The Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe essential for birthday cakes and celebrations! It’s the best chocolate buttercream frosting I’ve ever tasted!

The Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is definitely a must  in my house! Rich and delicious, this buttercream frosting is perfect for cakes, cupcakes and more.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting frosts Chocolate Cake on white antique cake stand - ©addapinch.com

This compliments so many delicious cakes and cupcakes, but my favorite is when it’s paired with my Best Chocolate Cake. It is literally the perfect chocolate frosting so it’s naturally so good on chocolate cupcakes or even my Vanilla Cake. But seriously, it is pretty amazing on anything it touches. Like a spoon works just fine, too!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Fluted edge white heirloom cake stand holds chocolate cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting - ©addapinch.com

Made from just six simple ingredients, this buttercream frosting comes together quickly. This recipe yields enough to frost a three layer cake or three dozen cupcakes beautifully.

Here’s how I make it.

Ingredients for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

You’ll need these ingredients to make this frosting.

  • butter – softened. I prefer using salted butter.
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • confectioner’s sugar – also called powdered sugar
  • milk
  • vanilla extract – this homemade version is rich and delicious, but if you can use another quality vanilla if you wish.
  • espresso powder – this adds a such a richness to the frosting further enhances the amazing chocolate flavor. It’s easy to make your own and is available in many grocery stores, cooking supply stores or online. This little extra ingredient heightens the deliciousness even more!

How to Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

To make this delicious frosting, you’ll need a large mixing bowl or a large bowl for a stand mixer.

  1. Add cocoa to large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through the cocoa well to remove any lumps.
  2. Then, add softened butter to the bowl with cocoa. Cream together the butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
  3. Next, alternately 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. This is important – so please make sure to mix it just as described in these instructions. It makes the frosting into fluffy, delicious perfection!
  4. Then add your vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
  5. If your frosting appears too dry, add more milk, only one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
  6. If it appears too wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, only one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
  7. Frost your cake or cupcakes as desired and enjoy!

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

Can I Store Extra Frosting?

Yes! If you have leftover buttercream frosting once you’ve frosted your cake, you can refrigerate or freeze it.

To Refrigerate

Place frosting in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Once ready to use, remove from the refrigerator and allow to reach room temperature, then whisk well to fluff the frosting.

To Freeze

Place frosting in an airtight, freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Once ready to use, place in refrigerator overnight to thaw, then remove from fridge for a short time prior to use as described previously and whisk to fluff the frosting.

More Favorite Frostings

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Ganache

Whipped Cream – not a frosting, but still a great topping to many desserts.

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

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

4.97 from 743 votes
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 Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 36 (2 tablespoons) servings

Ingredients 

  • cups (339 g) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (84 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 cups (567.5 g) confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup (113.5 g) milk, whole
  • 2 teaspoons (9 g) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (1 g) espresso powder

Instructions 

  • Add cocoa powder 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 confectioner's sugar to a large bowl. Whisk through to remove any lumps. Alternatively, you may sift the confectioner's sugar into the large bowl. Add the confectioner's sugar and milk to the cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of confectioner's sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn the 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 tablespoons | Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 242IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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

Welcome to Add A Pinch

About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review




2,727 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This frosting and the cake that goes with it are the absolute best!! I made it for my husband’s birthday and he said it’s the best cake he’s ever had, which is high praise coming from him! I don’t usually like frosting, many times I’ll scrape most of it off because it’s just too sweet. But this was perfect! I found myself licking the beaters like a kid! Highly recommended to all chocolate lovers!

    1. I always consider it high praise when my husband loves something I cook, too, Christa. So glad your husband loved the cake and frosting.

  2. If I can’t find espresso powder does espresso coffee work do you think? In the frosting and the cake? Can’t wait to make it!

    1. Becky, you can just omit the espresso powder. The powder just enhances the chocolate flavor without a coffee flavor. I hope you enjoy the cake and frosting.

    2. I didn’t have any either, so I used a few Tbsp coffee instead of the milk, and think it had a pretty similar effect.

  3. Hi Robyn!! How many cups does the recipe yield? You say it’s enough to frost a three layer cake, but I just wanna know if it will be enough to also pipe some swirls or roses. Thanks!!