My Favorite Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe: The Cocoa Powder Makes a Difference | Cupcake Project

My Favorite Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe: The Cocoa Powder Makes a Difference

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I don’t like to play favorites with my recipes. I enjoy almost all of the cakes and frostings that I make. However, I will openly admit that my favorite frosting is chocolate cream cheese frosting.

The chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe is at the bottom of this post, but first I want to talk about the key ingredient – cocoa powder.

Which Cocoa Powder to Use in Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting?

The best cocoa powder for you to chose for your chocolate cream cheese frosting entirely depends on your tastes and to whom you are serving your baked goods.

One of the best blog posts I’ve read in a while was on the Evite blog. I wasn’t a regular reader (it’s now in my RSS), but I happened to be over there sending out at Evite when I came across a cookie taste test blog post.

The blog author (there was no name cited) talks about an experiment where he/she served three different types of Toll House chocolate chip cookies:

  • Homemade with high end ingredients (like real vanilla extract)
  • Homemade with cheap ingredients (like imitation vanilla extract)
  • A store bought log of dough

Surprisingly to me and perhaps other ingredient snobs, the author found that “there was no clear favorite, and very few people guessed correctly. The people who were used to the log seemed to like it best. Those who tended to eat high-end ingredients favored the expensive cookies.” The conclusion of the post was that you needed to know your audience.

Some of the more expensive single-origin cocoa powders that I prefer do not taste anything like Hershey’s. They have a much more complex flavor. The flavor is so different that my mother-in-law thought that there was some mystery ingredient in the frosting to account for the different taste.

The cocoa powder featured in the photo is Askinosie chocolate single-origin cocoa powder.  It’s got a wonderful complex flavor.

This is one of my favorite cocoa powders to use when I want a deep, dark look to my frosting.

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This is another natural cocoa powder that I love.  It’s got a bright, punchy flavor.

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If you have a Penzeys near you, I would also suggest checking out their cocoa powders.  Both their natural and dutch-processed cocoa powders are fantastic in this frosting.

Other Products Related to Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Breville BEM800XL Scraper Mixer Pro 5-Quart Die-Cast Stand Mixer

You can make cream cheese frosting by hand, but it is so much easier with an electric mixer.  This is the one I use and love.

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Scrape-A-Bowl Blade by Pourfect for Kitchenaid 5-Quart Artisan Mixer, Empire Red

The Breville mixer above comes with a scraping paddle, but if you use a KitchenAid, I highly recommend this paddle attachment.  With this tool,you won’t need to scrape the bowl while you mix.

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My Favorite Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

If you just came here to read the recipe, you’re probably getting antsy. Here it is:

My Favorite Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

My Favorite Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don't care about it being as stiff for piping)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder


  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
  3. Mix in cocoa powder.
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168 Responses to My Favorite Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe: The Cocoa Powder Makes a Difference

  1. Rachel April 7, 2008 at 3:00 am #

    I swear, we are always neck and neck, I just posted a chocolate cream cheese icing yesterday!

  2. Grace April 7, 2008 at 4:19 am #

    complex-flavored chocolate?
    sounds intimidating.
    sounds delicious.
    sounds like i need to hunt some down. immediately.

  3. Stef April 7, 2008 at 4:30 am #

    Rachel – Hah! Maybe we should actually plan it sometime since we always seem to make the same things anyway? We could bake together virtually.

    Grace – You won’t regret it.

  4. Rachel April 7, 2008 at 4:33 am #

    Stef: I was just thinking that! Shoot me an email if you’re interested.

  5. Tempered Woman April 7, 2008 at 6:11 am #

    Well from one high-maintenance chocolate lover to another…
    Bwahahahahah. 😉 Glad to hear your own take.
    I need to get back into the chocolate groove, I’ve been in a marshmallow funk. Literally. I’m a freak for cream cheese frosting so I’m thinking this might do the trick. And YAY! to Askinosie for listening to their customers. Major kudos.

    • Parker November 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      I put this on top of chocolate rice krispies. It was perfect.

