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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 - ©

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 - ©

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


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.

4.96 from 583 votes

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Dessert 15 mins

Prep Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
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.


  • cups butter softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder


  • 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 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.

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Robyn xo

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

Frosting / Icing Recipes

Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review


  1. Robyn,
    I love buttercream frosting and chocolate makes everything better. I’ll try this on my next cake. Probably chocolate buttercream on chocolate cake. Pinned for later.

    1. Hi there would love to make this frosting could you tell me the conversion quantities in grams please

  2. It’s not even 10am and I am NEEDING this right now! What an amazing, heavenly, fluffy frosting, Robyn!

  3. 5 stars
    A very fluffy frosting that makes it a breeze to frost a cake. Spreads, peaks and shapes very well.

    The recipe makes way too much for a regular two layer cake. You could easily reduce it and still have plenty especially if you only have 1 box of confectioners sugar. Opening the second box for the 5th cup was a waste. Sadly even after generously frosting my first “Best chocolate cake (ever)”, I had to throw out about 1/3 of the frosting before I ate it with a spoon.

    Thanks for the recipe, it’s excellent.

    1. Thanks so much, Audrey! I think I must use more frosting on my cakes as it always works out just perfectly for me 🙂 Next time, instead of tossing out any extra you might have, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Then, just let it reach back to room temperature and stir it well before using.

    2. Left over frosting put on graham crackers Top and bottom frosting in the middle my mother always did the kids and grand kids LOVE refrigerate crackers GREAT for sweet treat…..

  4. my daughter is 6 years old and is in the brownies . she is the youngest in her group . she needed a made from scratch cake recipe and I found yours . she measured and mixed it all on her own and the cake is baking right now . I will let you know how she does !! thank you for sharing the recipe

    1. Wow! This comment was almost 7 years ago. How did your daughter’s cake turn out? 😅

  5. Robyn, how do I make this for a groom’s cake? I would like to use heart shaped cake pans and merge the smaller cake into the bigger but I don’t know how to adjust the recipe for a larger cake pan. I’m not hung up on using heart shaped pans but I did for my son’s wedding and now my grandson is getting married and would like to make a really luscious chocolate cake for his wedding. I used a pound cake recipe for my son’s cake but it was a bit dry. I really need help. I probably need a bigger cake than this recipe. Can you please advise me?

    1. Hi Rita! Congratulations on your grandson’s upcoming wedding. What a wonderful tradition for making the groom’s cake. I know your family will always remember that special gift. My chocolate cake recipe can easily be doubled or more to make a larger cake. Let me know if you have more questions for me!

  6. Just made this cake for a friend’s Birthday cake and delivered to her house…where her husband was home from work early. We all had to have a piece…it was truly amazing…moist, delicious and beautiful. I think this chocolate cake has just become my favorite cake to make for Birthday surprises for those friends who love a deep, dark ,rich chocolate cake. Be sure and have with a glass of cold organic milk…totally awesome!!!

  7. Thank you so much! First time making chocolate buttercream! Omg this is the best best best of the best buttercream! Thank your for sharing. 🙂

  8. I need to make a birthday cake for my son. He loves chocolate cake. However he wants a minecraft cake
    Which invloves a kelly green grass like topping. How do I achieve the green I wamt using this frosting?

    1. 5 stars
      You should use this frosting as the brown dirt part of the minecraft dirt block (if that’s what you’re making) and make a vanilla buttercream frosting with green food coloring for the grass part. Oh! And to make it more textured you should dust with some cocoa powder on the chocolate buttercream “dirt” part.

      BTW this frosting and the cake are delish!

  9. Just made your AMAZING chocolate cake & chocolate buttercream… Delicious! Wanted to make a congratulatory cake for my husband, and this was perfect! Thank you so much for the foolproof recipe!

    1. If I want to make the frosting ahead of time, how should I store it? If refrigerated, do I warm it up before spreading? Thank you!

    2. Sonya, 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.

  10. 5 stars
    Hands-down the best chocolate frosting recipe I have ever made. It’s light, fluffy, and absolutely decadent. Ends at the perfect consistency and my tasters loved it! Everyone wanted to know what brand it was and I let them know how easy it was to make. You can omit a bit of the confectioner’s sugar for a darker tasting frosting. All in all, 5 stars! I will be using this recipe again.

  11. Hi Robyn

    I have made this cake a few times and it truly is amazing. Instead of using espresso powder ( which I could not find) I made a cup of espresso coffee and used as combo of the espresso powder and the 250 ml of boiling water. Works perfectly.

    Thanks for sharing


  12. 5 stars
    Robyn made this CBC Frosting yesterday to go with a classic yellow cake, and I have to agree this the perfect CBC frosting. Looking forward to making more of your recipes. Thank you.

  13. Making a cake for my wife’s b-day tomorrow. Is the cocoa in the frosting unsweetened cocoa powder (like in the cake recipe)? Or is it sweetened cocoa powder?

  14. 5 stars
    I just made this cake tonight. It was excellent. I have made much more complicated chocolate cakes that were no better than this. This was easy to make. I will be replacing those recipe with this one. I highly recommend.

  15. I really want to make the choc cake tomorrow but don’t have cocoa powder only actual chocolate and I can’t get to the shops before baking. Can I substitute?

  16. I plan to try this for my grandsons, who love chocolate. Can I use three pans instead of two? Three allows more use of the icing, which should be plenty. Thanks!

    1. Sure! I would just evenly divide the cake batter between the three pans. Then, check the cake about 5 minutes before the normal baking time.

  17. Sorry, in my last post I was of course referring to your Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever to use with the chocolate buttercream icing. Also, if I want to increase the layers to three, can you tell me what, if anything, need to add? Thanks again!

  18. One of the comments mentions 250ml of boiling water, but the recipe doesn’t list boiling water. Just making sure I’m not missing a step. Anyone who has made this before who could clarify?

  19. 5 stars
    I recently was asked to make the cake for my dance instructor’s going away party, and I was asked to make it in such short notice! I had seen this recipe before and had never had a chance to make it. So I jumped at the opportunity and made a quadruple batch for this giant cake I made for 125 people! It was AMAZING!!! It was SO good. I especially loved the hint of espresso from the espresso powder. It was a total hit and I would recommend this frosting recipe to everyone! Thanks for posting a great recipe, and what made me use this recipe over other ones was your pictures! A picture really does say a thousand words and bravo for your great photography 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you had the chance to make it, Dawn and that you loved it. And kudos to you for baking a cake for 125 people on short notice. I’m impressed!!! xo

  20. 5 stars
    I made your amazing chocolate cake with this buttercream frosting! Was a huge hit. I want to ask possibly a silly question….if I wanted to make the frosting non-chocolate, do I simply omit the cocoa? I found it such a easy frosting to work with I would like a non chocolate version for a vanilla cake! Thank you : )

  21. Your perfect chocolate cake is currently in the oven and tomorrow I’ll be whipping up this buttercream recipe. Can’t wait to taste both! Am taking it to work on Friday so will let you know the verdict!

  22. All I have is Medaglia D’Oro Instant expresso coffee. Is that right. Using hot water in cake mix, doesnt that start cooking the eggs? humm?

  23. 5 stars
    Hi my daughter & I are so excited to be making this homemade cake & frosting! One question though, should the butter be salted or unsalted?

    1. Generally, I understand that baker’s recommend using unsalted butter when baking. I generally use whichever butter I have on hand, which is usually salted. To my taste, it doesn’t make that much of a difference but if you are sensitive to salt, I’d recommend unsalted.

  24. I followed your recipe exactly, and WOW! Best buttercream ever! The consistency was perfect; I spread it between and on a chocolate layer cake. I covered it with ganache and then piped the extra on top, truly ideal consistency. The taste was amazing, everyone raved. Thank you for sharing!

  25. This recipe sounds so good! I’m going to try it for my son’s birthday party. Can I store the frosted cake on a covered glass cake stand at room temperature for 24 hours before the party, or does it require refrigeration? I would like to use the vanilla buttercream to decorate on top of the chocolate buttercream background. Will the frosting decorations stiffen up after sitting at room temp, or will it get droopy? Thanks in advance for any advice.

  26. 4 stars
    Love the texture of this frosting! Wish it had a little more chocolate taste. Maybe a bit less sugar. Just my own taste I guess.

  27. Loved this recipe. So easy and good. I used only half the recipe as I had a white filling for the middle layers and it was perfect. I did leave off the expresso as I had too many little ones eating this and their parents would have killed me with chocolate and caffeine.

  28. 5 stars
    This frosting is delicious. I used it for a chocolate cake I made. As someone else stated, this recipe makes a lot of frosting. I had 2 single layer cakes that I planned on keeping separate and just frosting one of them. So I halved the frost recipe, but I ended up with so much frosting that I just frosted both of the layers. Great recipe!

  29. 5 stars
    I made this as cupcakes this weekend. The batter seemed too thin, but I baked it and they turned out perfect! I received so many compliment on how moist the cupcakes were. Thank you!

  30. I have tried to bake a few cakes for friends few times but it never would really turn out good…always a disaster, either the cake was hard or the sugar was less.. or I got them burnt 🙁 One day I chanced upon this recipe and I said lets give it a shot!! The moment I took it from the oven it was so moist and nice…I did the ganache icing and took it to office next day to share it with my colleagues.. Trust me – everyone started asking me the recipe and even said I should get into full time baking and start taking orders…:) They thought I had ordered the cake from a shop 🙂 I havent tried the frosting tho…beacuse I used the ganache frosting on this and it was still amazing..

