Chocolate Buttercream Frosting for Cakes and Cupcakes
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Chocolate Buttercream

This amazing chocolate buttercream is rich, decadent, and SO chocolaty! Plus, it’s easy to make and requires only a few ingredients.

Chocolate buttercream frosting is the chocolate version of my famous vanilla frosting. And, if you’re a white chocolate fan, don’t miss my white chocolate buttercream.

Chocolate buttercreamPlain and chocolate frostings are a must in your arsenal of frosting recipes!

What You’ll Need

To make chocolate frosting, you’ll need:

  • Butter – Choose unsalted butter so that you can control the salt content of your frosting.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa powder – Just like in my chocolate cream cheese frosting, the cocoa powder that you choose can make a big difference in the end result of your frosting, both in terms of color and taste. Appearance-wise, if you choose a really dark cocoa powder, like Hershey’s Special Dark, the frosting will be much darker than a regular cocoa powder. The best cocoa powder to use entirely depends on your preference and to whom you are serving your baked goods.

Adding cocoa powder to frosting

  • Salt – A touch of salt goes so well with the chocolate flavor.
  • Vanilla extract – You might find it odd to have vanilla in chocolate frosting, but the vanilla actually enhances the chocolate flavor.


Make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature.

Beat the butter used in the chocolate buttercream for three full minutes with an electric mixer on high speed. This will incorporate lots of air into the frosting to make nice and light.

Beating butter in a KitchenAid mixer

Experiment with adding 1/2 teaspoon of espresso powder to the frosting. The goal here is not to make a coffee frosting, but rather to use the little bit of coffee to intensify the chocolate flavor. You may not even taste the coffee.

How Long Does Chocolate Frosting Last?

This chocolate buttercream lasts for up to a week at room temperature or months in the freezer.

If you’ve frozen it and are ready to use it, first bring it to room temperature and then mix it again for a minute or two before you start piping.

Best Pairings

Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting

Chocolate buttercream is a great cupcake frosting, but it’s also wonderful on cakes and as a filling for cookies. Here are some of my favorite recipes to use it on:

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Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting
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3.67 from 3 votes

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate buttercream is rich, decadent, and SO chocolaty! It's easy to make - with just three ingredients - and perfect for cakes and cupcakes.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate buttercream, chocolate buttercream frosting
Prep Time 6 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 111kcal
Author Stef


  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar add more if needed to get desired stiffness
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a handheld electric mixer, beat butter at high speed for three minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in cocoa powder.
  • Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  • Mix in vanilla and salt.
  • Pipe over or spread onto desserts.


Frosts 24 cupcakes or a two layer 8" round cake. Double the recipe if you like your cupcakes with really tall frosting swirls.
Add more powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar) as needed if you want a stiffer buttercream.
The frosting lasts for up to a week at room temperature or months in the freezer.
If frozen, you will need to bring it to room temperature and mix it again for a minute or two before you start piping.


Stand mixer
Piping bags
Piping tips


Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 111 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 50mg2%
Potassium 30mg1%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 236IU5%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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