Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is essential when it comes to birthday cakes and celebrations. It’s a favorite chocolate buttercream frosting recipe!

The Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is definitely a must  in my house!  This Chocolate Buttercream is by far the best I’ve ever tasted and is frequently requested for birthday cakes and more!

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe | ©addapinch.com

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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!

How to Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

To make this delicious frosting, first add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through the cocoa well to remove any lumps.

Then, cream together the butter and cocoa powder until well-combined. Then, add sugar and milk to the 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. Please make sure  you mix it like this – it makes the frosting into fluffy, delicious perfection!
You’ll then add your vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
If your frosting appears too dry, add more milk, only one 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, only one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

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

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe | ©addapinch.com

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

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

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.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best chocolate buttercream, buttercream recipe, chocolate buttercream, chocolate buttercream recipe, easy chocolate buttercream
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
  • Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
  • 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.
  • Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
  • 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.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

You may also want to try my White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe as well.

1,489 comments on “Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe”

  1. Hi, I want the icing to be less sweeter! 5 cups icing sugar feels too sweet for me. Any tips to make it less sweeter and still have a perfect consistency? 

  2. I made a gluten-free chocolate cake for my granddaughter’s birthday as per her request. This is the frosting I decided on because it looked like it would make enough to decorate a cake with maybe some left over. I have to tell you that we thought this was absolutely delicious! It went so well with the King Arthur Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake mix (I know—-a box cake, but it was really good!). This will be added to my recipe box! Thank you so much!!

    • Yay! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the frosting, Marianne!
      I hope your granddaughter had a great birthday! Sometime when you feel like baking, I hope you try my Best Chocolate Cake Ever – I have instructions with it to make it gluten-free if you want. 😉
      Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the frosting! xo

    • Can this frosting be made a couple days ahead of time? If so, how would I store it? Thanks!

      • Hi Jackilyn,
        You can refrigerate or freeze this frosting. If you refrigerate it, it’s good in the fridge for about 3 – 5 days. Just make sure you store it in an airtight container. If you want to freeze it, put in a freezer safe, airtight food storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use after freezing, remove from freezer and place it in the fridge overnight to thaw. Right before you get ready to frost your cake, allow the frosting to come to room temperature and mix it well again to make it fluffy before using.
        Hope this helps! Thanks so much

  3. This cake is divine. I put whipped cream in the middle and chocolate buttercream frosting on the outside for my daughters birthday. Can’t recommend enough 

  4. Amazing! Even my mom (who is on a strict diet) couldn’t help herself and kept eating the frosting.😁😁😁

  5. I have loved your chocolate cake recipe for years- and this year it saved my kid’s birthday party! 
    This will be my first time for the frosting- would you recommend storing the frosted cake in the fridge or room temp overnight? 

    • Hi Kt,
      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy the cake and hope your child had a fabulous birthday! There’s no need to refrigerate the frosted cake – it will be fine for a couple days stored under a cake cover on your counter. So happy you made the frosting – so good! Thanks! xo

  6. Can this frosting be frozen? I have a lot left over — but its too good to throw away!!!

    • I’m so glad you enjoy it! You sure can refrigerate or freeze it, Brenna! I’m with you – no wasting this frosting! 😉
      If you refrigerate it, it’s good in the fridge for about 3 – 5 days. If you want to freeze it, put in a freezer safe, airtight food storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use after freezing, remove from freezer and place it in the fridge overnight to thaw. Right before you get ready to frost your cake or cupcakes, allow to come to room temperature and mix it well again to make it fluffy before using.
      Hope this helps! Thanks so much

  7. Hi! I would like to make it kid-friendly. So if I don’t use the espresso powder, will that be okay? 

  8. Can non dairy milk and non dairy butter be used in this recipe?

  9. This was my first time making frosting from scratch and it was so easy. The frosting is the best chocolate frosting I have ever had.

  10. Do you think this makes enough frosting for a three layered cake? 

  11. Made it this morning, turned out really good. I had read some of the comments and chose to only use 4 cups of icing sugar We like the hint of bitterness you get from the cocoa

    thank you for posting this recipe 🙂

  12. I made a vegan version using margarine and replacing the milk with almond milk and was absolutely delish!!

  13. I made the cake and icing years ago for my husband’s birthday. It is now a tradition. Everyone looks forward to John’s birthday cake! Thank you for the amazing recipes!

  14. Hi Robin, Can I use heavy cream instead of milk in this chocolate frosting . If so, s it the same amount. ? I also have buttermilk -for some reason I thought it call for this when I was at the store. Thanks ,I simple love love the chocolate cake !!!! Got many people now having me make all the birthday cakes.. YES 

    • Thanks, Anne,
      You can use heavy cream for this frosting. Just use the same amount as the milk listed in the recipe. I would have never used buttermilk in the frosting so not sure how that would work.

    • Perhaps Anne A. had been thinking of making the cake along with the frosting and the buttermilk was to use in the cake recipe. (Just a thought)

  15. Hi,

    Can one use heavy cream instead of milk? if so how much heavy cream

    Thank you

  16. Could I swap heavy cream for the milk if it’s what I’ve got? 

  17. My son’s communion is Saturday and he requested your chocolate cake and chocolate butter cream frosting.. but he asked can he have it all! Lol lol

    Just wanted to say thank you for the recipe, we all love it

    • Hi Lynn,
      Sounds like your son has a great idea! Wouldn’t it be great if you were able to have an entire cake all to yourself! That is so funny! So glad your family loves the cake. Thanks!

  18. Is this recipe good for a 3 layer cake? I’m planning to make a big cake want to see how much frosting this recipe makes.

  19. Delicious!

  20. How much buttercream does this recipe make?

  21. Loved this cake and so easy to make. Could you tell me what weight a cup or stick of butter is please? Here in Australia everything is in metric or imperial weight. 

  22. Great recipe.. trying out the day of my daughters birthday.. talk about procrastinating.
    Anyway I added 6 cups instead of 5. My daughter has a sweet tooth. But in all I like it. She wants an all chocolate cake and I think this will make her day. Thank you.
    P.s
    I made it with salted butter because I see no salt in your recipe so I figured the salted butter would take care of that and it did..
    Thank you again.

  23. Hi, how much would you increase this recipe to frost a three layer cake?

  24. I made this with heavy whipping cream, because I didn’t have any milk on hand and it was AMAZING!! I used it with a German Chocolate Cake that I was making. Unbelievably delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  25. Hi, so I love your recipe, and am using it for my husband birthday cake. When it comes to the frosting, i ran out of unsweetened cocoa powder and where is curious if I could use unsweetened bars of chocolate rather than the unsweetened cocoa powder? If so, how many bars should I melt down? Thank you 🙂

  26. How many cups of icing does this make roughly?

  27. This was very tasty! FYI I cut out half the milk and replaced it with brewed coffee so you can still get the espresso taste (brings out chocolate flavor doesn’t taste like coffee) if you don’t have espresso powder on hand.

  28. Can this be halved and still come out ok? I only have a dozen cupcakes to frost (they were leftover from a cupcake cake). I know some recipes get testy when you half or double them 😆 thanks!

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