Chocolate buttercream frosting is easy to make and packed with chocolate flavor. With only 6 ingredients, this chocolate buttercream frosting recipe comes together in less than 10 minutes. It is the perfect chocolate buttercream frosting for cakes and cupcakes and pipes like a dream!
Ingredients for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Unsalted butter: Room temperature.
- Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar provides structure and sweetness to the buttercream. You can use a bit more or a bit less to adjust to your taste. Also known as confectioners sugar or icing sugar.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract provides great flavor and actually enhances the chocolate flavor of the frosting.
- Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the flavor the buttercream and contrasts the sweetness.
- Dark cocoa powder: Dark unsweetened cocoa powder gives the buttercream a rich chocolate flavor and deep color. You can use regular cocoa powder but it won’t be as dark in color and will have a lighter chocolate flavor.
- Heavy cream: A bit of heavy cream or heavy whipping cream helps bring the buttercream together and makes it creamy.
How to Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Whip the room temperature unsalted butter for about 5 minutes until light, fluffy, and pale in color.
- Add in half of the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed until the sugar is combined with the butter. Then add the remaining half and continue to mix on low speed.
- Add the vanilla extract and salt.
- Add in the dark cocoa powder and continue to mix on low until combined.
- Slowly drizzle in the heavy cream. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl after this step to ensure everything is well mixed.
- Turn the mixer to medium speed and whip the buttercream for about 3 minutes.
- (Optional) Switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low speed for an additional 5 minutes to remove air bubbles and made the buttercream silky smooth.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe Tips
Make perfect buttercream frosting
Check out my baking tips blog post on 10 Tips for Making Perfect Buttercream to learn simple tips and tricks to make the best chocolate buttercream frosting.
Use dark cocoa powder
Whipping the butter
The key to making a buttercream that is light and fluffy is whipping the butter before adding the sugar. Be sure to whip the butter for a full 5 minutes until light and fluffy. The butter will also become a very pale yellow. This helps the buttercream have the perfect consistency for piping!
This recipe makes enough chocolate frosting to ice a three layer 7-inch or 8-inch layer cake or frost 3 dozen cupcakes. (This could be more or less depending on how much frosting you use).
Storing and serving
The homemade chocolate buttercream frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To use, simply bring the buttercream to room temperature and rewhip until smooth and creamy.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or electric hand mixer
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup dark cocoa powder
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add in room temperature unsalted butter. Whip the butter for 5 minutes on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides occasionally. The butter will be light, fluffy, and pale in color.
- Add one half of the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed setting until fully combined. Add remaining powdered sugar and continue to mix on low until incorporated.
- Add vanilla extract and salt and mix on low until combined.
- Add dark cocoa powder and continue to mix on low speed until combined.
- Increase speed to medium on the mixer and slowly drizzle in the heavy cream. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure the frosting is well mixed.
- Once the heavy cream is added, turn the speed on the mixer to high and whip for an additional 3 minutes.
- If desired, switch to a paddle attachment on the stand mixer and mix buttercream on low speed for 2 additional minutes or mix by hand with a spatula to remove air bubbles to create smooth frosting.