Rich and velvety chocolate buttercream frosting with heaps of chocolate flavor. Ideal to spread on cakes or to pipe onto cupcakes.
This chocolate buttercream frosting is wonderfully versatile. It spreads beautifully over cakes and holds its shape perfectly when piped onto cupcakes.
If you want to pipe decoration onto your cakes with this buttercream, it works perfectly for that too. It’s rich, decadent and exactly what you want on your baked goods!
How To Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Full instructions and measurements can always be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
- It’s really simple to make this buttercream. Add softened butter (unsalted or lightly salted) to the bowl of your stand mixer. Start at slow speed and gradually increase the speed of your mixer. Let it go for around 3 minutes until your butter is looking quite pale in color.
- Then add in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, milk and some (optional) instant espresso powder.
- Mix again, starting at slow speed and gradually increasing speed until you’re at full speed and let the mixer run for 5-6 minutes until the frosting is very fluffy.
TOP TIPS: The key to a really good chocolate buttercream is to whip it until it’s really fluffy. The optional instant espresso powder deepens the chocolate flavor and is really divine. However, if you don’t like to mix your coffee and frostings, then you can leave it out.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting For Cake
This is perfect for spreading onto cakes. See it in action below!
And with added melted chocolate swirls…
Use this chocolate buttercream frosting recipe for:
Chocolate cakes. It’s enough to frost a two layer 9-inch chocolate cake, or a three layer 8-inch chocolate cake.
Chocolate cupcakes. This frosting makes enough to very generously pipe frosting onto 12 cupcakes (as pictured). If you’re piping on a smaller swirl then it makes enough for 18-24 cupcakes.
Storing and Freezing
Store it covered in the fridge for up to a week. Before using, bring it up to room temperature on the countertop and then beat it again until smooth.
You can freeze it for up to 3 months. If you freeze it then let it thaw in the fridge and then bring it up to room temperature on the countertop before beating it again until smooth.
Make It Dairy-Free
If you want to make this dairy-free then you can use a dairy free margarine or a vegan butter product (like Earth Balance) instead of the dairy butter and then use non-dairy milk such as soy milk or almond milk instead of dairy milk. If your dairy free margarine is softer (like in a tub) then you will likely need a little less non-dairy milk added in as the soft margarine will have a higher water content than dairy butter, so just play that part by ear.
The other difference is that you won’t need to beat it as long as with butter, just beat it only as long as needed to get to a smooth and fluffy consistency.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Add softened butter to the bowl of your stand mixer and starting at slow speed gradually increase speed and beat for 3 minutes until pale in color.
- Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder, vanilla extract, milk and instant espresso powder and starting at slow speed and gradually increasing speed beat for another 5-6 minutes until very fluffy and smooth.
- If it ends up too thin, then add 1/4 cup more powdered sugar.
- Butter can be either unsalted or lightly salted. I prefer lightly salted as it balances out the sweetness nicely. If you’re using unsalted butter though, then you can just add 1/4 tsp salt.
- Powdered sugar is also called Icing Sugar.
- Instant espresso powder just deepens the chocolate flavor, you don’t taste coffee in your final result. However it is optional and you can leave it out if you prefer not to use it.
- It’s best to use the buttercream while it’s at room temperature for spreading or piping. If it’s been in the fridge, then let it come back to room temperature on the counter and then beat it again before using.