    Gonna try the buttercream soon…Keep it up!!

    Loving it!!

  31. Mmmkay I followed this recipe to the letter and twice it has turned grainy and pale during the adding of icing sugar one cup at a time with one tablespoon of milk… Am I reading/understanding correctly that I am to beat on high between each sugar and milk addition? So at the end there will have been about 5 minutes of beating this frosting on high speed plus time beating it on low to incorporate dry and wet? Feels like it needs way less beating especially on high… why are we supposed to do it like that, is there a food science reason?

    Also I assume that we only use 1 cup cocoa to 5 cups icing sugar because of the cost but if a gal wanted truly decadent chocolatey goodness with less sweet she could change that ratio to more cocoa and subtract that from the icing sugar… without consequence.

  32. I made this cake, and it was truly awesome and I can’t wait to make it again! I live in South Africa and I used Woolworth’s Hazelnut Ground Coffee and it worked great!

  33. Hello,
    I LOVE the taste of this frosting. I used it to generously frost a 3 layer chocolate cake I made this week. One problem I did have was there was a bit of separation that left a whitish hue on the frosting. I probably wouldn’t make it again bc of this. Any thoughts on what might happened? I’m guessing the milk separated?

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I’ve not had that happen before or heard of anyone else having that issue. I’m a bit perplexed. Did you add all of your milk at once? I’m not sure why it would separate since I incorporate mine so slowly in the recipe.

  34. Hi Robyn, I can’t find espresso powder in Sri Lanka. What can use instead? Plz advise. Thank you. Can’t wait to try this recipe 🙂

  35. Hi Robin,
    Your frosting recipe looks great. i need to make a 12 x12 2 layer cake for a party. I will be filling it with some thing else how much do you think I will need. Will I be able to to smooth it and is it pipeable? if I make it on a Friday will it hold till sunday? lots of questions I know! thank you.

    1. Hi Paul,
      You can simply omit it or others have substituted with the Starbuck’s instant espresso packets (measured to equal the espresso powder) with good results. You could also use an instant coffee, but I would recommend reducing to about half of the amount of the espresso powder as I think it can leave a bit of a bitter aftertaste to the buttercream. Hope that helps! ~Robyn

  36. Hello Robyn, will this frosting work good with fondant?
    How many cupcakes I can cover with it?
    Thank you for your post!

    1. We don’t use regular milk in our house. Can I substitute the milk with almond milk? Will it taste just as great?

    2. 5 stars
      It should work just fine with almond milk, though what I’ve been using recently for my allergic-to-dairy partner is coconut milk (and margarine). It’s very tasty that way, and I think the coconut milk may be even better than regular milk for this.

    1. Reasonably well, though I think the trick is to make sure the butter starts out fairly warm, and add enough powdered sugar for the frosting to be the thickness you want. If it’s a really hot day, I might let it sit for a bit to get to the temperature you expect to be serving it at, and then add more sugar if it’s too soft.

      (Mine did end up getting pretty soft in the heat today, but it didn’t run.)

  37. 5 stars
    Hi Robyn! I made a slight adjustment to your recipe by adding fresh orange juice and zest instead of espresso powder, just for a different flavour. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  38. 5 stars
    I can not believe how good this cake is. OH MY!!!! Robyn, I adore you. My sister loves chocolate and coffee. So this was a great surprise for her on her birthday. Thank you so much for helping me to put a smile on so many faces. You can have all the stars you want. You’re the best!:-)

  39. 5 stars
    This is some of the best icing I’ve ever had! My husband said the same. He ate three spoonfuls then licked the mixer beater clean until his tongue was numb. It is so good! I used it to cover a two-layer 8-inch cake and have a good bit leftover, so we’ll snack on that too! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!

  40. I saw some people had posted about this being too runny. I followed the directions exactly with the exception of a little less espresso powder, using 1 1/2 sticks of softened organic butter. It was absolutely amazing!! Perfect consistency. I did put the cake in the fridge until we were ready to eat it, just in case the frosting melted. After it sat at room temp for about 15 mins, the frosting was once again creamy & perfect.

  41. I’ve been craving a rich chocolate cake for three days now, and I’m so happy I came across this page. This cake ticked all the right boxes. My husband promised to take me out today to have cake together, but when he comes home he will change his mind when he tries this!! Five stars!!!

  42. I don’t use coffee. What would be a good substitute and still maintain the integrity of your recipe for both the cake and frosting? Thanks!

    1. It’s perfectly fine just to leave it out; you’ll get a plain chocolate frosting rather than a chocolate/coffee one.

    1. Espresso powder is very intensely dark and concentrated instant coffee. It’s not just coffee beans ground fine. It’s actually coffee crystals that dissolve quickly in liquid. Espresso powder is really not for drinking – bakers are the primary people who use it.

  43. 5 stars
    Made this to frost a 3 layer chocolate cake. Excellent and just enough frosting, maybe a few spoonfuls left over. I thought the coffee flavor was perfect with the sweetness of the frosting. Definitely keeping this one.

  44. 5 stars
    Since I found this recipe my family requests it for every birthday. I don’t like chocolate cakes at all but this cake has made me a chocolate lover. The cake is moist and the frosting is amazing. My children often sneak spoonfuls of the icing. I have to warn them I won’t have enough for the cake. My son says, “don’t worry mommy, you can make more.” Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  45. 5 stars
    This recipe was great! I made it for my 12 year old daughters’ birthday party, and it turned out awesome. It doesn’t taste too much like coffee, so good for anyone who loves chocolate. We made 2/3 the icing recipe, and it was the perfect amount for 2 9-inch layer cake. Might have to do a little math to figure out the 2/3, not too hard though. The icing is AMAZING!

  46. hei robyn! i plan to change the butter cream frosting with chocolate ganache. may i know, how much of chocolate ganache i need to cover one cake? thank you 🙂

  47. Great frosting–I may just have more of a “chocolate tooth”. Seemed like it could use more cocoa, or melted bittersweet chocolate. Other than that, very well balanced with butter & sweetness! Thanks for the recipe!

  48. The white cake recipe worked out perfectly…. So glad I chose it!!! Will this frosting taste better cold or room temp?

  49. 5 stars
    First time making a cake from scratch. Chickens never could understand why I always stole their “scratch!”

    Great results. Took a few pieces around to a few elderly folks and they screamed for more! Thanks for aspecial recipe and easy to put together


  50. 5 stars
    This was very very good! It made a ton (unless I did something wrong)! Enough for 2 cakes–and I put it on thick! But what a great recipe!

  51. 4 stars
    The frosting was slightly runny, and also a little lighter in color. I just adjusted the amount of sugar to my preference. By any means, it still tasted great.

  52. 5 stars
    Thank you all the way from Down Under in Melbourne, Australia, for this scrumptious recipe. I googled for a quick chocolate frosting and I’m so glad I discovered this recipe. I needed to ice a cake before my daughter came home from school, it’s her 9th birthday today. I admit I halved the recipe, omitted the coffee (for the kids) and added extra cocoa to compensate and this recipe came out devine. I still had leftovers as I only made a small sponge cake (raspberry jam & real cream filling) for after tonights dinner for a family of 5.

    I love it when people share great recipes. A very sincere “Thank you”.

  53. 5 stars
    OMG!!! This is delicious! I made it as is, except I did not have espresso powder. I did have a liquid coffee concentrate (cold brew) so I added some of that instead. WOW!!! This is a keeper!

  54. 5 stars
    Just made these as cupcakes, and wow! Delectable! Did not have espresso powder, used one cup of strong coffee (boiled in microwave for a minute) instead of that and the water. Left it out of the icing, still really good. 16 minutes as stated in another comment, was perfect. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  55. I made this to with the chocolate cake for my mom’s birthday. It was a hit. There was so much frosting leftover, too. I fear I may be eating by the spoonful. From now on, this is my go-to chocolate buttercream. The only modification I made was that I used dark cocoa powder, as I did with the cake. Decadent but simple, foolproof really!

  56. Like the masses commenting before me this recipe is AMAZEBALLS!!!
    It’s my go to recipe particularly when I need to prepare a cake a couple
    of days before eating. Just wondering if I can prepare the cake frosted a couple of days in advance?
    Would I put this in the fridge?

  57. Awesome cake! My family loves it. Had friends over and made it for them, they want me to make it for them for a party coming up.

    1. This was the moistest cake I have ever had. This is an outstanding recipe. Frosting is yummy!! Thank you!! 🙂

  58. Hi!!! Gonna try out this recipe sometime this week and I just wanted to know if you used salted or unsalted butter?

    1. You can use either. I generally tend to use salted butter just because that’s what I prefer, but unsalted will work just fine.

    1. You can omit the espresso powder if you prefer. Others have commented that they’ve used finely ground coffee beans in place of the espresso powder with good result.

  59. Oh goodness, this icing is good! (To the point where I’ve broken my rule of never posting comments to say that!). Thanks!

  60. 5 stars
    Thanks so much! I made this for my brother’s birthday, he said that the mocha flavor was”magnificent”. I really liked the way it turned out, too.

