Chocolate Heritage Frosting is now one of my new favorite frosting recipes. It goes perfectly with my Chocolate Velvet Cake and with so many other cake and cupcake recipes.

Chocolate Velvet Cake | ©

Mind you that Heritage Frosting is different from other frosting recipes as it begins with cooking flour and milk and then allowing to cool before creaming together with the remaining ingredients.

Heritage frosting is the frosting my mother always topped our red velvet cakes with growing up and would use on her chocolate cupcakes. I just knew a chocolate version would quickly become a favorite for my family with its signature light and creamy texture.

Here’s my Chocolate Heritage Frosting Recipe.

Chocolate Heritage Frosting Recipe

Chocolate Heritage Frosting makes a delicious, light and fluffy frosting perfect for using on so many dessert recipes.
5 from 6 votes

Review Recipe

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Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk room temperature
  • 2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks), softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Cook flour and milk over medium high heat until thickened, approximately three minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. After flour and milk mixture has cooled, cream together butter, sugar, and cocoa until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
  • Add flour and milk mixture to butter mixture and beat until it has reached a whipped cream consistency. Add vanilla and beat one additional minute.
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Robyn xo

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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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45 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Think this frosting would be sturdy enough for wedding cupcakes? It is an evening wedding so it shouldn’t be hot. I’m thinking the chocolate velvet cake + heritage frosting would be an amazing addition to the desserts table I am putting together.

    1. substitute 1/3 of the butter with shortening and the frosting will stabilize well and not affect the flavor – can use butter-flavored shortening if you want. My mom made this frosting always – either plain or with cocoa. It is a luscious filling for ‘gobs’ and the fat can be easily tweeked – substitute half cream cheese or creamy peanut butter instead of all butter. The best base frosting ever…just make sure your cooked flour/milk mixture is firm and ice cold.

  2. Thank you for adding the Chocolate Heritage Frosting recipe today. I’m eager to bake the Chocolate Velvet Cake and complete it with this frosting. It sounds too good for words! Maybe I’ll have to make it for Ree & Ladd and our grandchildren…of course for my husband (Ree’s dad) who is one of the biggest chocolate lover of all time!

  3. Regarding your Chocolate Velvet cake.
    Clarification – no buttermilk required as in a red velvet cake?

    I saw printed vegetarian??? But eggs are used in recipe.

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      The cake recipe does use buttermilk. Also, can you tell me where you saw vegetarian? This cake wouldn’t be considered vegetarian since it uses eggs, butter, and the buttermilk.

      1. Hi Robyn,
        I have tried this frosting and it is really the best,but I have a problem,cause,after cooling the milk with flour,once mixed with the butter mixture,there seems to be something white that goes with it,should I strain it,to make it smooth?
        Thank you.

      2. Hi Wey,
        I would recommend making sure that it is smooth. I’m not sure what that would be unless it is some of the film from the pan from when you cook the frosting. You do want your frosting to be smooth!

  4. It was in a caption under one of the pages perhaps intertwined with advertisements?

    I see the buttermilk, I overlooked the ingredient.

  5. I’m curious, if I use 2 stick of butter and 1 80z of cream cheese and powdered sugar will it make any difference with consistency and taste?

  6. Hello!
    Just made the Chocolate velvet cake and the heritage frosting today for spouse’s birthday. I don’t know what I did, but my frosting is very liquid and looks like cheese curds (although it tastes delicious).
    Help, what can I add to make less runny?

  7. I made the Heritage Frosting and had the same problem as a few other people – it separated and never got fluffy. It would be great if you could help with some direction as to why. Thanks.

  8. I have made the velvet cake with this frosting a number of times, it is seriously the best, this heritage frosting is my go to for all cakes and cupcakes. Best recipe ever!!!!

  9. If any of you had an issue with the consistency of this frosting, this may help. I’ve made this several times and it works, with some additional information.
    When heating the milk and flour until thickened, you must stir, with a whisk, CONSTANTLY. Don’t walk away for even a minute. I heat the milk to warm, then whisk in the flour and continue whisking until it is thick. It takes a little longer than 3 minutes, at least it did for me. Cover it with plastic wrap and let cool completely.
    When beating the butter and sugar (and cocoa), beat until fluffy. Room temp butter is important. But this is THE most important thing: When you add the cooled flour mixture to the butter mixture, you must beat them together (ON HIGH) for a good 15 minutes. Don’t take any shortcuts here. I have a stand mixer that is worth its weight in gold when I make this recipe. Set it and let it go.
    People will rave about this frosting if it’s done right.