  6. Manggy April 7, 2008 at 6:11 am #

    I think the fact that there are a lot of things modifying the ingredients (the addition of eggs, baking, heavy ingredients like cream cheese) really dulls the impact of the more expensive ingredients. When the recipe is much simpler (3-4 ingredients) or is uncooked, it becomes more obvious. Although when a recipe calls for Dutch-processed I always use Valrhona– just because of the deep color :) I think the speckled frosting has a unique charm of its own :)

  7. Deborah April 7, 2008 at 9:12 am #

    I can’t believe I’ve never tried a chocolate cream cheese frosting. Where have I been? I did make an orange one that I loved, but what’s not better with chocolate?

  8. Stef April 7, 2008 at 10:24 am #

    TW -Yeah, I’ve been very impressed with them. You guys picked two flavors in a row I don’t like for cupcake hero – marshmallows and peanut butter. Maybe I’ll play next time.

    Manggy – So true. That’s why the good cocoa powder makes such a difference in the frosting. I’ve never tried Valrhona cocoa powder. I’ll have to check it out.

    Deborah – You must try it, no excuses! I can’t believe you’ve never had it before.

  9. Wheeler's Frozen Dessert April 7, 2008 at 12:12 pm #

    That cocoa powder looks great! I can definitely see the difference between the first batch and the second batch, though. Kudos to the company that took stock in what their customers had to say and improved their product!

    Anyway, the frosting looks delicious – Yum!

  10. Kimberly April 7, 2008 at 7:07 pm #

    That. Frosting. Looks. Delicious!

  11. EsmaStudios April 8, 2008 at 2:17 am #

    I am a firm believer in using high-end, quality ingredients, even though I have no proof that people can tell a difference. Strangely, as I’m typing this I’m eating Toll House cookie dough out of the tube. I suppose convenience just wins out sometime.

  12. Stef April 8, 2008 at 6:54 pm #

    WFD – Yeah – I was very impressed with them!

    Kimberly – Glad you made it over to try it!

    Esma – Hah! Can’t go high quality all the time.

  13. Amy (Miss Food Snob) April 9, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    I smell some baking for teatime coming on around here. I’ve done a chocolate buttercream before, but never a chocolate cream cheese. Will definately have to give that a go.

  14. ds May 21, 2008 at 5:49 pm #

    Just to let any one know who lives in St Louis that Cioccolato has added the Askinosie Cocoa to its retail line of fine chocolates. They are located at St. Louis Union Station or the web site is

  15. Jessica@Foodmayhem November 8, 2008 at 7:33 pm #

    Great post! I’ll be trying this frosting recipe soon!

  16. Laura November 15, 2008 at 12:56 am #

    I just made this frosting and it is amazing!! I used Van Houten Cocoa because thats what I keep on hand. I can’t imagine it tasting better, but I’m thinking I will have to try to find some of this Askinosie Cocoa for the next time since I plan on making this frosting for everything chocolate in the future! I am going to use it to frost a banana cake for my sons birthday tomorrow…that is if there is any left!! I’m looking forward to trying it with the cake. Thanks for a GREAT recipe!

  17. Hana November 25, 2008 at 8:13 pm #

    Hey! Love this frosting too–it’s my favorite as well. Do you think I could freeze this frosting and defrost some when I need it later? Have you ever frozen frosting? How did it turn out?

  18. Anonymous January 21, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    After you frost your cake or cupcakes put them in the freezer for several hours. The frosting is killer when frozen!

  19. spacedream January 24, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    I made this last night. Differences in how I made it: higher butter-cream cheese ratio (an accident), less powdered sugar. It was much darker than the frosting you posted, as well, which can only be attributed to the cocoas. I used Omanhene, Ghanan cocoa. It’s perfectly smooth, imo perhaps moreso than the second variety you got the sample of. But to be honest, idk a whole bunch about chocolate. In any case, the frosting is deathly rich, and I like that it’s more more cream-cheesy than buttery. For my purposes, I might use a little less cocoa next time (it’s the filling for an already obnoxioiusly rich and chocolatey fudge cake, with a fudgy ganache frosting), but as is it would be perfect paired with something less decadent.

