Chocolate buttercream frosting is the perfect finishing touch for your next cake or cupcake recipe. Light and velvety, this sweet chocolate frosting comes together in minutes and can easily be doubled or tripled for your next cake.
If you are a chocolate lover, you will agree that chocolate cake can only be topped with chocolate frosting. This chocolate frosting is velvety, sweet, and pairs perfectly with chocolate cupcakes.
Buttercream frosting is a sweet, rich frosting made with butter and confectioner's sugar. There's no cooking involved, so you can make homemade chocolate frosting in just a few minutes, with five ingredients.
American buttercream frosting
This frosting is a standard American buttercream frosting. This means that the base of the recipe is butter and confectioner's sugar.
American buttercream is generally very sweet, but also easy to prepare because there is no cooking involved.
Once you combine your ingredients, it's ready to spread or pipe onto your cupcakes. Check out my recipe for Classic American Buttercream Frosting if you're looking for an easy vanilla frosting recipe.
Room temperature butter
For this recipe, you'll need room temperature butter. To prepare, set out your butter an hour or two before you begin.
If you forget to soften your butter beforehand, Try slicing each stick of butter into small pieces. This will help it warm up to room temperature quickly.
Making chocolate frosting
First, you'll whip your butter in a large mixing bowl. Then, you'll add your confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder.
Starting slowly, mix the dry ingredients into the butter. It may look dry, but it will eventually come together. Whip until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Next, add the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Whip for another 1 or 2 minutes, until your frosting is light and fluffy. The color of your frosting will lighten slightly as it is whipped.
Now you can spread your frosting with a knife onto cupcakes or a prepared cake. Or, spoon into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes.
How much frosting do I need?
This recipe makes enough frosting to frost the following cupcake quantities and cake sizes:
- 6-inch three layer cake
- 18 cupcakes with piped frosting
- 24 cupcakes spread with a knife
- 9x13 sheet cake
- 13x18 sheet cake
- 8-inch or 9-inch two layer cake (filling and top of cake, leaving the sides bare). To cover the sides of your layer cake, make an additional half batch of frosting.
In the recipe card below, hover over the serving size. Use the sliding bar to change the serving size and measurements.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup heavy cream or milk
- In a bowl, add confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder. Sift or whisk to remove lumps, then set aside.
- a separate bowl, add butter. Beat until creamy. Add confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder and starting slowly, mix until ingredients are fully combined. Then, whip at high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and heavy cream, then beat for another minute until fluffy.
- Pipe or spread frosting with a knife onto cupcakes and serve.
- Recipe will make enough to frost up to 18 cupcakes with piped frosting, 24 cupcakes spread with a knife, a 9x13 sheet cake, a 13x18 sheet cake, or the top and middle of a round 8 or 9 inch 2-layer cake (leaving the sides bare). To frost the sides of a 2-layer cake, make an additional half batch of frosting.
- This frosting will crust, so sprinkles or additional decorations will need to be added before your frosting dries.