Chocolate cream cheese frosting is a perfect topping for just about any flavor cupcake! It is smooth, creamy, and has as strong chocolate flavor!
However, I will openly admit that my favorite frosting is chocolate cream cheese frosting. It is sweet, a little tangy, very chocolaty, and perfectly pipe-able.
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.
A while back, the Evite blog did a cookie taste test.
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 need 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. When I use it in my Classic Cakey Brownies, it gives them a chocolatey oomph that knocks you away.
Cacao Berry Extra Brute is one of my favorite cocoa powders to use when I want a deep, dark look to my frosting.
Sharffen Berger’s natural cocoa powder is another natural cocoa powder that I love. It’s got a bright, punchy flavor.
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.
What Cupcakes Can I Use This Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting On
You can never go wrong with the ultimate chocolate cupcakes. This recipe has been EXTENSIVELY tested and you’ll see when you read the comments that hundreds of people rave about them.
In the photo above, I frosted the cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting and then dipped them in chocolate to make hi-hat cupcakes!
But, of course, this frosting works on vanilla cupcakes as well!
Does Cream Cheese Frosting Need to Be Refrigerated?
As with a lot of food-safety questions, it depends on who you ask.
The USDA considers frostings made with cream cheese to be unsafe if left unrefrigerated for more than a couple hours, and there are a lot of food websites that echo this fear.
If you have a weakened immune system, or just like to err on the side of caution, then by all means refrigerate your frosting until you are ready to serve.
If you want to know what I do, though, I leave my cupcakes with cream cheese frosting out of the fridge.
I have never had problems with the frosting souring, and I have certainly never had any health effects.
While looking over the comments section of a food blog post on cream cheese frosting, I found a fascinating comment by “Chef Ono,” who did a test that involved leaving a bowl of plain cream cheese and a bowl of a cream cheese–sugar mixture at room temperature for a week.
Chef Ono found that the pure cream cheese smelled off and tasted sour after one day, but the mixture with sugar smelled and tasted fine for a whole week.
Can Cream Cheese Frosting Be Frozen?
Yes, cream cheese frosting can be frozen!
Foods with a high fat content tend to survive freezing well.
You shouldn’t have any trouble putting a ziplock bag of chocolate cream cheese frosting in the freezer for weeks or maybe even months.
You will need to re-whip it a bit when it comes out, though, before you start piping.
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
- Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
- Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
- Mix in cocoa powder.