  20. Stef January 27, 2009 at 8:34 am #

    I never thought of having the frosting frozen. I’ll have to try it!

    Spacedream – Interesting comment. I’m sure it will be helpful to others. Thanks!

  21. Letty February 8, 2009 at 9:08 am #

    Love it! However, did I not mix enough? I sifted the powdered sugar but still taste the sugar granules. =( Any ideas?

  22. Stef February 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

    Letty – Hmm… hard to say. Sometimes I make it with as little as 3 cups of powdered sugar. Maybe using less sugar would be better for you?

  23. Letty February 8, 2009 at 6:49 pm #

    Stef, I thought 5 cups was way too much so I did use 4. I will try it again this week for Valentine’s cupcakes and do 3 cups and I will come back here with results. Thanks for the tip.

  24. Stef February 8, 2009 at 7:23 pm #

    Letty – You might also try sticking with the 4 cups and adding a tablespoon or two of milk or heave whipping cream. You might like that texture better.

  25. RavishingRuby April 5, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    I am making this chocolate cream cheese frosting today. I am so eager to taste it. ;o)

    The frosting I made turned out okay; my cocoa powder from Hershey’s might the problem ;o(

  26. Anonymous April 7, 2009 at 8:17 am #

    Hi — I am making your flourless chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for passover dessert. Do the cupcakes need to remain refrigerated until eaten b/c of the cream cheese frosting? Thanks for any tips!

  27. Stef April 7, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    I’m sure the health dept. would say to keep them in the fridge. I tend to leave my cupcake with cream cheese frosting out of the fridge though and have had no problems. I guess if you can stick them in the fridge great, but if you have no room, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  28. Maggie May 15, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    Please tell me whether I should use salted or unsalted butter in the frosting.

  29. Stef May 15, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    Maggie – Always use unsalted butter unless a recipe explicitly calls for salted butter.

  30. Eliraz August 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm #

    Random here but I just wanted to say thank you!! I googled for a chocolate cream cheese recipe and yours was the first, I took a chance and it was AMAZING. I didn’t even like cream cheese frosting before, but your recipe changed that for me 😀 I even used the crappy ingredients my parents had (Hershey’s cocoa and generic everything else) and it still rocked! Thanks again!

    • Sharlene April 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm # just mentioned that your parents had crappy ingredients..Hey girl..go purchase your own and be a happy camper..your folks do the best they can I am sure..I am a parent and I have “crappy” ingredients..and my foods taste great.
      I guess it rubbed me wrong that you would find fault with your folks foods..when you are getting them for nothing..!

  31. Stef August 26, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    Eliraz – I’m so glad you liked the frosting!! Thanks for sharing!

  32. Anonymous August 30, 2009 at 11:53 am #

    Yep, yours is a great recipe. I can cook, but my baking is not the best. Here I am trying to teach my seven year old daughter how to bake…..I thought I better go for an easy frosting. So we too googled the chocolate cream cheese frosting. We loved it – even with our generic chocolate powder. Good work~

  33. Leslie F. Miller September 4, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

    Honestly, I dig the Hershey’s dark chocolate cocoa powder, and I’m using it right now in your recipe.

  34. ebidebby September 16, 2009 at 8:03 am #

    I used this recipe two days ago to frost a cake, and it went over really well! I used Hershey cocoa powder, and would love to try this recipe again in the future with some gourmet cocoa powder!

    Thank you!

  35. Dee Dee November 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    How much frosting is this going to make? Is it enough to frost a two layer 9″ cake?

  36. Stef November 8, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    Dee Dee – I would double the recipe.

  37. Liz February 18, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    I think this is my new favorite chocolate frosting! So easy and the consistency is fabulous. I just used the Hershey’s cocoa I had on hand, but I did sift it. Thanks for the recipe and the entertaining entry. (btw, it is great for mud frosting for worm cakes.)

  38. Elena March 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    This recipe is amazing! I had a friends birthday a few weeks ago, and wanted to experiment, so i decided to make red velvets. Although traditionally done with a regular cream cheese icing decided to change it up and make chocolate cream cheese icing and stumbled upon the blog. It was the best icing ever! it was a big hit with my friends and family.

