This chocolate buttercream frosting is the best frosting you’ll ever taste. It’s silky and smooth making it perfect for cupcakes, cakes, cookies and so much more. With this recipe on hand, you’ll never reach for store-bought chocolate frosting again.
It’s creamy, it’s rich and as indulgent as can be. Whether you’re smearing this frosting on cakes, piping it onto cookies, or simply licking it straight from the spatula, I’m confident this chocolate buttercream frosting will stay on your rotation when making any chocolate dessert.
Why You’ll Love This
- With just 5 basic ingredients, this homemade frosting has NO preservatives, fillers, or other strange ingredients. Have you ever checked out the ingredients in the store-bought stuff? Yikes.
- Chocolate buttercream frosting tends to hold its shape very well, so it’s great for decorative piping techniques.
- It makes smooth and silky chocolatey frosting in less time it would take to grab it from the store.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Unsalted Butter softened – Gives this frosting its luscious smooth texture and buttery flavor.
- Powdered Sugar – Used to sweeten the frosting. The smaller granules of sugar also absorb some of the moisture, creating a thicker, frosting-like consistency.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Gives the frosting it’s classic chocolate flavor and beautiful brown color.
- Whole Milk – Helps loosen up the frosting a bit while keeping it thick and creamy.
- Vanilla Extract – flavors the frosting, adding sweetness and subtle vanilla flavor.
How To Make
You’re going to love how easy this is. Here’s how it’s done:
- Be sure your butter is softened. Then, in a large bowl, beat until smooth with an electric mixer.
- Next, add the powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix until well-combined (about a minute). Do not overmix.
- Now you’re going to add the milk and continue mixing for 3 to 4 minutes or until you achieve a light and fluffy frosting. Do not overmix.
Recipe Tips For The Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- For the perfect creamy texture, the butter should be softened and room temperature.
- To avoid any lumps, simply sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar before using them. This is totally optional and only really necessary if the cocoa powder or powdered sugar was already lumpy.
- Speaking of cocoa powder, use a high-quality one for the best flavor.
- If the frosting is too dry, it’s really hard to work with. Simply add splashes of milk until it loosens up a bit.
- Heavy whipping cream and whole milk can be used interchangeably in this one, keeping in mind that heavy whipping cream makes the frosting much thicker.
- Perhaps you need black frosting for something. Add a few drops of food coloring to make it black!
- Dark chocolate buttercream frosting, anyone? Swap out the unsweetened cocoa powder with dark cocoa powder (like Hershey’s).
- Add some texture. Gently fold in crushed oreos, cacao nibs, etc. to the finished frosting.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: You can make this frosting up to 4 days in advance. Simply store in an airtight container in the fridge. Before using, bring the frosting to room temperature and remix to fluff it back up.
Freezing: You can also freeze the frosting in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To bring it back to life, thaw in the fridge overnight, bring to room temperature, and then mix until it’s fluffy again.
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
Sure. As long as you’re using high-quality butter, your buttercream frosting should turn out great.
Can I use regular sugar instead of powdered sugar?
I don’t recommend it. The larger sugar granules in regular sugar throw off the texture. The frosting won’t be as creamy.
Can you over-beat buttercream?
Yes, so don’t over mix it. Otherwise, you’ll add bubbles and throw off the consistency.
How to fix over-mixed frosting: If your frosting isn’t holding its shape well, it’s most likely over-mixed. You can chill it for a bit to stiffen it up or fold in powdered sugar (1 tablespoon) at a time until it thickens up.
Ways To Use This Frosting
If you can refrain from eating all of the chocolate frosting straight from the bowl, here are some ways it can also be used:
- Smeared on buttermilk chocolate cake.
- Piped on vanilla cupcakes.
- As decorative frosting for sugar cookies.
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Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Electric mixer
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, mix the butter until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder and mix until well incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix for 3-4 minutes or until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.