  61. 5 stars
    Perfect is a word that, in my opinion, is overused in describing recipes. In this case, it’s an understatement, This recipe is indeed PERFECT for generously frosting a 9 inch layer cake, and what can I say abut the flavor?! It is delicious and not heavy as other frostings I’ve made in the past. Thank you for sharing this PERFECT recipe.

  62. Would love to make this icing but unsure of how the measurements work out in uk measurements can you please convert to llbs and ounce thankyou

  63. 5 stars
    i want to make this frosting for 12 cupcakes, is it possible? do you have the measurements for 12 cupcakes (i’ve made your this frosting a few times before for the cake and i know its alot of frosting for just 12 cupcakes. what do u suggest i do? i think even half will be alot

    1. Hi Joie,
      Not a rookie question at all! I most often use salted butter, but I know that a lot of professionals recommend using unsalted so that you can control the amount of salt added.

  64. 5 stars
    OMG! I will never use store bought frosting again. This recipe is great and simple. It turned out perfect. My husband is a happy camper.

  65. I hate butter so I always use crisco in my frosting and it is delicious. I also use cold leftover black coffee as my liquid. So delicious. Going to get me some of that expresso powder tho. Always do my chocolate frosting with the crisco and coffee. Everyone loves it. Going to do that cake. Love it cause it has no butter.

  66. 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?

    1. 3 sticks of butter is equivalent to 12 ounces by weight. I think this would be about 340 grams.
      Hope that helps!

  67. 5 stars
    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!

  68. 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?

    1. 5 stars
      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!

  69. 5 stars
    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!!!

    1. Oh my goodness, how sweet of your girls! I hope you have the best birthday EVER! xoxo

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

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

  71. 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!

  72. 5 stars
    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!!

  73. 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! 🙂

  74. 5 stars
    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!!

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

  75. 5 stars
    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!!!

  76. 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?

    1. 5 stars
      Well margarine have a higher fat level, so maybe it make some kind of difference.. Just a qualified guess..

  77. 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?

  78. 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.

  79. 5 stars
    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?

  80. 5 stars
    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

  81. 5 stars
    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.

    1. 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!

  82. 5 stars
    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!

  83. 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!

  84. 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 really 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. Everybody raved about it! It was so good.

  85. 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!

  86. 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!!)

  87. Hi,
    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.

  88. 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 ..

  89. 5 stars
    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.

  90. 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.

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      You can divide the recipe in fourths as a good beginning for a few cupcakes. I hope that helps!

  91. 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!

  92. Is this cocoa powder that I bought supposed to be bitter?
    Umm..Sorry to ask you(Im just a beginner).
    I really want to surprise my mom with my cupcake I made and this frosting that I wanna make.:)

  93. 5 stars
    My 12 year old son loves to bake. This summer, he wanted to make a cake with chocolate frosting, so he got on the internet and happened to choose yours. WE LOVE THIS RECIPE! I hope you don’t mind, but we now call it “Thomas’ best chocolate frosting! 😉 I just printed off the chocolate cake recipe, and I’m sure it will be just as delish. We homeschool, too, so I will have to check that out here, as well. God bless. The Dale Family

  94. Hello. Thank you for posting how to make this frosting. I would like to know if there is a difference between regular butter sticks and sweetcream butter sticks? Can I use either one? I’m making this frosting tomorrow 11/26 so if you get this soon I sure could use the answer. Have a happy holiday.


  95. 5 stars
    I never done this before up until roughly a month ago and this Icing along with Mud Cake is unbelievable and along with that simple and easy for anyone to make.. Everyone who has tried it loved it and I thank you so much for the tips…

    I will be checking out some of your other stuff for sure if there is anything else you have added, thumbs up.

  96. 5 stars
    I LOVE this frosting! I make it with peered xylitol, and no espresso powder. I only use about 1 and a half powdered xylitol though, I think it’s just fine without 5.
    This frosting has actually saved a cake I previously made, and I’m hoping it’ll go well with this quinoa cake I’m making right now. Thanks!

    1. This recipe sounds delicious and I want to make it. However I need to know how many cups it yields and I don’t see that information indicated. Can anyone help me out with that questions please? Thank you!

  97. Hello everyone, I made this cake tonight for tomorrow’s ThanksGiving Holiday and all I can comment on for now is the Yummy Icing, I followed the exact recipe for the icing and I didn’t even need all the milk, I like a thicker icing. I will post after dinner to let everyone know how the cake was. Thank you Robyn for sharing your recipe and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  98. The best chocolate frosting I ever did! I love the texture and the pinch of coffee. I had to reduce the sugar amount a great deal since I’m from Germany and German recipes are a lot less sweet so I had to adjust.
    1 cup of sugar instead of 5 and a little bit less of the cocoa powder in case anyone wants to try it the European way 😉
    Thank you very much for this one. It was a big hit!

    1. Alina…I am so glad to see this modification. Frosting done a little less sweet is exactly how I like it. I am going to try 2 cups for my mom’s birthday tomorrow. She is more of a sweet tooth than I am so I want it the way she would like it! Thank you for the recommendation!

    2. Hi Alina, thanks for this!
      I’m German as well and not too fond of the über-sweet/ sugary cakes here Australia.
      Since this will my first frosting ever I’m glad to see your comment, I’m sure it’ll help me heaps! xx


  100. Hey the buttercream looks amazing. Is it okay if i use powdered sugar or icing sugar instead pf confectioners sugar?

    1. OMG seriously people, that’s what internet is for! Stop asking her to convert measurements. Haven’t you heard about Google??

  101. Hi Robyn, I”m baking your best chocolate cake ever right now for my fiance’s birthday which is only tomorrow. I was wondering if you’d recommend putting the frosting on the cake today or wait until tomorrow. If latter, is it OK to prepare the frosting today and apply it only tomorrow? Can it sit in the fridge for a day? Many thanks!

    1. You can go ahead and frost the cake today and doesn’t require being refrigerated, depending on your climate. Happy birthday to your fiance!

  102. 5 stars
    I made a third of this recipe to frost 12 cupcakes, and used only about 5 tablespoons of powdered sugar and one tablespoon of milk (all the other ingredients I used per the recipe, just divided by three e.g., one stick of butter, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, and 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder), and it turned out very well. Not too sweet, very chocolatey, and by far the easiest buttercream recipe I’ve tried to date (it’s great not to have to involve any whipped egg whites). Am looking forward to making it again.

  103. Salted or unsalted butter? I’m making this for my grandmother’s 80th birthday this weekend. She’s going to love it!

    1. Hi Laura,
      You can use whichever you prefer. I generally use salted butter in most of my recipes.

  104. Hi Robyn,
    Tried your chocolate cake recipe using tofu as a egg replacer it came out very well . Thanks a lot. Planning to make this choco butter cream frosting too, I just wanted to know the shelf life? Does it stays fresh for a week if stored?

  105. Would it be okay to replace the cocoa with baking chocolate? I’m looking forward to making this for my family for Christmas.

    1. Hi Christie,
      You can. It will change the ratios of liquids to dry ingredients since you’ll be adding melted chocolate. You’ll just want to adjust to compensate.

  106. 5 stars
    Just made this frosting and it is the best. Not bitter but smooth and delightful. I made as directed but omitted the espresso. It frosted two 2-layer cakes with generous slatherings between the layers and over the cakes. Thank you.

  107. I made this cake for a friend last december it was so good! I will make it again this decemeber this is a delicious recipe thanks for sharing!

  108. I normally don’t like buttercream frosting, but this is the best chocolate buttercream frosting I’ve ever tasted! I will use this recipe again. So happy I found your blog.

  109. I was in a pinch and did not have time to make my usual chocolate frosting. Now, I won’t go back to my old frosting! This is so good, so full of fudge flavor-it’s perfect! I used a stick less of butter because that’s all I had and three cups of sugar was sufficient for me. For the second cake I used this on, I added a bit of cream cheese to add more of a salty flavor. I always use salted butter, too. What I love is that it’s foolproof- the texture was effortlessly smooth. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  110. Just finished making this frosting for a church social tomorrow. Didn’t have the espresso used instead 1 tablespoon black coffee and decreased that much milk. Turned out great. yum yum. I will be using this again, thanks

  111. I like to read the reviews before trying a new recipe and there are some great ones here, I can’t wait to try this recipe today.. Thank you

  112. Love the cake! Love the recipe! The steps are so easy to follow.

    This is the first cake that I baked and everyone loved it.

    Cant wait to try the White Cake recipe. This will be always be my Chocolate cake recipe!

    Thank you for sharing!

  113. Hi Robyn,
    Im making this recipe for the best ever choc. Cake and as im making it for my parents iwas wondering if i can lessen the sugar. By how much will i be able to reduce it for the icing to still remain tasty?? Thank you

  114. I followed your most delicious chocolate butter cream frosting recipe and I must tell you, it’s the best of the best frosting I have ever made. Thank you! I also put it on your chocolate cake recipe and can’t wait to serve my hubby his birthday cake tonight.

    1. Happy birthday to your husband! I’m so glad you love the buttercream frosting recipe. It is absolutely one of our favorites as well! xo

  115. hi Robyn thanks for sharing this chocolate cake recipe. i have tried it several times and its always a huge success. The cake comes so moist! The only change in the recipe is that i use strong instant coffee instead of expresso powder. (You cannot taste the coffee at all for all those skeptical, it just makes the chocolate flavour come out more)
    I will also try the frosting today after all the positive reviews!
    Thanks again

  116. This recipe sounds excellent. I just have two questions.

    1) Should butter be salted or unsalted?
    2) Do you know how I might use espresso coffee grounds as opposed to the espresso powder? Should I use the same amount?

