A simple recipe for simply the best chocolate buttercream frosting! This easy frosting recipe yields a silky smooth, ultra chocolate-y, luscious and fluffy buttercream! It’s made with cocoa powder and melted chocolate for an intense chocolate flavor! This amazing chocolate frosting is perfect for cakes, cupcakes and any dessert your heart desires! This recipe makes enough frosting for a three layer, 8-inch cake; two-layer, 9-inch cake; or 24 cupcakes. Make sure to check out the rest of my ‘Back to Cake Basics’ episodes for more cake and frosting recipes!
My Chocolate Buttercream Video Tutorial
Watch my YouTube video recipe for step-by-step instructions for making the best chocolate frosting! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
Ingredients for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this rich and fluffy buttercream frosting:
- Unsalted Butter: use only unsalted butter for this recipe! Soften it at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to using. It needs to be slightly softened, not melted!
- Cocoa Powder: To give this frosting the best flavor, I use a combination of melted chocolate and cocoa powder. The melted chocolate adds creaminess to the frosting and the cocoa powder adds all the chocolate flavor.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: melt the chocolate in the microwave, or over a double boiler, and let it cool until it’s just lukewarm.
- Confectioner’s Sugar
- Salt: adding a little bit of salt helps balance out the flavors!
- Vanilla Extract
Softening the Butter Properly
The most important step to making any buttercream is softening the butter properly! If you’ve ever had a flat and greasy frosting, that means the butter was too soft or melted.
- The butter should be just barely soft to touch! Not melted or too soft!
- Soften the butter at room temperature for best results.
- If you forgot to soften the butter, use this microwave trick to quickly soften butter. Place the butter sticks right side up and microwave in 10 second intervals, rotating and turning the butter each time. Make sure you don’t overheat the butter!
How To Make Chocolate Buttercream
Here’s how to make this easy and creamy chocolate buttercream frosting.
- Start with the butter! Before adding anything else to the mixer, whisk the softened butter for 7 to 8 minutes, until it’s super fluffy and pale white in color and don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl often. Only then start adding the chocolate and sugar.
- Next, add in the melted chocolate and whisk again for about a minute, until the chocolate is well incorporated.
- Next, add in the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla extract. Mix on slow speed first, then turn the mixer to high and mix for 3 to 4 minutes, until the frosting is fluffy.
How to Store Buttercream
If you don’t plan to use this buttercream frosting right away, you can store it for later. You can store it in the refrigerator for 1 week. Simply place it into an airtight container and into the fridge. Soften at room temperature for 1 hour, then mix again and use. You can also store it in the freezer. Transfer the buttercream into a freezer friendly container and store it for up to 1 month. Defrost the frosting in the refrigerator overnight.
Use this chocolate frosting for just about anything: cakes, cupcakes, cookies and macarons! You can use it with my ‘Chocolate Cake’, ‘Vanilla Cake’, or whichever cake your heart desires! I also love this frosting with coffee flavored cakes!
- And, use it for my ‘Chocolate Zucchini Cake’ to make the ultimate chocolate on chocolate pairing!
My chocolate buttercream recipe is part of my ‘Back To Cake Basics’ series! In this series, I’m sharing basic cake, frosting and filling recipes that you can use for all your baking needs. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to create this series because sometimes, you just need a basic recipe that simple and straightforward. If you need a cake, frosting or filling recipe, I’ve got you cover with several options!
- French Buttercream – silky smooth and so delicious! Made with egg yolks and sugar syrup.
- Italian Meringue Buttercream – fluffy and creamy, made with egg whites and sugar syrup.
- Cream Cheese Frosting – a favorite classic that’s creamy and delicious!
- Lemon Buttercream – this amazing buttercream is zesty and sour!
- Pistachio Buttercream Frosting – creamy, fluffy and nutty frosting made with salted pistachios and vanilla! Perfect for cakes, cupcakes, macarons and more!
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Supplies & Tools
Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):
The Best Chocolate Buttercream Recipe (video)
- 2 cups unsalted butter
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- Start with the butter! Before adding anything else to the mixer, whisk the softened butter for 7 to 8 minutes, until it's super fluffy and pale white in color and don't forget to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl often. Only then start adding the chocolate and sugar.
- Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler until smooth. Allow the chocolate to cool until it's just lukewarm. Next, add in the melted chocolate to the butter and whisk again for about a minute, until the chocolate is well incorporated.
- Next, add in the confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla extract. Mix on slow speed first, then turn the mixer to high and mix for 3 to 4 minutes, until the frosting is fluffy. Scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure everything gets incorporated.