This American Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is a delicious homemade chocolate frosting that is great for your cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. It’s smooth, creamy, richly chocolatey, and so good you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful.
Homemade frostings are so much better than store-bought versions. This chocolate buttercream is a perfect one to add to the mix, because everyone loves a rich, and creamy chocolate frosting.
This frosting is thick, and fluffy. It holds its shape well, so it’s a great option for piping on top of cupcakes, or a layered cake.
This chocolate frosting is easy to make, and only needs a few ingredients – most of which you probably have on hand in your pantry and fridge. It’s a great popular choice for adding to your favorite baked goods.
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
- Unsalted Butter – I always recommend using unsalted butter because different brands add different amounts of salt to their butter, so you can get the exact amount of salt you want. If you use salted butter I recommend leaving out the salt as called for in the recipe.
- Powdered Sugar (Also known as Confectioner’s Sugar) – if it looks extra lumpy, I recommend sifting it before you add it to the frosting. Measure it out, then sift.
- Cocoa Powder – unsweetened cocoa powder adds the perfect chocolatey flavor to this easy frosting
- Heavy Cream – this thins out the frosting, and gives it the perfect smooth consistency. Add more as needed to get a nice fluffy, smooth texture.
- Vanilla Extract – this adds a great flavor to the buttercream.
- Salt – just a dash, taste the frosting with the salt and add more if you want more
How to make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting?
- Add the softened butter to a stand mixer, or large mixing bowl (personally I like to use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment), but another electric mixer with a whisk attachment work as well. Beat the frosting for a couple of minutes until it is nice and smooth.
- Add in the cocoa powder, and then the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until you have added the 3.5 cups. This will help prevent the powdered sugar from shooting over the sides of the bowl (hopefully). Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed to make sure the butter is getting mixed in.
- Add in the heavy cream, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt and beat it until you have a nice, smooth, and fluffy consistency. Add in a little more cream as needed to get a smooth consistency and texture in the frosting.
- Add the fluffy frosting to a piping bag with your favorite piping tip, or spread it with a knife onto your baked goods.
Tips and Tricks:
- Make sure your butter is softened to room temperature, this will help it cream into the frosting easier, for a smooth consistency.
- Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa after you measure it, then add it to the frosting to avoid any lumps in the frosting.
- Add a little more powdered sugar about 1/4 cup at a time, or more heavy cream, 1/2 TBS at a time, to get the right consistency of your frosting. More heavy cream can make the frosting extra smooth and spreadable for a sheet cake.
Make Ahead and Storage Instructions:
If you make your frosting ahead of time, it can be stored in an airtight container and chilled in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let it warm back up at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes, then add it back to your mixing bowl and whip it back up to soften if back up. Add a little more cream as needed to thin it out.
You can also store any leftover frosting in the fridge, in a covered container, it’s great for adding later to brownies, graham cracker cookie sandwiches, or eating a spoonful when the sweet tooth craving strikes.
This frosting can be left at room temperature because it does not have any ingredients that need to be chilled. If the frosting is added to a cake, or cookies, or other baked favorites they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. The frosting will form a slight crust on the outer layer, and will stay fairly smooth inside, but should keep its structure and shape.
When to use Chocolate Buttercream Frosting?
Chocolate frosting is a great frosting to add to a variety of baked goods, here are some favorites:
- Sugar Cookies
- Vanilla Cupcakes
- Chocolate Cupcakes
- Blondies – especially peanut butter blondies
- Whoopie Pies
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches
How much frosting does this make?
This recipe yields about 2 1/2 cups frosting, and can generously frost 12 to 14 cupcakes, or lightly frost 24 cupcakes. This frosting should be enough to frost a single layer 9×13 cake, or 8 or 9inch round cake.
If you want to frost a layered cake, for a 9inch 2 layer cake you will need to multiply the recipe by 50% For a 3-layer cake you should double the recipe.
This chocolate buttercream frosting is a delicious chocolate flavored frosting. It’s great for adding to your favorite cakes, cupcakes, cookies, or other baked goods.
More frosting recipes:
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Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
- 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 4 TBS heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 dash salt
- Large Mixing Bowl
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until it is smooth.
- Using a mixer or stand mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar, and cocoa powder. Beat until they're well mixed together.
- Add in the vanilla extract, heavy cream, and salt and mix until smooth.
- Turn the mixer up to medium high speed, and beat until it is nice and fluffy. (Add more powdered sugar, or more heavy cream as needed to get the frosting the right consistency).
- Scoop your frosting into a piping bag with a piping tip (I like the 1M tip) and frost the cupcakes.