    1. Hi. I’ve used it with cocoa powder. I’ve made it several times without. Delicious, but can’t get cocoa powder smooth. Wondered if I could add it to flour and milk?

      1. I’ve been making this frosting for years to rave reviews…here’s what I do that helps-
        I use rice flour instead of regular flour.
        Add the cocoa powder and the sugar to the stove top ingredients.
        If I don’t have time to let it cool in the fridge I throw it into the stand mixer & start mixing, wrapping my bowl in ice packs to speed the process.
        Once your heated mixture is cooled & you transfer to the stand mixer you only have to add the butter.

  10. This frosting is so awesome!

    Finally I found an american frosting recipe that does not have fancy US ingredients that I can’t buy in Germany. And then it’s also one of the best I have ever made :).
    I was’t patient enough to let the butter warm up so I threw it into a water bath for a minute. I also left the milk-flour mix on the stove and walked away, resulting in some small clumps but the frosting was still veeery tasty. All my friends loved it. I combined it with the chocolate velvet cake (where I substituted buttermilk for joghurt mixed with whole milk) for a friends spontaneous birthday party. Despite my improvising it was a huge success and I will definetly do it again.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      This frosting can be refrigerated for up to a week in an airtight container. Must bring frosting to room temperature after removing from refrigerator, then beat again until fluffy and ready to spread. I hope you enjoy it!
      Thanks so much!

  11. Absolutely fabulous frosting! Its my new go to frosting. I stumbled on your website while making a cake and due to the popularity of it, I ended up making the recipes once a month for a whole year! My electric stove is fussy so I usually bring the heat up to medium for a tuny bit just to get the milk and flour popping, then I turn the heat down to medium low. The key is to keep stirring and the lumps will dissipate. I have always just used regular unbleached flour and regular sugar – not fine or powedered. Its a great recipe. Thank you!

    1. Wow, Heather! I’m so glad you stumbled my way! 😉
      I’m so happy you enjoy the cake – and so honored you liked it so much to bake it every month for a year!!! Thank you so much! xo

  12. The basic cooked buttercream frosting is the recipe that was included in the original recipe for Red Velvet Cake that was printed in the San Diego Union Tribune in the 1960’s. As I remember reading the article… an woman had gone to a restaurant in New York, had the Red Velvet cake and asked the Chef for the recipe. He gave it to her and then billed her for $250. She paid, and then sent the recipe to the San Diego paper to be published, in revenge for having to pay.
    I have never liked cream cheese frosting with the Red Velvet cake, since having it with the Cooked Buttercream version.
    I have had frosting left over… and instead of throwing it away.. I froze it..and when I needed a little frosting for cup cakes I used it.. it was a little grain-ier after defrosting.. but tasted just fine..
    I like this frosting because it is not as overly sweet as other frostings

    1. What an interesting history of Heritage Frosting, Marty! I’ve never heard that before – thanks so much for sharing it!
      It is a delicious frosting – we’ve loved my Mama’s Red Velvet Cakes (and this Chocolate Velvet cake too) with that amazing Heritage frosting for years! She uses Cream Cheese Frosting too at times for those that prefer that frosting, but this is certainly a very delicious, special frosting!
      I’m glad you like this frosting – and appreciate you sharing this with me! 🙂

  13. Not sure why, but my frosting came out very thin. I heated and stirred the milk/ flour mixture for about 15 minutes over Ned/high heat too! It was about as thick as a white sauce. I cooled the mixture completely too as directed. After adding a bunch of 10x Surat, and beating itnlike crazy, it finally became thick enough to frost a cake ( barely). I am going to refrigerated it to see if that helps. Not sure what I did wrong. I added the correct amounts of every ingredient.

  14. I’ve never met another person who uses this type of frosting for red velvet cake! I’m so happy to find someone that does! Vanilla heritage frosting is how my family has topped red velvet cake for generations. I’ve been looking around for a good way to make it chocolate, so thank you!

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