  39. Anonymous April 9, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    If you make this with strawberry cream cheese it tastes like chocolate covered strawberries… It is absolutely perfect!!!

  40. Anonymous April 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    It would be SO-o-o helpful for us Europeans if you would post your recipes with metric measures as well. Also, I don’t know whether ‘1 8oz’ means ‘one 8oz’ or ’18oz’, and I have no idea what a ‘stick’ is. I shall try it anyway, using intelligent (I hope) guesswork, ‘cos it looks and sounds so good.

  41. Stef April 22, 2010 at 6:33 am #

    Anon – It’s one 8oz. Hope it works out for you. And – 1 stick = 1/2 cup which is the equivalent of 4 ounces or 113 grams. I’ll see about adding metric conversions in the future. Sorry it’s rough on you guys. Thanks for reading!

  42. Anonymous April 22, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    Would this recipe yield enough frosting to decorate 30 cupcakes? Thanks so much.

  43. Stef April 22, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Anon – It depends on if you are piping a big swirl or just spreading it thinly. I would double it to be on the safe side.

  44. meiji May 24, 2010 at 12:45 am # looks awesome! will definite give it a try :)
    just needed to know that will the frosting stay without the cupcakes being refrigerated for 2-3 hours or will it start to melt?
    i live in dubai and due to the extremely warm climate, i really advise on how to keep the frosting intact without being refrigerated..n which ingredients to use..
    would really appreciate feedback. thanks :)

  45. Brisha and Poata Te'o June 17, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    This frosting looks incredible!! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the recipe! I love your blog!!

  46. Missy Moodle Cupcakes July 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Your posts are always so entertaining! Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try it! Love your blog

  47. newbaker October 9, 2010 at 3:20 am #

    I tried this and tastes good but found it really hard to spread on top of my cake. Did I miss something?

  48. Frances October 10, 2010 at 6:38 am #

    I love your vanilla bean frosting and now I’m going to try this. I usually use Valrohna cocoa powder but I’m going to try the single origin cocoa powder if I can find it. How do you think the tast will differ between the two cocoa powders?

  49. Stef October 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Newbaker – Hmm.. I’m not sure why that would be. Perhaps you could add more powdered sugar.

    Frances – Every cocoa powder will have a slightly different flavor, but you’ll be fine with the Valrohna cocoa powder. I’m sure that it will be great!

  50. Lisa November 11, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Yum! My husband requested I make a cake in celebration of the Marine Corps’ 235th birthday this year. I used your recipe for the frosting. There wasn’t even a crumb left in the pan! Huge hit. I’ll be using this recipe again.

  51. Cora November 21, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Thank you for the CCC frosting recipe…it was just what I was searching for..good and easy! Going to put it on top of my Mississippi Mud cake!

  52. YOFJAB December 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    very good let me say. I used the Valrohna cocoa. Yhe secong time I made this was for a banana cupcake.
    I added a few drops of Lorann’s Banana cream flavoring –yummy

  53. DEBORAH December 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Do you think I could mix in pumpkin pie filling instead of the chocolate to make pumpkin cream cheese filling? Planning on using it for Whoopie Pies :)

  54. YOFJAB December 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    I think you can – I have seen several recipes that use Pumpkin Puree ( not pie filling) – about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup and then add alittle orange juice and zest.

  55. YOFJAB December 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    I think you can – I have seen several recipes that use Pumpkin Puree ( not pie filling) – about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup and then add a little orange juice and zest.

  56. Laura December 28, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Is this enough to frost 24 cupcakes with a big swirl or should I double it?

  57. Stef December 28, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Laura – I would double it.

  58. Anonymous December 29, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    just tryed this frosting and amazing….loved it…will now be the only chocolate frosting i make
    thank you

  59. Anonymous January 10, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    The best frosting recipe ever, I swear to it! Thanks!

  60. LBL February 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    I love it! Its so thick it actually broke my cheap mixer. My bf hates unsweetened cocoa though and I had to add waaaay more sugar to get it to the point where he said it was ok. By then it was starting to taste a tad like the canned stuff (too sweet for me). But I guess if it tastes like store bought then the people at work will like it.

