Making your own frosting is easier than you think, and the results are well worth it. In this recipe, we’ll show you how to make fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting that’s perfect for topping cupcakes or icing cakes.
This chocolate buttercream frosting recipe is the classic icing for chocolate layer cakes and cupcakes.
People often think that making it is difficult, but it’s actually quite easy.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can have the perfect fluffy frosting to top your desserts.
And this version is made with cocoa powder so you don’t have to mess with melting chocolate.
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This recipe makes enough to frost a double-layer cake or 12 cupcakes. You can easily double or triple the recipe to meet your needs.
Here is your shopping list:
- Dairy – 1 cup unsalted butter, 4 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- Sugar – 3 cups confectioners sugar (also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar)
- Flavoring – ½ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Seasoning – ¼ teaspoon salt
How to make chocolate buttercream frosting
Take the butter out of the refrigerator a couple of hours ahead of time so that it has time to soften.
Mix the frosting
In a large bowl, beat the softened butter on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
If you have a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment rather than the standard beater for fluffier frosting.
On low speed, slowly add the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder to the butter.
Add the heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated.
Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is lighter in color and stiff enough to hold its shape, about 3 minutes.
Then you can put spread it over a cake or pipe it onto cupcakes (like our favorite chocolate cupcakes) as desired.
If you are not using the frosting right away, cover it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
After taking it out of the fridge, mix in a little heavy cream or milk to thin the frosting out and make it fluffy again.
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Fluffy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 mixer with large mixing bowl
- 1 Spatula
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups confections sugar
- ½ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 Tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Using a mixer and a large bowl, beat the softened butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until creamy, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- On low speed, slowly add the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder to the butter.
- Add the heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated.
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed
- Spread on a cake or pipe onto cupcakes as desired.
- If you’re mixing with a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment instead of the beater for fluffy frosting.
- The frosting can be covered in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. After taking it out of the fridge, mix in a little heavy cream or milk to thin the frosting out again and make it fluffy.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
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This post was originally published on August 26, 2022 but was updated with new content on February 20, 2023.