Homemade chocolate frosting is perfect for cake, cupcakes, or even dipping fresh strawberries.

This recipe uses ingredients you likely have on hand for a smooth fluffy frosting that looks and tastes great!

chocolate cake on a plate


Chocolate: The chocolate flavor comes from both cocoa powder and melted chocolate.

Sugar: This recipe uses granulated sugar and since it’s cooked in the base, its dissolved completely for a smooth fluffy frosting.

Milk & Flour: These two ingredients are cooked with cocoa powder and sugar to make the base.

Butter: Butter makes the frosting fluffy, rich, and spreadable Use unsalted butter for the best results.

Variations: Swap the vanilla for a little bit of almond or brandy extract.

steps for making chocolate frosting

How to Make Chocolate Frosting

  1. Whisk sugar, cocoa, flour, and milk in a saucepan (per the recipe below).
  2. Bring to a boil to thicken and cool completely.
  3. Cream butter until fluffy. Beat in the cooled cocoa mixture and melted chocolate.
  4. Whip until frosting is light & fluffy.

Tips for Perfection

  • Whisk the dry ingredients into cold milk for best results.
  • Use unsalted butter and add your own salt.
  • Ensure the cocoa mixture is completely cooled so it doesn’t melt the butter.
  • A stand mixer works best for this recipe as it needs to whip for a long time.
  • Ensure the cake is completely cooled before frosting.

plated Creamy Chocolate Frosting

To Make Ahead

  • Creamy chocolate frosting can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator in a covered container. To use, remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature. If needed, beat until the frosting is smooth and creamy again.
  • Chocolate buttercream frosting freezes easily in a zippered bag for up to 3 months. Simply allow it to come to room temperature and beat in a bowl until fluffy.

Ways to Use Chocolate Frosting

Did you love this Creamy Chocolate Frosting? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

plated Creamy Chocolate Frosting
5 from 16 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Fluffy Homemade Chocolate Frosting

This homemade chocolate frosting is so easy to make with simple ingredients. Use on cakes, cupcakes, or even french toast!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 17 minutes
Servings 16 servings


  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups butter unsalted
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • In a small saucepan (off of the stove), whisk sugar, flour and cocoa powder. Whisk in milk.
  • Place the sauce pan on the stove over medium heat and whisk until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes. Let boil 30 seconds.
  • Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a bowl to cool. Place plastic wrap over the mixture allowing the wrap to rest on the surface of the chocolate. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  • Place the chocolate in a small bowl and place in the microwave at 50% power. Heat, stirring occasionally just until melted. Set aside to cool.
  • Cream butter with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the cooled cocoa mixture a little bit at a time until incorporated. Add in the melted chocolate, vanilla and salt.
  • Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 6 to 8 minutes.


Bittersweet chocolate can be substituted for semi-sweet if needed.
This makes enough frosting to frost two (8" or 9") round cakes or 24 cupcakes.
If used for a 9x13 cake, you will have excess frosting. It can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Refrigerated frosting will need to be remixed before use.
Frosting can be left at room temperature for up to 3 days. If refrigerated, the frosting should be removed from the fridge and left at room temperature for a couple of hours before serving.
5 from 16 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 336 | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 576IU | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Creamy Chocolate Frosting on a cake with writing
Creamy Chocolate Frosting in the pan with writing
Creamy Chocolate Frosting in the pan and on a cake with a title
finished Creamy Chocolate Frosting with a title


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. You are the “BEST” Holly! I Love your recipes! All that I have chosen, have turned out wonderful.
    Thank you for sharing your talent……..Erika5 stars

  2. I like the frostings that do not take icing sugar as I can’t stand those sweet icings – I have one question – I would also like to adapt this recipe for a vanilla or white chocolate icing for other cakes – can you just make it without adding the cocoa powder and switching the dark chocolate to white chocolate? I am assuming so but wasnt sure if the cocoa powder was for anything to stabilize or is it just for the rich chocolate flavour

    1. Hi Karen, I have only tested this recipe as listed so I can’t say for sure. But I would love to hear how it turns out for you!

  3. I’ll start by saying BRAVA, to Holly!
    As an accomplished, amateur chef myself, it’s frustrating when I have to sort through hundreds of websites on which people claim to be “good cooks” with “great recipes” only to end up disappointed.
    Enter Holly!
    I have tried many of the recipes on this website and have been pleasantly surprised by how good they are. And simple! I am grateful and this recipe is no exception.
    The end result was fluffy indeed, as well as tasty, easy to spread and pretty enough to eat!

    The only changes I incorporated when I made it are the following (FYI: I really hate it when people change a recipe completely, then rate it. In my case, I know that my changes are not that much of a deviation from Holly’s original):
    1. After removing the milk mixture from the stove, I stirred in the bittersweet chocolate while the mixture was still hot enough to melt it (and without having the chocolate seize over a hot burner).
    2. I did not use unsalted butter and reduced the added salt to 1/4 tsp Kosher salt.
    3. I used 8 oz butter and 4 oz of shortening.5 stars

    1. I’m so glad you’ve loved the recipes Choulli, this is one of our fave frostings too! Thanks for sharing your tips.

  4. I just made this today for my Hubbies Bday cake . Let me just say this is fantastic. So light and fluffy and not the sicky sweet that alot are. Thank you so much for my new go to frosting.