  61. Anonymous February 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    by 1 8 what do you mean? of the ounces?

  62. Stef February 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Anon – Sorry for the confusion. Just updated the post. 8 ounces of cream cheese.

  63. foodpassion February 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    thanks!! :)

  64. teacherboone March 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    This is like hot cocoa + frosting! Awesome!

  65. Karynn April 24, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Made this in a pinch today for my daughter’s 2nd birthday – it’s frosting perfection! Thanks for the recipe and for being #1 on Google for “chocolate frosting cream cheese”! :)

  66. Anonymous May 5, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    amazing frosting. I just baked Chocolate caramel cupcakes and used this frosting drizzled caramel on top then some chopped peacans WOW
    hope the family likes them at my Mother in Law’s 84th birthbay.

  67. AmyRuth May 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Thank you for the sweet inspiration. What wonderful frosting for my cocoa buttermilk cuppy’s!! I used some criollo cocoa I had from Ah Cacao in MX. It’s what I had until I can get Askinosie although I have been thrilled with my Mexican Chocolate!!! It was uncious and Chocolatey. I tinkered with it by accident and still it was amazing. Thank you again

  68. Katie June 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Hi i love your blog and great recepies. Could you tell me how much a cup is in grams or ounces as i have nothing to measure cups. Thank you kate UK

  69. Stef June 6, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Katie – Maybe this will help.

  70. DebbieK June 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Googled and found this blog…the frosting was absolutely delicious. Thanks! Will keep reading!

  71. Jenny July 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    This is my first visit to your blog and I am in love. I found the recipes for homemade Bailey’s and can’t wait to try that. I already love cream cheese frosting so I bet chocolate cream cheese frosting will only make things better. I can’t wait to try some of your recipes!

  72. Anonymous July 17, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    I made a cake like this for my mom’s cake, but another baker helped me. The cake was a huge hit, and everyone wanted me to make one for a baby shower we were having. The baker who had helped me before was out of town at the time, so I went online and looked up the recipe and it was even better than the first time! Now they demand I make them a cake every get-together we have.

  73. Hannah G July 22, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    I love the speckled look of that frosting! I just started a blog (only so I could sign up as a Daring Baker, but now I’m hooked). Here’s my favorite cream cheese frosting: and now I’ll have to try it with chocolate! My post is sub-par (my 3rd ever) but the frosting is really amazing!

  74. LaceyMack October 15, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    Stef! What is your favorite cake to eat under this amazing sounding frosting?

  75. Stef October 15, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    Lacey – I’ve used it on so many different cupcakes. You can’t go wrong. But, for a good place to start, I’d try it with the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake.

  76. SHALOM October 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Thx in advance, I wanna try this for my sons cake that I’m making for his birthday on Saturday. I am not a professional baker, and certainly not a good baker on top of that. But I’m determined to get this right because everyone else’s cakes that have been made for my son taste so buttery, and now that I’m researching and figuring out that most frostings are made with shortening…I’m a little sick to my stomach. I have combed through the web for days in search of how to make the best frosting. I’v already experimented with a couple of recipes, and…they flopped. They called for flour and milk and confectioners sugar. There was one with cream cheese also, but it called for whipped cream and smashed Oreos. I’m at a toss up, and Do NOT WANT the cake to melt outside. I’m making two layered cake. Should I freeze it, if so how long does it take for a cake and it’s frosting to unthaw, and will the cream cheese go bad if it’s outside for more than three hours? Sorry such a long post but I’m desperate to find the perfect frosting.

  77. Heather R. November 1, 2011 at 2:51 am #

    This was a big hit at our Halloween party. Thanks!

  78. Wilene November 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    stef i was having trouble finding this online :( can you maybe help out with either a place to get it or something similar i could use :) ty wilene

  79. ellie November 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    I tend to have Hershey’s cocoa on hand and I don’t use cocoa too often. What is the shelf life of the expensive cocoa?

  80. Cathy Morgan-Davis November 10, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    The icing was great! Thank you for the recipe.

