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! 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 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.

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.

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.
4.85 from 409 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
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.
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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

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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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1739 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Hi Robin! I’d like to alter this recipe for Kahlua frosting. Can I just swap the vanilla for Kahlua liqueur? Thanks 🙂

  2. Hi! Wanting to make this for a birthday in my family, but I don’t have any espresso powder on hand (nor does my local grocery sell it). I was wondering if instant coffee would do the trick or to just omit it completely from the recipe? Thanks!

    1. I once tried it with instant coffee and it did not have the same effect. If you don’t have the espresso powder I’d skip it. But I’d highly recommend getting it for the next time you make this recipe – it really enhances the chocolate!

      1. You can freeze the buttercream frosting, Shailla. Put the frosting 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.

      1. Rizvi, I’ve not personally used fondant with my chocolate cake, but others have and had success. You’ll find their comments in the comments section under the cake. I hope that helps! xo

  3. Well I’ll be a chocoholic junkie!! YES!!! This IS the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. Kudos to you, chef. That touch of espresso powder was the secret ingredient nobody could figure out. The je-ne-se-quois element made the dessert conversations even more delightful. Merci, C’est magnifique!

  4. Hello,

    This recipe looks amazing! Is it ok if I dont use the espresso powder? Do I need to substitute it with anything?

      1. Lauren, you can make this frosting ahead and always store it in the refrigerator or freeze it. 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.

      2. I ran out of cocoa powder and used hot cocoa mix to make up the difference! 😜 Still came out delicious

    1. Just made this cake and frosting . Best chocolate cake ever and best frosting!! I’ve tried lots of different recipes for cake and chocolate frosting. None comes close to this one. It’s the best. It’s also easy to make not complicated recipe.

    2. I am making 2 cakes. Do I need to make double the frosting? Or can I frost two cakes with this recipe. I’m just wondering if I need to go buy 10 cups of confectioners sugar. I don’t have that much on hand!! Thank you!

  5. Hi. I’m excite to make this frosting. How much does it make? I want to frost a 2 layer 8-in round cake. Thank you!

  6. this is hands down the ONLY recipe you’ll ever need for the BEST chocolate buttercream frosting. Heads up: it makes a TON. I always half the recipe (even for a layer cake). But otherwise it’s perfect!

  7. I am making this with the best chocolate cake recipe of yours for my birthday. I am thinking of cutting the 2 9-in cake halves in half so I have 4 layers to frost. Should this amount of frosting be enough to frost that plan if I don’t get over zealous with the layers? thanks!

    1. Happy Birthday, Sandy. This recipe makes a generous amount of frosting for a 3 layer cake. You may want to make 1 1/2 recipes to make sure you have enough for your cake. If you have any frosting left over, you can always store it in the refrigerator or freeze it. 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.

  8. Hello! I made the chocolat cake with this frosting. They are amazing! Thank you so much. I made a three layer cake, but there is too much left over. I maybe used even not the half of it all. Do you know if i can freeze it for a next recipe (cupcakes or once again this cake)? Now i have just put it into the fridge…

    1. You can freeze the buttercream frosting, Sara. Put the frosting 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.

  9. I have the Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast ground coffee. Can I use that as is for espresso powder? Or does it need to be the beans that you roast and then grind?

    1. You will need to cool the frosted cake in the refrigerator until the buttercream is cold, at least 30 minutes. Make sure your ganache has cooled and thickened before pouring over the ganache.

  10. Perfection! So yummy and goes so perfectly with the best chocolate cake recipe! I’ve always come back to this recipe because it is just simply the best!

  11. This IS the best chocolate cake ever. Made for my niece’s birthday cake. My dad said “I’ve never particularly liked chocolate cake – but this is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had!”. It does make a lot of frosting. Not a bad thing. I used unsalted butter and almond milk for the frosting (all I had) and it turned out just fine. Thank you!

  12. Can we use regular caster sugar, in place of icing sugar? It’s becoming really hard to find the right baking ingredients 🤷🏽‍♀️

    1. The caster sugar is not as finely ground as the confectioner’s sugar in this recipe, Nala. You can grind the caster sugar a little more until it is more like a powder and use it a substitute for the confectioner’s sugar.

  13. Best chocolate frosting ever!!! Agree with many others – expresso powder is a powerful secret ingredient!! Can’t wait for my family’s reaction (provided I don’t eat it all before I frost the cake!!)

      1. I used buttermilk with vanilla buttercream frosting for the cupcakes and it tasted great!

  14. I have been looking at this recipe for a while , I’m not a baker and I got brave this am and I’ve baked this cake. It’s absolutely fabulous. Taste and appearance. Wow I’m shocked I baked AND frosted.
    Very good recipe for beginners and otherwise. Top notch

  15. Well I am also going to bake this cake for my 61st birthday! I LOVE chocolate and can’t wait to try this. I am on my way to the store and hope I can find espresso powder because it sounds like it really makes a difference.
    I will let you know how it turns out.

  16. Hi, I’m planning to make this cake with frosting tomorrow for my husbands birthday. Is it possible to have measurements for the frosting for a 9inch single layer cake please? I know this frosting is plenty and I can store it but if it’s possible could you please cut down the measurements for me?

  17. I made this for my husband’s birthday party. It got rave reviews from everyone! I made it a week ahead and put it in the freezer, pulled it out the morning of the party and iced it frozen to keep the crumbs in check. I did not have espresso powder, but I did have ground espresso coffee so I replaced the cup of hot water with a cup of brewed espresso, it was delicious. This was the first icing I have made that had icing sugar, but was not at all sickeningly sweet. The butter ratio was the secret…it cut the sweetness and gave the icing a creaminess that was outstanding. My husband and my guests raved about how good the cake was, and it will be my go to chocolate cake going forward. Thanks for such a delicious recipe.

  18. Oh my goodness this frosting… 🤩 Thank God I didn’t discover it after going through a break up. Incredible

  19. Easy peasy and delicious!! I used soy milk, instant coffee granules and canola oil in the cake recipe. Thanks for the recipe!

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