Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

The Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe is essential when it comes to birthday cakes and other celebrations around my house.

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe | ©

It compliments so many delicious cakes and cupcakes, but my favorite is when it paired with my favorite chocolate cake recipe, chocolate cupcakes or even my white cake recipe. But seriously, it is pretty delicious on anything it touches. Like a spoon works just fine, too! Ha!

Thankfully, this chocolate buttercream frosting recipe comes together quickly and makes plenty of buttercream frosting to frost a three layer cake or three dozen cupcakes beautifully.

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe | ©

Here’s my Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe. I can’t wait to hear how you love it.

4.8 from 30 reviews
Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is an essential when it comes to birthday cakes and other celebrations. Get this family favorite, perfect chocolate buttercream frosting recipe.
  • 1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  1. Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
  2. Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
  3. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
  4. Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
  5. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

Robyn xo


  1. 74

    Andrea says

    Hello Robyn, will this frosting work good with fondant?
    How many cupcakes I can cover with it?
    Thank you for your post!

    • 75

      Miserableme says

      We don’t use regular milk in our house. Can I substitute the milk with almond milk? Will it taste just as great?

  2. 80

    deea says

    Hi Robyn! I made a slight adjustment to your recipe by adding fresh orange juice and zest instead of espresso powder, just for a different flavour. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. 81

    Andrea says

    I can not believe how good this cake is. OH MY!!!! Robyn, I adore you. My sister loves chocolate and coffee. So this was a great surprise for her on her birthday. Thank you so much for helping me to put a smile on so many faces. You can have all the stars you want. You’re the best!:-)

  4. 82

    Katherine says

    This is some of the best icing I’ve ever had! My husband said the same. He ate three spoonfuls then licked the mixer beater clean until his tongue was numb. It is so good! I used it to cover a two-layer 8-inch cake and have a good bit leftover, so we’ll snack on that too! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!

  5. 83

    StephanieDay says

    I saw some people had posted about this being too runny. I followed the directions exactly with the exception of a little less espresso powder, using 1 1/2 sticks of softened organic butter. It was absolutely amazing!! Perfect consistency. I did put the cake in the fridge until we were ready to eat it, just in case the frosting melted. After it sat at room temp for about 15 mins, the frosting was once again creamy & perfect.

  6. 85

    Diana says

    I’ve been craving a rich chocolate cake for three days now, and I’m so happy I came across this page. This cake ticked all the right boxes. My husband promised to take me out today to have cake together, but when he comes home he will change his mind when he tries this!! Five stars!!!

  7. 88

    Linda says

    I don’t use coffee. What would be a good substitute and still maintain the integrity of your recipe for both the cake and frosting? Thanks!

  8. 91

    QT says

    Made this to frost a 3 layer chocolate cake. Excellent and just enough frosting, maybe a few spoonfuls left over. I thought the coffee flavor was perfect with the sweetness of the frosting. Definitely keeping this one.

  9. 92

    Teena says

    Since I found this recipe my family requests it for every birthday. I don’t like chocolate cakes at all but this cake has made me a chocolate lover. The cake is moist and the frosting is amazing. My children often sneak spoonfuls of the icing. I have to warn them I won’t have enough for the cake. My son says, “don’t worry mommy, you can make more.” Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  10. 93

    A.N.D. says

    This recipe was great! I made it for my 12 year old daughters’ birthday party, and it turned out awesome. It doesn’t taste too much like coffee, so good for anyone who loves chocolate. We made 2/3 the icing recipe, and it was the perfect amount for 2 9-inch layer cake. Might have to do a little math to figure out the 2/3, not too hard though. The icing is AMAZING!

  11. 95

    putri says

    hei robyn! i plan to change the butter cream frosting with chocolate ganache. may i know, how much of chocolate ganache i need to cover one cake? thank you :)

  12. 96

    Molly says

    Great frosting–I may just have more of a “chocolate tooth”. Seemed like it could use more cocoa, or melted bittersweet chocolate. Other than that, very well balanced with butter & sweetness! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. 97

    Sarah P says

    The white cake recipe worked out perfectly…. So glad I chose it!!! Will this frosting taste better cold or room temp?

  14. 99

    Jim Spencer says

    First time making a cake from scratch. Chickens never could understand why I always stole their “scratch!”

    Great results. Took a few pieces around to a few elderly folks and they screamed for more! Thanks for aspecial recipe and easy to put together


  15. 100

    Christi says

    This was very very good! It made a ton (unless I did something wrong)! Enough for 2 cakes–and I put it on thick! But what a great recipe!

  16. 103

    Samantha says

    The frosting was slightly runny, and also a little lighter in color. I just adjusted the amount of sugar to my preference. By any means, it still tasted great.

  17. 105

    Lisa says

    Thank you all the way from Down Under in Melbourne, Australia, for this scrumptious recipe. I googled for a quick chocolate frosting and I’m so glad I discovered this recipe. I needed to ice a cake before my daughter came home from school, it’s her 9th birthday today. I admit I halved the recipe, omitted the coffee (for the kids) and added extra cocoa to compensate and this recipe came out devine. I still had leftovers as I only made a small sponge cake (raspberry jam & real cream filling) for after tonights dinner for a family of 5.

    I love it when people share great recipes. A very sincere “Thank you”.

  18. 106

    Faith says

    OMG!!! This is delicious! I made it as is, except I did not have espresso powder. I did have a liquid coffee concentrate (cold brew) so I added some of that instead. WOW!!! This is a keeper!

  19. 107

    Chris says

    Just made these as cupcakes, and wow! Delectable! Did not have espresso powder, used one cup of strong coffee (boiled in microwave for a minute) instead of that and the water. Left it out of the icing, still really good. 16 minutes as stated in another comment, was perfect. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  20. 109

    Stephanie says

    I made this to with the chocolate cake for my mom’s birthday. It was a hit. There was so much frosting leftover, too. I fear I may be eating by the spoonful. From now on, this is my go-to chocolate buttercream. The only modification I made was that I used dark cocoa powder, as I did with the cake. Decadent but simple, foolproof really!

  21. 111

    Josephine La Fontaine says

    Like the masses commenting before me this recipe is AMAZEBALLS!!!
    It’s my go to recipe particularly when I need to prepare a cake a couple
    of days before eating. Just wondering if I can prepare the cake frosted a couple of days in advance?
    Would I put this in the fridge?


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