  81. Texanerin December 27, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    I just realized that I never left feedback for this recipe although it’s my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. It’s amazing! Absolutely perfect in every way. I’ll never try a different chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe. People at work always ask me for frosting recipes and I just send them to this page. :)

  82. Unknown December 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    This frosting is fantastic! All I had on hand was Ghiridelli cocoa powder and it was excellent.
    TIP: BE SURE to have your butter and cream cheese at room temp or it won’t be smooth..if it won’t fully incorporate, hold a hot dishrag (I just held the dishrag under hot water) on the outside of your mixing bowl as it beats until it smoothes out…
    This is the best chocolate frosting I have ever had! Thanks for the recipe!!

  83. nshake January 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Few questions – Im making the cupcakes for my neices birthday party a day in advance because baking them and frosting them on the day of will be to hectic. If I make the frosting a day before will it go bad? And how would I store it to keep its texture and flavour?

    Thank you!

  84. Stef January 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Nshake – The frosting will be fine. I leave cupcakes out with this frosting on them for several days and I’ve never had a problem.

    Unknown – Great tip!! Thanks!

    Texinerin – Thanks so much!! Glad you love it!

    Wilene – Here’s the link.

    Ellie – It could last two years if it’s tightly sealed in a cool, dry place.

  85. CAROUSEL January 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    Quality of the cocoa powder does matter. I would also just buy the most expensive brand of cocoa powder at the grocery store due to convenience. But if I have a choice I would drive all the way to the southside just to buy this awesome cocoa powder. I immediately noticed the difference. My cake and icing is more chocolatey when I used the specialty store cocoa powder.

  86. CAROUSEL January 9, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    I love your website. I learned alot from you. Thinking about this cocoa powder making my mouth water. I will try it for sure!

  87. jasmilyn February 8, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    Hi…I want to try this one for a bridal party this weekend. Did you use the electric mixer to mix or just mix by hand whisk?

  88. Anonymous February 8, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    I have a question about the nutritional value of the frosting…not only do i not usually like the store frostings because they are too sweet, they usually contain trans fat! So I’ve been wanting to try and make my own to try and make it trans fat free…would this recipe/your other recipes qualify as trans fat free?

  89. Stef February 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    jasmilyn – I use an electric mixer.

    Anon – I’m not a nutritional expert. I avoid anything that has partially hydrogenated oils and use butter instead of shortening, but I really can’t say for sure if my recipes are trans-fat free. I just don’t know enough about it.

  90. Food for Thought Linds April 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Mmmm… I just used this to top some super dense chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate-peanut butter gananche filling. Pure heaven :)

  91. Anonymous April 4, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    What kind of cake to use with the frosting?? I want to do a chocolate and a yellow butter cake but don’t know if the tangy cream cheese will clash…

  92. Lisa A April 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Can anyone say how much frosting this made? Enough to frost 24 cupcakes?

  93. Lisa A April 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    Nevermind – I found that you answered that above – double it! OKAY WILL DO!

  94. Katy326 April 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    I used just store-bought toll house powdered chocolate and I LOVE this recipe! It so good and very easy to make!

  95. Anonymous May 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    hi i really want to try this recipe but im new at this stuff and i want to know when u say 1/2 C cocoa powder do u mean 1/2 cup or C is something else? and can someone tell me how much are the 8 ozs to grams? thanks


    • Stef May 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

      Yes, it’s cups. And – 8 oz is 227 grams.

  96. litgamer June 5, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    I made this frosting to put on top of a box cake mix for my dad’s 57th Birthday today. I love cream cheese frosting because they aren’t over-sweet like a lot of traditional frosting – especially chocolate. This frosting gives you that chocolatey flavor in a creamy frosting without the sugar-induced coma after effects. I’ve never seen a cream cheese frosting recipe that called for butter, but I think I like it! What’s not to like? It’s butter! Thanks for the recipe!