    Looking forward to tasting this,

    1. Just a follow-up to my questions on 1/19. I made the icing, which was delicious. Used unsalted butter. As for the espresso coffee grounds (as opposed to the powder called for by the recipe), I used 1/2 tsp, which made the coffee flavor a little too strong. If you’re using espresso coffee grounds (like Illy, for instance) you may want to cut it it 1/4 tsp. Anyway, the icing was geshmak (as we say in New York), thank you for sharing it.

    2. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Great tip for using espresso coffee grounds. I, too, found that espresso coffee grounds gave the icing too much coffee flavor for what I was looking for in the recipe and gave it a slight bitter aftertaste. If you can find the espresso powder, it works beautifully without that, but if you can’t, you can always omit.

  117. 4 stars
    Hi made this recipe exact, besides the espresso powder, yesterday and the consistency was a little runny. Instead of using more confectioners sugar, is there something else I can add to make it thicker or should I omit the milk? Even though it was a little runny, the taste was delicious.

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      One thing to be sure of is that your butter is softened, but not overly softened or melted, which can cause the texture to be off a bit. As you suggested, you can omit the milk to see how that works for you as well. I hope that helps!

  118. Just made the frosting recipe! Yummmmmy! I creamed the butter first and then sifted the cocoa powder with the powdered sugar. Looks and tastes great! Thank you 🙂

  119. 5 stars
    This was my first time making buttercream frosting, and I love how it turned out! I made it to frost your chocolate cake I made yesterday ( Both turned out amazing. I didn’t add coffee to either. For the frosting, I only used 2 sticks salted butter, 2/3 C. unsweetened cocoa, about 2 2/3 C. powdered sugar, 4-5 Tbsp. milk, 2 tsp. vanilla. I love the texture of the frosting. After frosting a 2-layer cake (including between layers), I still have about 1 C. extra frosting. I guess it’s better to have a little leftover than not quite enough. 🙂
    Thanks for the awesome recipes!

    1. I’m so glad you liked it. I always pile all the frosting on the cake, but if you have left over I can’t even begin to tell you how good it is on a graham cracker or a vanilla wafer. Heaven!

  120. 5 stars
    Hey Robyn!

    I have made this recipe multitudes of times, both as a cake and cupcakes. Every time I make it, it has been a huge hit! Thank you for new standard recipes in my kitchen!
    However, I was wondering if you have any experience baking gluten free? I wanted to make this recipe again today for a super bowl party, but the family I am making it for eats gluten free, and I was wondering if you would have any suggestions on what to use as a flour substitute?

    I would greatly appreciate any advice you have! Thank you so much!

    God Bless!,

    1. Hi Annikki,
      Thank you so much for your comment! While I’ve not used it for this recipe specifically, I’ve heard great results with using Cup 4 Cup as a gluten free flour blend in this recipe from readers who have emailed me. I hope that helps!

  121. I’ve just made your ‘best ever chocolate cake’ once again. This time I’ve doubled up the recipe and I’m going to stack it up high (so four cakes!) and decorate it with construction vehicles (diggers, grader etc) for my son’s third birthday. I hope my cake turns out just as well as the first time I made it as I got lots of kind compliments then 🙂

  122. 5 stars
    Simply devine. Be sure to remove yourself from the kitchen if the cake hasn’t cooled… you’ll find yourself eating the icing it’s so good. I had to place myself on a total ban. Couple of rookie mistakes… be sure your butter has softened to room temp. Mine was still a little hard and when I placed it with the cocoa and turned on the mixer…. oh boy did I create a cocoa snow storm! Covered myself, the bench, the floor, the kettle and the mixer with a lovely layer of chocolate! Then trying to finish up and get to bed, I didn’t allow the cake to completely cool so the icing became a little bit liquid on top. I had waited an hour but it wasn’t enough. Threw the cake in the fridge and all was solved.

  123. 5 stars
    Thanks for this delicious chocolate frosting recipe! I’ve made other buttercream frostings, but they usually turn out too gritty and sweet. This was reminiscent of a chocolate truffle center and was creamy and not overpoweringly sweet. I’ll be using it again for sure! I’ve made this for my husband’s birthday cake today and it turned out great! Thanks, Robyn!

  124. Hi Robyn
    Thank very much for sharing your receipe
    I was wondering if I need to put the frosting in the fridge or can it stay room temperature
    I will need to frost the cake for tomorrow
    I will be covering it with fondant

    Thank u

  125. My daughter make cupcakes and used your delicious buttermilk chocolate icing. It’s so tasty and good. It totally “made” the cupcakes. However, she has tons of icing left over. I don’t want to throw it out. Can it be stored in the freezer and if so, how long? How about the refrigerator?

    1. I’m so glad she enjoyed it! You can definitely store any remaining in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for several months. To use, just allow it to come to room temperature.

  126. 5 stars
    I ❤ this frosting! I paired it with your chocolate cake (also a huge hit) for my oldest son’s birthday last year, and we were in heaven! I’m going to make it again today for a yellow cake – my baby’s smash cake. Although I’m sad I don’t get to eat a big slice with cold milk, I’m excited to see how beautiful the cake looks in our photos! Plus, I might sneak a couple tastes… Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      I used this as the frosting on my husband’s birthday cake tonight. yummy!!! Thank you for the recipe. delicious, easy to spread, the recipe made enough to fully frost the double layer chocolate cake.

    2. That’s funny…I am making this cake tonight for my husband’s birthday also 03/17. 🙂 Happy Birthday!

    3. Is this enough frosting for “two” 9×13 cakes? I am just frosting the top of the cake.

  127. Do you have to use the espresso powder? Or where can you find the espresso powder? Not a pro cake baker just trying to start a new tradition of baking my kids b-day cakes. Thanks!!!

    1. 5 stars
      You can substitute 1 tablespoon instant coffee for the espresso powder. I dissolved the coffee in a shot glass and about a tbsp of water. It makes the icing have an excellent decadent flavor. Wow! It is amazing!!!!

    2. I bought instant expresso coffee and ground it into powder in a mortar/pestal. It took about 5 seconds and worked perfectly 🙂

  128. thats funny! My daughters b-day was also 17th of march! I’m looking to make this cake for her party this saturday, but cover with fondant cause she wants a spiderman cake! 😛

  129. I’m gonna try the frosting tonight for my son’s birthday cake tomorrow…..he loves chocolate …..frosting looks yummy…

    1. Given that this isn’t actually baked, using one over the other won’t effect the outcome in terms of texture and whatnot, but I would suggest using salted butter as it will help the chocolate taste pop without being overly sweet.

  130. Excellent and simple cake. My husband said as much when we served it, studded with Hershey bars for the 6 year old’s burthday. Yum!

  131. I live in Australia and may have to look for the espresso powder. If I can’t find it, can I use instant coffee granules instead?

    1. Yes you can! I couldn’t find espresso powder, so that’s what I had to do. It doesn’t take much effort to smash the granules into almost a powder.

  132. Hi there,

    My daughter’s 3rd birthday is coming up and I would love to make this for her. Do you have an easy icing I could use to pipe “Happy Birthday” in pink on this cake? I also wondered, how would you suggest making this a small cake as I wanted to do cupcakes as well…would you do a 9 inch and then just use a knife to cut it into a 5 inch? Is there anyway to do this without creating a disaster if the cake doesn’t cut well..maybe cut it semi frozen? Any suggestions would be so appreciated! I am not a baker, but I try very hard for my daughter to pull these things off…so your help is very welcomed! Thanks a bunch!

  133. Just made this icing to put on my son’s 6th birthday cake. I omitted the espresso, and added a splash of orange extract. I also added some salt to cut the sweetness a bit. It is delish!! I gotta pin this for next time.

  134. This a the 3rd time making this cake and my son’s birthday party had a brilliant finish yesterday! Thank you and there is a reason why it is my 3rd time using your recipe 😉 I did omit the coffee powder as it can be strong for some people. We know I will be using your recipe over and over! I used the cake and frosting together. Voilà!

    1. And I wanted to add, it’s such an easy one! I don’t understand US measurement so I just used a tea cup/mug. Just love the fact you put everything together and mix. Not many steps to follow and could get wrong…

    2. Hey! I’m so glad to read this recipe worked for you three times as per your last post. I was wondering if you could help me with a few questions as I’m very keen on baking this cake for my bf’s birthday.
      1. Did you use salted or unsalted butter?
      2. Did you frost a frozen cake or just a naturally-cooled one?
      3. Is the frosting extremely sweet or does it work well with the dark chocolate cake?

      Thanks a bunch in advance. Hope you’re doing well 🙂

  135. I used only 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar, and about twice the amount of cocoa. Made enough icing for a two-layered cake, and had a great rich chocolate taste. Instead of the espresso I added about 3 teaspoons of Kahlua. Came out great.

  136. So I’m planning to make this for my easter cake. (I’m 14) But we will have a bunch of kids eating it too, and trust me espresso will make them go crazy. Can I just not use it?

  137. 5 stars
    Hi Robyn 🙂
    I am wanting to layer my wedding cake with one layer white cake and one layer chocolate and have found these wonderful best cake ever recipes that I’d love to use! I am wondering if there is a way to get the chocolate frosting to taste the same and yet be white so both layers will match…any ideas? Would a white cocoa work taste wise?

