The most important step for making this chocolate frosting happens before you start the recipe! Softening the butter and cream cheese properly is very crucial for optimal results. If the butter or cheese is too soft, the frosting will stay flat and greasy.
Remove the butter and cream cheese from the refrigerator approximately 45 minutes before beginning the recipe. Set them onto your kitchen counter to soften. The butter and cream cheese should be just slightly softened but still have a firm core. Do not use melted butter!
Melting the Chocolate:
Next, prepare the melted chocolate. Place the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat the chocolate on a medium power setting to avoid burning the chocolate. Stir it every 45 seconds until the chocolate is smooth and creamy.
Allow the chocolate to cool slowly at room temperature, stirring it occasionally. Do not add hot melted chocolate into the frosting! This will melt the butter, making the frosting too soft.
Preparing the Coffee:
To prepare the instant coffee flavoring, place the instant coffee into a small ramekin and pour over the boiling water. Stir until the coffee is completely dissolved.
Allow this concentrated coffee to cool completely; you can place it into the refrigerator to cool faster. Do not add hot coffee into the frosting!
Making the Frosting:
Place the softened butter into a stand mixer bowl with the flat beater attached. A hand mixer will also work well but will require extra mixing time. Beat the butter on medium then high speed for about 4 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl midway.
Next, add the cream cheese. Continue mixing on medium-high speed for another 4 minutes, until the mixture is smooth.
Add in the cooled coffee, vanilla extract, and heavy cream next and mix for about 30 seconds; briefly, just until the extract is incorporated.
Next, add in the cocoa powder, cooled melted chocolate, and salt. Mix again for about 30 seconds.
Finally, add in the confectioner’s sugar. Start the mixer out on a slow speed to keep the sugar from flying everywhere, then increase the speed to ‘high’ and beat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the frosting is extra fluffy. It will start to become lighter in color, too as it mixes.
Storing & Using the Frosting:
If your cream cheese frosting is too soft and not pipeable, simply place the mixing bowl into the refrigerator and allow the frosting to chill for about an hour. Give it a mix for about a minute on low speed once its chilled, then use.
Once the frosting is ready, you can use it immediately for decorating your cake, cupcakes or for filling desserts. If you want to store it for later, simply transfer it into an airtight container first. This frosting will stand it the refrigerator for up 1 week, or in the freezer for 1 month.