  97. Anonymous June 10, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Added 8oz of Nutella, magical!

  98. Anonymous June 12, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    Hi, I have been making cream cheese frosting and most people enjoy it. But one day we put the cupcakes in the balcony as there was no room in the fridge. It was winter and very cold outside. The cheesecake frosting tasted so good cold. I am wondering, would the frosting still work if I didn’t set it to room temperature and just made it right out of the fridge?

  99. Anonymous June 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Stef, I made this chocolate cream cheese recipe today and it was delicious. I made two errors. First, I mixed the coca and powder sugar together in the bowl I mix in. Thinking I wanted to mix them well. Then when I dumped the cream cheese on the coca and sugar mix I instantly said “UH OH”. My second mistake was that the cream cheese wasn’t fully warm at room temperature. It was still kinda cool. So anyway I dumped the butter on the mix and started mixing with my standard mixer. All of a sudden my 2 year old mixer burned out. I thought “well its old, ill go buy a new one” I went out to buy a new one and after I started mixing I added a tsp of whipping cream to help. Well the second (new) mixer burned out too!!!!!! I had mixed it well enough to start piping.
    So I just want to warn women out there not to do what I did and try to use a professional mixer lol. Now I have two broken mixers :'(… lol


  100. Hayley July 2, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    The butter and cream cheese wouldn’t blend together smoothly so it would be lumpy

  101. Marcy July 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Delish! Made my regular ol’ box mix cupcakes taste gourmet! Huge hit. thanks!

  102. Anonymous August 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    This was the second frosting I’ve ever made…..i can’tthank you enough! I also broke my cheap mixer on this recipe… i have to buy a brand new mixer! I’mactually very happy about that……

  103. Georgie August 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    just looking at this recipe and the comments is giving me a choc craving!! what would you suggest if not an electric mixer? i don’t particuarally want mine to break. i’m going to experiment and try a thin layer of this on brownies 😛

  104. Anonymous September 4, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    I want to use this for a Red Velvet Cake. Do you think they’ll compliment each other?

  105. Corrie Cornett September 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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  107. Anonymous November 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    I used good ‘ol Hershey’s chocolate (unsweetened powder) and this frosting was so good I could take a bath in it. Seriously. Amazing. No changes, no additions. even used a generic cream cheese (because that’s all there was) and it was amazing.

  108. Anonymous December 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    I live in Caracas, Venezuela,so getting hold of fresh locally-produced cocoa (cacao) powder isn’t too difficult. The whole process, depending on where it comes from, is relatively small batch- from cutting the pod off the trees, removing the seeds, sun-drying them and grinding them. I’ve been to a small town on the Caribbean coast where they dry the seeds on a concrete plaza in front of the town church, turning the seeds in the sun with large wooden rakes. The grinders are the same machines they’ve been using for decades and decades.
    Looking for any low fat edge I can get, I found a recipe substituting a tablespoon of fat-free milk for the butter. It also included a teaspoon of vanilla extract, which helped because I had to hand-mix it as our ancient electric mixer gave up the ghost just as I was starting to blend everything.
    Obviously, the keys are: 1) having the cream cheese nice and soft 2) adding the milk and vanilla liquids right on top of the cheese, THEN mixing in the powdered sugar, and 3) mixing in the powdered cocoa last.

    Even without the richness of the butter, this frosting was so good (on carrot cake) that a family friend, an older woman from Italy who can cook rings around me, insisted I give her the recipe and show her how I did it imediately after finishing her second helping.

    Happy Holidays!

  109. Jasmine Joshi December 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Love the cream cheese and cocoa combination…yummmm.. Thanks for sharing….I usually make a little more as I like to lick this yummm frosting 😉 Happy New Year!!!

  110. Kelli Dover February 18, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    I loved this recipe. It was also stiff enough to make my cupcakes look fabulous as well as taste awesome! I made these for the girls softball team during a tournament and they loved it. If it comes from me, its got to be good and this was great! thanks

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  113. Angela June 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    I’ve been looking for a new chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe – I can’t wait to try this one out with different types of cocoa powder!

  114. Sharon Johnson June 13, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    Thanks for the Bailey’s recipe.I have a friend who loves this stuff, I will pass this on to her. Family reunion coming up they will love this. I’ve gotten several recipes from the Cupcake Project.