    1. Hi Kara,
      What a great idea for your wedding cake! I know it will be gorgeous and delicious! White cocoa powder should work well. I would recommend having a test run with just the icing to taste and then again with the cakes to make sure it is exactly what you are hoping it will be for your big day! Best wishes! xo

  138. I just made this for my daughter’s 10th birthday tomorrow and after frosting the cake I can’t stop licking the bowl! Great chocolate buttercream recipe, thank you!

  139. Hi. Can I use this under fondant? Also pls advise if Instead of butter, can i use half butter and half shortening?

  140. 5 stars
    I found the results a tad bland (using unsalted butter). I added 1 dash salt and the flavor popped out a lot more. Not salty tasting at all either.

    1. Hi Lexi,
      Yes, you’ll still use the boiling water even if you omit the espresso powder. Hope you love it!

    2. I can’t find a mention of boiling water in the list of ingredients or in the method but the comment about it makes it seem like it may be essential! Can you enlighten me?

  141. Hi there, I was just wondering if the espresso powder makes the icing taste like coffee? It is such a small amount that I do not think it would, but I really do not like espresso/coffee flavor. I like following recipes to a “T” the first time I use them…but don’t really have time to experiment. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      It really enhances the chocolate flavor and I can’t detect a coffee flavor. Of course, if you are very sensitive to it, you could omit it. Either way – I think you’ll enjoy the buttercream! xo

  142. 5 stars
    Omg so tasty!! just made it for my birthday cake which i am taking to swimming tonight for all my buddies, I am sure they will all love it so much!!!!!!!! So tasty 😀 perfect recipe, loads of icing though ahahahhah

  143. Love this recipe! Also, your cake stand is amazing – would love to know where you bought it! Thanks!!

  144. This is delicious even when I made with expired baking powder! Second time around it rose fantastically. I used coconut oil instead and am going to make into cake balls. So far yummy!

  145. I’m looking for a chocolate cake and chocolate butter-cream recipe for my nephews construction cake in just over a week. There are a few out there with good reviews. In your The best chocolate cake ever recipe you have 2 cups of sugar, I’m from Australia and I’m just wondering what sugar your referring too – caster sugar, brown sugar. And with your Chocolate butter-cream recipe why do you use that much icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar). I have a great vanilla butter cream that uses 250 grams of butter with only 2 cups of pure icing sugar. Thanks.

  146. I used the exact ingredients listed and followed the instructions step by step exactly how it says and it turned out runny even after adding an additional cup of sugar.. I don’t know what happened and why it’s not how it’s supposed to be 🙁

    1. I think the batter is suppose to be like that. When I made this my batter was very runny and I followed the recipe exactly, I was a bit worried it wasn’t right, but when I baked it it turned out perfect.

  147. I saw your recipe and i read some comments and one lady said she doesn’t want to put the expresso powder and she said do i still have to put boiling water. In the recipe it doesn’t say anything about boiling water. I want to make sure because i want to make some for a kids t-ball team.

    1. Hi Claudia,
      She was referring to the chocolate cake recipe which includes the boiling water. The frosting does not. I hope they love it!

  148. Hi Robyn- Glad I found your site. I will be trying your white cake recipe soon, as it looks and sounds divine! My question today is about Espresso. I bought a box of dark chocolate covered espresso beans and am looking for a tasteful way to incorporate them into my chocolate buttercream. As I don’t have espresso powder, I was thinking of grinding them and adding to the frosting which will be between the layers. Do you think that will be successful with taste/texture? Thank you.

  149. Made a good frosting. One could easily cut this recipe in half and it would still frost a double layer cake. I am pretty heavy handed with my frosting and still had a ton left over.

  150. Made this chocky cake for my husbands birthday on the weekend. It was absolutely delicious!!! Have already had to pass the recipe on. The buttercream icing was to die for. This is my new go to recipe. Thanks heaps 🙂

  151. 5 stars
    I just made your buttercream frosting… Wow! You’re right- it’s perfect! Thanks for the great recipe.

  152. I would like to use this with your best white cake ever recipe. Does this make enough to frost the 3 layer cake? Or should I increase the amounts…?

    For reference, previously I used your fluffy white butter cream recipe and doubled that to frost the 3-layer white cake per your suggestion in the white cake post… yes, I’m a fan of frosting. lol Would I need to double this recipe too to end up with a similar amount or does this yield more than the white butter cream recipe?

  153. Hi! I would love to try this chocolate frosting. Could it be made a day in advance, and if so what are your storing recommendations? Thanks in advance, looks delicious!

  154. This recipe for the cake and icing is for a 2 layer cake. I would love to make them but as a 3 later cake. How should I modify the cake and frosting recipes to accommodate this? THANKS!!!

    1. Hi Brandy,
      You can increase the recipe again by half for the cake as well as for the frosting. Hope that helps! xo

  155. Thanks for sharing this recipe and the chocolate cake recipe. It’s very good. Can you freeze any leftover frosting?

  156. Thanks for this recipe.. The cake came out wonderful, but the icing came out too sweet.. And when I taste the frosting i can feel the sugar powder.. Any way to correct this? Its my first time.. Thank you!

  157. I made this cake for the 1st and 3rd tier of my wedding cake. Without question it was fantastic! Could not recommend it highly enough. The cake freezes really well due to the high oil content without compromising on taste or texture at all. I froze the cakes slightly warm so it held in the moisture better. It’s quite dense so held up to the weight of fondant and piping well. I’ve also make it for nieces 1st birthday ladybird cakes (baked in a mixing bowl lol) and just changed the espresso powder to decaf instant coffee for the parents sanity. I always use salted butter for the frosting, pretty sure I don’t follow the proportions listed though as I find the volume too much and the amount of sugar a bit high, but I just prefer it less sweet. Happy baking!

  158. 5 stars
    I turned these into cupcakes by simply baking them for 16 minutes at the same temperature as the recipe says. They were the moistest, richest cupcakes I’ve ever had. As for the buttercream frosting, I used half of a stick less butter than suggested, and whipped it. It was perfectly delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  159. I called 7 local grocery stores and could not find espresso powder. I finally called my local coffee shop. They ground a bag of fresh espresso beans to fine powder for just the cost of the bag of espresso beans. 12.00

  160. My husband made this before & it has become the go to cake for a really good chocolate cake. My 15 year old is making it to enter in the County Fair minus the espresso & adding chocolate chips to the cake for an extra chocolate kick, it’s a baking with chocolate contest, we will let you know how it turns out!

  161. if i have some expresso beans can i ground those to a powder in my coffee grinder or should i use instant expresso powder?

  162. Hi Robyn,
    I have just made your chocolate cake and this buttercream frosting as a two tiered cake. I am serving it for a party tomorrow evening. Would you suggest putting it in the fridge or leaving it out on the bench in the kitchen? I don’t want the buttercream to melt but I also don’t want the fridge leaving the cake dry. Please let me know if you have any tips.

  163. I love chocolate cake. I see this calls for espresso powder, and I HATE coffee. So is this going to have any flavor of coffee at all? The question may sound silly, but we simply wont eat this if it does. thank you for the help!

    1. It did not really taste of coffee to me. I think it just lends a slightly more complex flavor to the chocolate. That said, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t just leave the espresso out.

    2. 5 stars
      I love this recipe and used it for my mom’s birthday. The best part is the espresso just makes it more chocolate and not like coffee at all! I am going to use it next week for a volcano cake. Will comment to tell how it goes!

  164. 4 stars
    I just made your chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting for my son’s 1 year birthday party.
    It was a huge success! I made it the night before and had previously baked two quiches before putting the cake batter in the oven so the oven was very hot. I let it cool down a bit but at the end, the cake came out a bit dry. I made the cream, frosted it and put it in the fridge. The next day when I served the cake, it had recaptured some of the moisture and it was absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  165. Hello from the UK. Oh my, what a delicious buttercream, it is indeed perfect so glad I came across your page! I have been using the same chocolate buttercream since I started my business but lately it’s just not been the same. Came across yours and just tried it out and it is just perfect flavour and consistency. Brilliant!

    1. I’m so glad you love it, Jen! What a huge compliment that you switched to my recipe! I’m so honored! xo

    2. I’m thinking of doing the cake for my son’s 7th birthday for kids and adults. It will be my very first ever baked birthday cake! Can i just re confirm the amount of icing (confectionery sugar) is it really 5? It seems a lot!? What size are the cups?

  166. What kind of milk should I use for the buttercream? Also do you have to use the espresso powder in the buttercream?

    1. Hi Caroline,
      For the milk, I generally use whole milk. Also, you can omit the espresso powder if you need to do, but it definitely heightens the flavor of the chocolate.

  167. I am anxious to try this recipe, but I am wondering. The only espresso powder I found at my local Kroger says “Instant Espresso Coffee.” Is this the same? I want to find out before I open the jar.

    Thanks. I am the cook of our household but I do not do much baking; that’s my wife’s domain. Once I get the answer, I will get her to make it.

    I looked through many of the previous comments and did not find this question. Of course, there are thousands of them!

  168. This is the perfect chocolate buttercream. The only recipe I’ll be using moving forward. I think you could put this stuff on cardboard and it would still be good!

