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 56 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. 137

    Eza says

    I am from Singapore so some of the wordings I don’t really understand. When you said 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks) – what does 3 sticks mean?

  2. 143

    Georgia says

    I loved this recipe & paired it with the best chocolate cake recipe {ever} for a perfect birthday/congrats-for-the-new-job cake! Thank you so much…I love using espresso powder so much!

  3. 146

    lynn says

    I love the flavor of this frosting and it is perfect on the best chocolate cake. My adult daughter was thrilled with this as her birthday cake. The frosting never got the smooth look that it has in your photo. it stayed a bit grainy looking, though it felt smooth. Any ideas where I might have gone wrong?

    • 147

      Sab says

      You need to use confectioners/powdered sugar! I had to re-do it because the first time I used grainulated and it had that grainy thing youre talking about (but still tasted good!).

      Loved this recipe!

  4. 148

    Mama says

    What a great recipe! I added peanut butter and used quality cocoa to come out with a brilliant combination! Thank you!!

  5. 152

    Leigh says

    I’m from Australia and I just tried this recipe yesterday with my 3 year old daughter. It was super quick,and so moist. I used butter cream icing. It tasted amazing. The best chocolate cake without doubt. Thank you so much. This will now be made for my children’s birthdays. Perfect!!!

  6. 155

    Tara says

    Looking to pair this with your white cake recipe. Is the espresso necessary or is there a replacement? Thank you!

    • 156

      Karen Vaughn Davis says

      I just made a strong cup of hot coffee, as I too was out of espresso powder. It worked great.

  7. 158

    Dominique says

    I just made this recipe and it is out of this world!!! I was able to ice 34 cupcakes with a star tip. This icing is incredible and I am excited to share your recipe. Thank you!

  8. 159

    Lauren says

    Thanks so much for this recipe. It’s incredibly easy and came out perfect!! Never had icing turn out this well before. The batter is runny- but don’t worry, it bakes perfectly :) This one is a winner for sure!!

  9. 160

    Lacy says

    Does this frosting have to be kept refrigerated since it has milk in it? I would like to use this under my fondant but the cake will be out overnight. Thanks! :)

  10. 161

    Crystal says

    This is THE BEST chocolate frosting I have ever had!! I have been searching for a good one and this is it!!!
    I normally don’t comment on recipes but I had to post about how good this was!! I could just eat it out of the bowl!!

    • 166


      You can use whichever you prefer. I generally use salted butter, but know that most professional bakers recommend using unsalted.

  11. 168

    Afroze says

    I love this recipe. Just used it for my chocolate cake and it tastes delicious!!! I added a little bit of almond extract since I love the taste and honestly this is my favorite chocolate frosting recipe ever! Thank you!!!

  12. 169

    Rebekah Price says

    I used margarine instead of butter and the 1/2 cup milk made the frosting too runny. I added 2 more cups of powdered sugar and it still was too runny. Has anyone else experienced this?

    • 170

      Lucas Geertsen says

      Well margarine have a higher fat level, so maybe it make some kind of difference.. Just a qualified guess..

  13. 171

    Christy says

    I’m making this cake this weekend for a birthday. Been looking forward to it for a month! One question…should the confectioner’s sugar be sifted? Before or after measuring?

  14. 174

    aliyah says

    Hi, I am going to try this recipe for the first time and I was wondering if I could substitute the espresso powder with hazelnut powder.

  15. 175

    Amelia Murray says

    Hi I’m going to make your best ever white cake recipe but I wanted to frost it with this chocolate buttercream recipe I see you have. How do you think that will turn out?

  16. 177

    rosie says

    love love love this, it was easy and tasted amazing only problem was it was so moist it stuck to the pans even after tons of crisco to keep it from sticking, so should i use parchment paper next tome, i hate cutting and measuring parchment paper, but this cake is worth it mmmmmm good

  17. 178

    Susaness says

    Thank you for this great recipe. I’ve only licked the bowls, haven’t served it yet, but so far it’s wonderful. I made your icing, which is excellent to ice your best chocolate cake ever. I liked that the icing is a milk chocolate. I used unsweetened, vanilla almond milk. Also, for the icing I only made 2/3 of the recipe, which was plenty to ice a two-layer cake. I’m serving it tomorrow for old friends who are visiting for the weekend.

    • 179


      I hope you enjoy it as much on the cake as from the bowl! I agree with you though, it pretty amazing just like that! Have fun with your friends over the weekend!

  18. 182

    Mariam says

    This is the BEST chocolate buttercream frosting ever. I made it exactly to recipe and it was so much better than any chocolate buttercream I had ever made before. I offered my mom a spoonful to taste after it was done and she said “Who needs cake!”….that describes this frosting perfectly! Thanks for sharing!

  19. 184

    Lindsay says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this icing and the perfect chocolate cake recipe! Baking this cake again today for the 5th time in the last few months! My hubby doesn’t like cake but he even loves this cake/icing combo! Everyone at work raved about it! I do about 2/3 the icing recipe as someone else suggested. It’s plenty to ice a two-layered cake. Can I freeze any leftover icing? Thanks so much for sharing your recipes!

  20. 186

    kl says

    I used this recipe and used Starbucks Via (instant coffee powder) instead of espresso powder. I also heavy whipping cream instead of milk and an 8 oz pack of cream cheese.

    I also do not like sickenly sweet frosting, so I used only two cups of powdered sugar. I think the frosting was a little more runny than it was supposed to be because I didn’t use as much sugar.

    To create stiffness, I refrigerated for a few hours and then frosted cake just before serving. Everbody raved about it! It was so good.

  21. 187

    Terry says

    Hi..this was my first ever chocolate cake (I don’t have a sweet tooth so never bothered). Wow…this was incredible…I made a few modifications, I used a French roast pod and added crushed Lindt chocolate truffle balls. My husband, a cake fanatic, said it was the best chocolate cake he’s ever had. It’s amazing! Thank you for a great recipe to work with!

  22. 188

    Abbey says

    Hi, I’m wanting to use this under fondant icing. Does the buttercream harden? Should I add extra sugar to help it set more? Thanks :) (I made your chocolate cake too, it’s now my go-to recipe, such a hit!!)

  23. 189

    Catherine says

    Can I use milk chocolate bars that I’ve melted as a substitute for the cocoa, for the frosting and the cake?

    If yes, what would be the measurements?

    Thanking you in advance.

  24. 190

    Diya says

    Hey..I m excited to try this recipe!! Thanks a lot for sharing it ! Pls telme espresso here means normal coffee powder, right?
    Reply awaited ..thanks again in advance ..

  25. 191

    Barbara Kerr says

    I made this cake and it was fantastic. The buttercream frosting that went with it made it even better, though I ended up with waaay more frosting then I needed so I had to make cupcakes (not your recipe but am hoping to try them soon) to finish it off.

    The only problem I found is, because I live in a hot area, it can hit over 108 degrees here (I had to look that up as I’m from Australia), my butter would melt to fast and my icing would be thin and runny. We used the last of the frosting as a dipping sauce for our cupcakes :)

    I can’t wait to try more of your recipes and I’m about to try your vanilla buttercream frosting but I have to wait for my butter to firm up a little.

  26. 192

    Jennifer says

    This sounds like it makes a TON of frosting! How would you go about reducing it? I only need enough to frost a few cupcakes.

  27. 199

    Cat Davis @ says

    I just made this on a whim with half the cocoa and a touch of french vanilla cappuccino powder and it’s the perfect “light” (not to be confused with skinny lol ) chocolate buttercream. Perfection!


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