Hot chocolate buttercream frosting is perfect for holiday baking! A smooth and creamy light chocolate frosting flavored with hot chocolate mix. Pair this frosting with chocolate cake layers and mini marshmallows or hot chocolate cupcakes for the ultimate hot chocolate treat!
Ingredients for Hot Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Unsalted butter: Room temperature for easy creaming.
- Hot chocolate mix: Use your favorite mix! I love Swiss Miss or Ghirardelli hot chocolate. Hot chocolate mix adds subtle chocolate flavoring to the frosting without making it overly chocolatey like chocolate buttercream made with unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Powdered sugar: Adds sweetness and structure. Also known as icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar.
- Salt: For a little contrast and flavor enhancement.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract adds great flavor.
- Heavy cream: To make the buttercream smooth, light, and fluffy. Use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.
How to Make Hot Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
To make the hot chocolate buttercream, I recommend using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment if you have it for the best results. Feel free to use a paddle attachment if that is your preference. You can also use an electric hand mixer.
- Whip the room temperature butter for about 5 minutes on medium speed until light, fluffy, and pale in color.
- Add in hot chocolate mix and mix on low speed until combined.
- Add in half of the powdered sugar to the butter/hot chocolate mixture 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 to the butter mixture 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-high speed and whip the buttercream for 5 full 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.
Hot Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe Tips
Make the best buttercream frosting
Mix the buttercream until the hot chocolate mix fully dissolves
The hot chocolate mix in the recipe can make the texture of the buttercream a bit grainy. The key to making the buttercream smooth and silky is to whip the buttercream for an extended period of time. This helps dissolve the hot chocolate mix into the buttercream. Whip the frosting for at least 5 minutes and test it. If the texture is grainy, continue to whip until it is smooth.
Storing the buttercream
Store the buttercream frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To use, bring the buttercream to room temperature and rewhip with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.
Hot Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or electric hand mixer
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup hot chocolate mix
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ 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 in hot chocolate mix and mix on low speed until well combined.
- 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.
- 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.
- Turn the speed on the mixer to high and whip for an additional 5 minutes until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
- If desired, switch to a paddle attachment on the stand mixer and mix buttercream on low speed for 2 additional minutes to remove air bubbles to create smooth frosting.