  169. 5 stars
    My friend made this cake for my birthday and I had to have the recipe. My cake tasted delicious like hers, but the frosting lacks that deep, rich chocolate color. Any ideas? I triple checked my measurements, so I know the amount of cocoa is not the issue. I did not use Hershey’s brand cocoa. Do think colors differ from cocoa brands?

    1. it could still be the amount of cocoa or the type you are using, cocoa is something you canplay around with to get the desired “darkness” flavour from the cocoa. obviously, any liquids will have to be altered to match but it sounds like a cocao problem. try more next time? or a thicker cream

    2. 5 stars
      Just add some Wilton Brown color gel to get the desired color. It will dar+ken with time so don’t over do it.

    1. Hi Danielle, that will depend largely on your personal environment. For me, I can store a cake frosted with buttercream frosting on the counter under a cake dome for up to three days without any noticable change. If you are serving to the very young, elderly, or someone with immune sensitivities, you may want to consider refrigeration beyond overnight.

    1. Hi Gemma,
      When I say cups in the ingredients listing, it refers to measuring cups – for dry ingredients you’ll use dry measuring cups and for liquid ingredients you’ll use a liquid measuring cup. I hope that helps!

    2. *when you see cups of any dry ingredient in a recipe it always refers to standard measuring cups–the kinds that come in sets in the cooking/baking section in any store. The set will have a full cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, and 1/4 cup usually. These are for DRY measure. If you are measuring liquid for a recipe, use a liquid measuring cup–they are the ones that are plastic or glass and a hand like a small pouring pitcher. The lines for measuring are printing on the cup, and are based on liquid ounces. Hope that helps 😀

  170. Very good. However, we found it way too sweet. Remade with half the powdered sugar (2 and 1/2 cups instead of 5) and it was perfect!

    1. Hi Gwen,

      My english is not very good, but I try it.. 😉

      when you half powdered sugar use, it is not too wet?

      What do you use to make it sturdy as you use less powder sugar?


  171. Hi, does this recipe come out super sweet or a dark chocolate type of flavor? I have tried making ‘frostings’ in the past but powder sugar makes super sweet, WAY too sweet and this one reads 3 cups. can frostings be made with regular sugar instead, I feel the powder sugar gives it a different than sugar flavor too…maybe too sweet….

  172. Hi there. I am excited to try this, however, I do have one question. Is this buttercream frosting recipe for piping onto a birthday cake? Thanks so much!

  173. This buttercream frosting was delicious. Have made plenty of different frostings and they have always been mehhh!

    Used this frosting for a birthday cake all the way in little ole New Zealand. This recipie was easy and everyone at my daughters 5th birthday commented on how decadent and light and yummy it was. Someone even asked for a slice of icing!!

    Thanks Robyn! A big fan!

    1. your cake looks so yummy ..i will surely try it out ,do we have to use normal suger or powdered sugar for the icing?

      Thank you

  174. 4 stars
    This is a wonderfully easy buttercream frosting to make. I just used half the powdered sugar and half the milk and it was perfect for our household: sweet but not too sweet. It pairs perfectly with the chocolate cake.

  175. 5 stars
    Hi Robyn, your cake looks amazing! id love to make it for my sons birthday, im juts wondering if you could tell me the measurements equivalent in grams please? (I’m in the uk) no idea what size ‘cup’ i should use, thank you 🙂
    melissa x

  176. I have yet to make this cake but after reading the wonderful reviews I can hardly wait. Thank you so much for sharing this 5 star recipe. I will not omit the espresso.

  177. 5 stars
    This truly is the most delicious buttercream icing that I’ve ever made. I even had the confidence to use the icing bag kit that my kids bought for me last Christmas so my cake looks as amazing as it tastes. I will definitely be using your recipe from now on. Thanks

  178. Hi Robyn
    This chocolate cake & buttercream is AMAZING!!! I first made this cake for my daughter’s 4th birthday last year and everyone LOVED it!! I’d like to make it for her 5th birthday again which is in 2 weeks time. Thing is she’s having a Disney princess party so I was wondering if I could omit the cocoa and add some pink food colouring to the buttercream to make it pink to suit the princess theme? Do you think this will compromise the taste and texture of the buttercream?

  179. 4 stars
    I followed the recipe exactly but the frosting was too sweet and too watery for my liking. I added more sugar like the recipe stated but I just wasn’t liking it! Finally I added about a cup of cocoa and it made all the difference! Not too sweet and a little bitter, yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

  180. 5 stars
    Wow! I just made this buttercream frosting as I didn’t have my own favourite recipe to hand (which seemed to have all the same ingredients) and I am never going back!

    This recipe is absolutely amazing – so light and fluffy and the perfect consistency. I just want to eat it with a spoon. Not heavy at all. I can’t taste the coffee (which I wouldn’t have minded anyway) but it is so delicious.

    Thank you for sharing. I’m glad I didn’t have my own recipe – my cakes will never be the same again with your frosting on.

    PS the chocolate cake is amazing too, even though I only had very mild olive oil at hand and only half the sugar!

  181. 5 stars
    I love your website! > <3 <3 <3 but can you give me an important tip because I made the chocolate buttercream 3x and twice the icing goes down on the cake .how does the icing stay. i made roses icing around the cake. thank you

    1. Hi Liza,
      I’m so glad you are enjoying the website! It sounds like maybe your butter may be a little to warm and causing the buttercream to not hold as you frost the cake. I hope that helps!

  182. Hello Robyn, I really enjoyed reading ur post. I can’t wait to try it out. I need to ask! Is espresso powder coffee?

  183. 5 stars
    I’ve used this recipe enough times to say this is my go to for a chocolate frosting . I’ve made kit-Kat cakes and brownies . i will say that the taste will change depending on the type of express powder you use. i’ve done this recipe with at least two types of coffes from time to time. other then that this is an amazing buttercream

  184. I’m making high hat cupcakes for my son’s birthday. Without ever using your recipe before, I was wondering if you thought it was a good recipe for a cupcake with a lot of icing. Would it be too sweet or rich? Also, how fluffy is it? Would using heavy cream make it fluffier or would it change the taste? Thanks!

  185. Thank you for sharing all of your delicious recipes! I do not have espresso powder but, have a Nespresso machine that uses pods to make shots of espresso. Can I substitute a shot of liquid espresso for the powder? Thank you.

    1. Hi Sheila,
      That should work just fine. Just offset the amount of boiling water by the amount of very, very hot espresso.

  186. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing!! It’s the first time I’ve succeeded at making homemade frosting, and I can barely believe it! You really gave such helpful and easy-to-follow instructions. It’s no-fail, and will make me look like a pro. In our house, everything is dairy-free, so I made it with soy milk and margarine, and it worked great.

  187. I want to try your chocolate buttercream on top of the chocolate cake for a sport themed party. Have you ever topped this iciing with a marshmellow fondant? Would it be too sweet?

  188. I am using this recipe to ice cupcakes for a friend’s wedding next week. How much does one recipe yield? I need to make 6 dozen. Thanks!

    1. Hi Bonnie,
      It does! I sized it so that it provides a generous amount of frosting! I hope you enjoy it!

  189. 5 stars
    This recipe sounds really good but I was wondering if you could use vanilla essence instead of extract.
    just wanted to make sure before trying it out 🙂

  190. Hi! I’m planning to bake a cake for my best friend’s birthday next week and I’ve never done so before, ever. I decided I would go for a simple chocolate cake recipe wih chocolate buttercream frosting since its ingredients can be easily found in the kitchen. So earlier today, I went to make my first one just so I could sort of practice. The cake was okay, the buttercream frosting was okay, it’s actually really yummy. The only thing is I just wish it didn’t have to be extremely sweet. All the recipes for buttercream frosting is mostly composed of powder sugar, so now I’m just wondering: will it work just the same if I use more of the unsweetened cocoa powder and lessen the sugar a bit? I wanted to try and see for myself but I think it’s best to ask first to avoid wasting the ingredients in case it won’t work.

    Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you very much!

  191. 5 stars
    I made this last night for a peanut butter cake and it is by far the best chocolate buttercream I’ve ever tasted. Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  192. This is a wonderful chocolate buttercream recipe. I used it on your triple layer white cake. I’d encourage people to use the espresso powder. You can not taste it, it just gives the chocolate flavor a extra push. Also, the chocolate you use does make a difference. Everyone has a taste preference so what I think is amazing might not appeal to you, but they do differ. Lastly, I did end up needing extra icing because I ‘pre-ice’ with a crumb coat. If you generally do this you might need 1.5-2x recipe on a three tier cake. This is definately a keeper!!

  193. Thank you so much for this recipe! It has quickly become a favorite frosting for me to use with chocolate and vanilla cakes. I have used a packet of Starbucks Via instant coffee for the espresso powder, which worked perfectly. Sometimes it can be difficult to find espresso powder, but it seems like there is always a Starbucks around. 🙂

  194. Hi just wounding if you could give the recipe in grams and ounces . As I really want to try this . But I’m from Ireland . Sorry for being the awkward one thanks

  195. 4 stars
    Great recipe. I had some left over vanilla buttercream and needed “regular” chocolate buttercream so made half of this plus a bit extra cocoa and mixed in the vanilla buttercream. Not chocolatey enough so I added a good tabelspoon of chocolate syrup. Turned out very well. Ok, enough of what I did, what I wanted to ask was, can this be frozen? There is some left and its too good to throw away 🙂

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

    1. Go to and use their “find store” link to locate a place near you that sells it. In San Diego, it shows that Ralph’s (Kroger owns them) and Target are the most common places to buy it. I have also seen it at Smart & Final (CA, AZ & NV only), but they’re not listed on the website (meaning that you might find it at other non-listed places as well).