    • Stef June 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm #


  115. Erica June 22, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it for my husband’s birthday cake tomorrow and I snuck way too many little tastes of the frosting 😉 I know he’ll love it just as much as me. Thanks again, and aloha!

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  117. Angel August 16, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    I was wondering how much cake would this recipe cover? I have an 11inch diameter circle cake that is single layer & about 2 inches tall. Will this cover it or should I make more?

  118. Grace September 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    Hi, I loved all your recipes and I´ve tried several and I got great results!!! But with this frosting it seems to turn out too soft to work with… any idea of what I might be doing wrong?

  119. Tayler Evans November 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    I was just wondering about the color of this frosting is it pretty dark? Also what about the consistency? I’m making a cake with a dirt bike track on the top and need a frosting that stiff enough to make jumps but not so stiff that it is crumbly or doesn’t stick to the cake

    • Stef November 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

      The color depends on the type of cocoa powder that you use. Use a dutch processed cocoa (something like Hershey’s Special Dark) if you want it to be really dark. You can control the stiffness by added more or less powdered sugar.

  120. susie November 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm #


    Im hoping I can make a batch of cupcakes frosted with this recipe then freeze – do you know how well it holds up in the freezer?


  121. November 29, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    I love all your recipes.
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  123. Leah December 16, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    I am in love with this frosting. It’s so decadent and soooo delicious! I really impressed my family with some cupcakes I took to a gathering. My father now says I make “professional” cupcakes! Haha.

    • Stef December 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      I’m so glad that you are enjoying it! It’s may favorite too!

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  130. tina March 31, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    i tried this and loved it i did however add a little vanilla and a little milk bought a teaspoon of each to make it not so stiff. it came out amazing i also used nestle cocoa

  131. Yamile Barraza April 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Hi, I made this recipe, and just want to tell you thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s the best chocolate frosting that I’ve ever tasted. It’s not only delicious but also really light for the cream cheese that every body in my family like it.

    I also post it on my blog and took some pictures. Even though it’s in spanish, her’s the link…

    Thank you again!

  132. Emily May 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    Hi, I was just wondering, how much does this make???

  133. Miranda June 3, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    I make a cake called a chocolate covered orgasm (forgive the name). One of the most important elements is a good chocolate cream cheese fronting.

    I was discouraged because the frosting never came out right, but this has inspired me to try it again.

    Thank you so much. I know this frosting must be amazing because people are still using and talking about it even now!

  134. Tayyaba June 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    I tried this recipe today and ive got to say, ITS MIND BLOWINGLY GOOD. I did however add 2 more tablespoons of cocoa for that extra chocolatey flavour. But its just way too good. I was initially afraid to try it because i didnt think creamcheese and chocolate would be that awesome. But this had made it into my top 5 frosting recipes 😀

  135. michelle August 7, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    can I use this frosting under my fondant on a cake?

  136. Valerie August 10, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    OMG!!!! Just made this for the first time. I will never eat another chocolate frosting again. I am going to add a little vanilla extract next time, but this is an absolute go to from now on. My hubby has his favorite icing and now I have mine. Thanks so much for posting this!!!!

    • Stef August 18, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Yay!!! I’m so glad you loved it!

  137. Casey August 11, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    I just found the most amazing frosting recipe ever.. Thank the lord!

  138. Holly October 2, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

    I have made this many times with high-quality cocoa as well as the cheap stuff. Either way, it’s absolutely delicious!

  139. Orly January 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    This is without competition the very best chocolate cupcake recipe I’ve ever encountered . These cupcakes will solve all of life’s problems and may even broker peace in the Middle East. Sprinkles and other cupcake specialty shops cannot even come close to this level of deliciousness. Do not google any other cupcake recipe! Ever again !!

  140. Erika February 6, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    Hello! Should I use unsweetend cocoa powder or those regular cocoa powder you can buy. From the groceries? Thank you!

  141. sara February 9, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    This was SO GOOD! I did a half recipe because I had half a block of cream cheese to use up. This is kind of the perfect frosting. :) Thank you so much! :)

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