s powdered sugar. :)