    2. You can find it at the grocery store, you just have to read the label very closely. A higher end grocery store will have more of a selection. It is regular coffee beans ground very very fine, so you may be able to do yourself as well. If all else fails, or it’s just plain easier, buy some from starbucks or any coffee shop. Buy just a bit more than you need and take it home in a cup.

    3. Espresso Powder depends on where you live. In Canada – we found it at Zehrs, and a specialty shop. In New York, we found it at Wegmans. Another option is through Amazon. We found both – Nescafe Espresso and Medaglia D’Oro. The Medaglia D’Oro is what my in laws used and drank when they came over from Italy. This is the one that I used because it brought back wonderful memories of his Mom. Good Luck

    4. If you can’t find expresso powder, offered in some markets, use strong instant coffee granules. Worked for me! The whole cake came out just as described…AWESOME! Bringing up to Vermont from MA….in a snowstorm LOL

  196. My icing was very runny until I added a lot of extra powder sugar. I only used 1/4 cup of milk instead of the 1/2 because it looked so runny. I used country crock light butter out of a tub. I can’tfigure out why it was so runny. I prefer not to use a lot of sugar because it gets too sweet.

    1. Hi Jamie,
      I think the problem was in using the Country Crock spread. By using a light butter substitute spread, the fat content is greatly reduced. While I’ve not made this frosting with a butter substitute, I believe you’d need to “doctor” the frosting by adding in meringue powder to help stiffen it instead of having to add so much more powdered sugar.

    2. I agree when making it with alternatives which so many people do, it does not turn out the same. I would never use Country Crock as it would also affect the taste

    3. Hi there Robyn,

      Is this chocolate cake recipe able to be divided into smaller layers and then frosted and covered in fondant? Or is it too moist and soft for that?

    4. Hi Jessica,
      I do not use fondant (my family dislikes it), so I can’t really answer from personal experience. There have been others that have left comments about using fondant that might be helpful to you. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

    5. It was likely runny because you did not use pure butter, what you used has water in it. There is really no substitution when making buttercream frosting, have to use real butter

    6. It was deffinatley the country crock. I made the same mistake once a couple years ago when I was in a moment of weakness, laziness, and I needed more frosting, you have to use real butter.

    7. I to made the chocolate butter cream frosting…I piped it on my cooled cupcakes and the watched it run off…it took a whole bag of powder sugar..very sweet but my husband loved it

  197. I have made this frosting with your chocolate cake before and it was delicious!! A huge hit at our party! This year I am looking to use the chocolate cake recipe but my son is requesting mint chocolate frosting with this chocolate frosting as a filling. Do you think I could make this chocolate frosting ahead of time and keep in the fridge for a day or two before assembling the cake? I typically bake the cakes ahead and freeze them but wait to make the frosting until the day of assembly. Just wondering if this one would be OK to make ahead.

    1. Hi Jenn,
      I’m so glad you love this chocolate buttercream frosting, too! My son loves mint chocolate and it sounds like your son has a great idea for his cake! You can absolutely make this frosting ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. I would recommend placing in a sealable zip top bag and removing as much air as possible from the frosting. Then, allow to reach room temperature and stir to combine well before frosting your cake. xo

  198. 5 stars
    This is hands down THE BEST chocolate frosting ever!!! I’ve been trying to find the perfect Choc frosting and this is it!! The espresso powder really makes this frosting amazing!! Its so good you can really just eat it out of the bowl by itself!!!

    1. Hi San. It sounds like your butter and sugar didn’t cream together like it should have. You’ll want to make sure that your butter is softened to the best cream together with the sugar. That step is essential for a nice buttercream frosting. I hope that helps!

    2. Just thinking… did you use powder sugar or granulated sugar? Make for sure you sift or have the powder sugar smooth prior to blending it with butter. I had it do that once many years ago but I used granulated sugar, never with powder sugar.

    1. 5 stars
      It should still taste good but I notice that when baking with chocolate things like coffee and expresso really bring out the flavor of chocolate

  199. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last year and it was the best frosting I have ever made!!! I make it vegan for my bf using earth balance butter and soy milk. For his birthday, I asked him what cake he wanted and I was excited when he wanted the same frosting from last year. It is super easy and REALLY tasty!!! I just wanted to say Thanks!!!!

  200. 5 stars
    Simply amazing! I needed a frosting for cupcakes I was making for a fundraiser. I shared my extra cupcakes with my neighbor … we both agreed that this was the best chocolate buttercream frosting we have ever had! I hate to admit but I easily could of just had the frosting and bypassed the cupcakes. I had followed the directions exactly. This is a recipe that I will share! Simply love it!

  201. 5 stars
    This was a very good chocolate buttercream frosting!! I left out the espresso powder because I didn’t have any, and I had to have the cake to take to church. It was very good without it, but the next time , I will put in the espresso powder. I liked that there was enough frosting to cover a three layered cake. Thank you for the Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Ever!!!

  202. 5 stars
    rave reviews. absolutly best choc cake ever! awesome to be able to make such a good cake at home. better than anything else iv tasted.

  203. I tried this recipe for the first time for my husbands birthday yesterday. We liked it, but it was very intense – I couldn’t find expresso powder so I used expresso finely ground then I put it in the mortar and ground it up even more fine- so that may have been why it tasted that way. The really odd thing was it tastes just like the chocolate in rocky road ice cream. Without telling them I thought that, I had three people taste it and they all said that it tasted like rocky road.

    1. Hi Heather,
      When testing the recipe, I tried using espresso, finely ground coffee, a little bit of brewed coffee, and a few other variations to name a few. I didn’t care for the taste personally but loved the flavor the espresso powder brought out of the chocolate. You can omit the espresso powder if you do not have it on hand.

    2. Hello….I just
      Whipped up this icing…what can I do if the espresso powder is too overpowering??

  204. Is the coffee flavor very strong? I don’t like coffee and when I made the cake I left out the espresso (it was still awesome).

    1. Normally when you make chocolate recipes with espresso you can’t taste it I haven’t personally tried this one but from my experience with other recipes it really just enhances the chocolate flavour

  205. My sister in law is allergic to dairy. Is there a butter substitute that you think might be better than another? Or, any tips on what to look for ingredient-wise to get it as close as possible? Thank you!

    1. Have you tried Earth Balance margarine? I use it when I have vegan friends over and it’s pretty decent.

  206. Hi,

    The recipe sounds yummy !! I am planning to bake a cake for my husband’s birthday ! Can we use margarine instead of butter ?


    1. You would possibly change the consistency and flavor with margarine. Someone in a previous comment used Country Crock and the frosting came out runny. Buttercream frosting is generally best with real butter, margarine often has a high percentage of water, thus affecting the consistency.

  207. 5 stars
    My honey has been asking for chocolate cake for 20 years and I’ve tried to no avail to satisfy. But the smile I got said it all after the first bite. ? I’m thrilled to finally have the recipie that had satisfies a long awaiting dream. This cake is so moist and perfectly chocolatly. Thank you ?

  208. Hello!
    How much frosting does this recipe make? I am wanting to do a ruffle look to my chocolate cake and was wondering how many batches that I would need.
    Thanks in advance

  209. Hello, may I know what is the weight of a butter stick, as cup measurement is not as accurate. Sorry about this question as I am living in Italy.

    I would like to try this Buttercream recipe as the last one I tried, its too thick and heavy and sweet.

    Thank you in advance.

  210. 5 stars
    Made this to go with your ‘Best Chocolate Cake Ever’ and it was perfect, light and not too sweet. It made a TON of frosting, we had more than we wanted on the cake and I didn’t even use the whole batch, so some went in the freezer for future cupcakes. Add A Pinch hasn’t failed me yet!

  211. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe and it’s my first time to bake a chocolate cake and it was perfect and really yummy ??? kids love it

  212. I just had to write you! I have been making cakes for over 30 years and I have one word to describe this Perfect Chocolate Frosting —- WOW!! So glad I found your recipe! It is truly perfect! Thank You! You made my day! 😉

  213. I never freeze my buttercream but I also never use milk in it- does this icing need to be refrigerated?

  214. My frosting cane out much lighter in color and gritty and I cannot understand why…the cake was terrific.

  215. 5 stars
    I made the cake this morning and it fell 🙁 I followed the recipe exactly. I live in Montana, could the elevation make a difference? I bake all the time.

    1. Hi Stacy!
      Which cake recipe did you make? This Chocolate Cake? If so, there have been a few readers leave comments about how they adjusted for elevation that may be helpful to you.

  216. This chocolate icing is the best I and everyone I made cup cakes and birthday cake for……recipe makes lots, and does freeze or keeps in refrigerator. You will be happy that it makes lots,, can’t get enough of this icing !!!!! Thanks a lot Robyn for this great recipe…..m

  217. 5 stars
    Just made this cake…it was so awesome. I hate to say this, but it was better than the American Test Kitchen chocolate frosting!

    1. espresso powder also goes by the name espresso instant coffee. Just look in the coffee aisle near the instant coffees of your grocery store

    2. Here in England we buy it in local supermarkets such as sainsbury, tesco. I have just purchased Nescafé azure espresso coffee powder for instant coffee. Great in the moist chocolate cake.

    3. 5 stars
      This is not the same thing but I just use a teaspoon of maxwell house cafe Vienna instant coffee. It works perfectly.

    4. Hey Sandy!
      What exactly is expresso powder? Is it the coffee powder we use normally or is it something else?

  218. Omg this icing has been an epic fail.. It looks like it’s split? The milk is separating out of it between cups of icing sugar added 🙁 🙁 where did I go wrong?

  219. Delicious flavor and texture. Any suggestions for storing if made in advance? Also if too MCI does it freeze well?

  220. 5 stars
    I made this frosting without the espresso powder. It was for a GF Birthday cake and I knew my daughter wouldn’t care for the coffee flavor. I was looking for a good Chocolate butter frosting. At first I thought ‘wow’ this recipe has an awful lot of butter, but I was looking for a recipe that was more than just ordinary so I thought that might be the trick. I wasn’t disappointed, the only way to describe the taste was rich and smooth. This recipe is a keeper. How it taste with the espresso powder couldn’t do anything but make it more delicious. P.s. I also used unsweetened almond milk to replace the regular milk. I followed directions exactly as stated alternating powder sugar and milk turning up my mixer to high each time to mix it well. FYI….I froze extra frosted cupcakes, worked just fine.

  221. I looked up esspresso powder subs bc I don’t have any and it says instant coffee. I read that instant coffee is bitter? Is Maxwell house coffee for the coffee pot considered instant? I don’t want my cake and icing to taste like coffee at all though so should I even use it?

    1. Hi Nicole,
      Instant coffee will be in granules that instantly melted in water for coffee. There are a few brands of it. I personally thought that using instant coffee (or coffee at all) gave the cake (and frosting) a bitter aftertaste and made the cake have too much of a coffee flavor for what I wanted in my chocolate cake. Espresso powder, when just the right amount is used, doesn’t give a coffee flavor, but does enhance the chocolate. If you don’t have espresso powder, you can omit it. I hope that helps!

    2. I have used 1 tablespoon of regular black brewed coffee in place of the espresso powder and some of the milk and it turns out amazing . 🙂

  222. 5 stars
    This is one of the best icing recipes I’ve ever tried! Super easy and everybody who tastes it says it is amazing! Now my go to recipe.

    1. I do not normally refrigerate my cakes with buttercream frosting unless it is very hot (Georgia summers!) and humid (did I mention Georgia summers?). 🙂

  223. Robyn- have loved your recipes, thanks for sharing! I was wondering if you use salted or unsalted butter for frosting and for the cake. Thanks

    1. Hi Carolyn,
      I know that professional bakers usually recommend using unsalted butter in their baking. However, I just about always uses salted butter in all of my cooking and baking. It has a longer shelf (refrigerator) shelf life and such a better flavor to me. I hope that helps! xo

  224. I made this and it is delicious! The frosting was so light! It was almost chocolate whipped cream. Would put more chocolate in it next time though.

  225. Hi! It sounds delicious! I was wondering if the coffee taste is strong? Can you really taste the coffee flavor?

    1. 5 stars
      To just had this on the chocolate cupcakes last week and it’s absolutely DIVINE. You can’t taste the coffee, it just enhances the flavor of the chocolate like salt enhances the flavor of a sweet item. I add espresso powder to everything chocolate that I make. It makes the chocolate flavor even better.

  226. My 12 year old child tried the recipe and forgot the boiling water but it was still delicious. Tasted like chocolate brownies.
    We will definitely try it again with the boiling water this time. Her hee

  227. Made this cake at the weekend for my daughters 10th birthday, would have to agree – it IS the best chocolate cake ever! ?
    I made too much frosting however, how long will they stay fresh for & could I freeze it?

  228. 5 stars
    So glad I found this recipe! I didn’t have the espresso powder so substituted 1/4 cup strong fresh brewed (cold) coffee. I used then 1/4 cup cream instead of milk. I used this on brownies. The first question a guest asked was, “What is this frosting recipe?!” So light, so delicious – everything I wanted from a chocolate buttercream frosting recipe.

  229. Just wow!! My 10 year old Daughter is passionate about baking and decided to try the frosting (frosting only) just today to test if they were gonna be good for the cupcakes we are making tommorow. When we finished whe couldn’t stop licking the bowl until it was clean!! Thanks so much for this great frosting recipe ?

  230. Wow I just made this icing for my cupcakes and wow it’s so delicious. Easily the best frosting ever! My mom tried it and she said it was the best icing ever and she really doesn’t like chocolate! Thanks for the gr at recipe??

  231. Hi! I’m attempting this tomorrow and wanted to know if it’s okay to leave the espresso powder out?

    1. It would just be for a little extra flavor boost, so it’s fine to leave it out if you want

    2. It should be fine. The espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor but shouldn’t affect the consistency. I’ll be making this in two days for my son’s birthday. I was thinking of leaving it out too. My espresso powder is old.

  232. On the butter do I use salted or unsalted and what can I sub the espresso powder with if I can’t find here in my store

    1. Unsalted butter. I usually add cocoa chilly powder to enhance the flavor of chocolate.

    2. I couldn’t find expresso powder either. I did find instant expresso granules (with instant coffee) and ground it up. It turned out great.

    1. 5 stars
      Yes, I bake mine in a 9×12 pan and it turns out beautifully, about 2 inches thick! 350 for 35 minutes.

  233. Can you write down the recipe for making enough chocolate frosting for a 2 layer cake, as opposed to a 3 layer cake? Not sure how to decrease each ingredient. Thanks.

    1. Divide all ingredients by 3 and then multiply by 2 would be my best guess. More or less the measures can be adjusted accordingly to reach the desired consistency

      1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened becomes 1 cup butter
      1 cup unsweetened cocoa -becomes 2/3 cups
      5 cups confectioner’s sugar becomes 3 1/3 cups
      ½ cup milk becomes 1/3 cup milk
      2 teaspoons vanilla extract becomes 1 1/3 tsp
      ½ teaspoon espresso powder becomes 1/3 tsp

  234. My family asks for this cake and frosting at all our birthdays! It’s a hit! Another nice thing about it is I usually have all the ingredients! Thank you for sharing it!

  235. Hello! Love you’re work!!

    I’m making your best ever chocolate cupcakes as a cake for my daughters birthday. Can you tell me how many times I’d need to multiply the recipe to make a 6 layer cake on a 20cm pan? Each layer to be maybe an inch thick. Also how many of the butter cream to frost all around too?

    Thank you
    A fan

  236. When a recipe like this calls for butter without specifying unsalted I’m assuming one should use salted butter. Is that correct?

    1. You can use salted or unsalted butter, Anthony. I generally keep salted butter on hand and use it, but you can absolutely use unsalted if you prefer.

  237. Made this cake today for my boy friend’s belated birthday. The cake was definitely a big hit!! Super moist and very tasty.
    Will try this recipe for cup cakes next!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Ann,
      If you aren’t able to find it locally, it is available online. You can also just omit it from the recipe until you find it. 🙂

    2. 5 stars
      Do you have a coffee grinder? I just grind up some of my coffee beans and it turns out great! I made this tonight for my coworker’s last day tomorrow. She requested double chocolate goodness. I have made this before and it’s AMAZING. You can’t eat too much of it cause it’s so rich though!

  238. 5 stars
    People go wild for this cake every time I make it! It truly is THE best chocolate cake I have ever made, and I have made quite a few chocolate cakes. The espresso really adds body to this beautifully moist, decadent cake. And the frosting!!!! I could never rave enough about either of these recipes. Thank you for sharing this loveliness with the world. SO good.

    1. This frosting recipe is only good if one likes coffee.
      It tastes more mocha than chocolate. I’m sorry I made it.
      What a waste.

  239. 5 stars
    Hi, I have made this super delicious cake two times. Thank you for sharing, everyone loved it!!

    I have one question about the frosting.
    The frosting turned both times much darker than yours in the picture and also didn’t spread that nicely. It was somehow harder and clumpy. I tried to follow your recipe carefully. The first time I added too much milk and the other time there was quite a lot of milk left. I started to wonder is there a difference between cocoa powders? What do you use?

  240. I cut this buttercream recipe in half, and didn’t add expresso powder. It’s simply delicious.

  241. Hello there. Is confectioners sugar icing sugar here i the UK. And how much is in a stick of butter.

  242. 5 stars
    Favourite go to recipe! I put 1/2 cup of hot chocolate mix and 1/2 cup cocoa powder, instead of 1 cup cocoa powder. Delicious!! Thank you so much for sharing this.

    1. 5 stars
      If it’s made with butter or cream cheese, then it needs to be refrigerated.

    2. I’ve never, ever refrigerated a cake. I keep my butter in a dish on my counter so it is always room temperature. I don’t refrigerate cream cheese frosted cakes either. Course the cakes don’t last but couple of days cause they are eaten.

    3. I’m with Julie on this, Darla. Seems to me that if salted butter is used in this frosting recipe (and why not, as a little added salt helps balance all the sweetness), that and all the “antioxidant rich” cocoa used in the recipe will surely retard spoilage for a couple days, if it the cake lasts that long! Keep in mind the eggs are baked in the batter, and the uncooked butter, and touch of cream or milk added to the frosting will be fine also for a couple of days for reason of that cocoa! Did you know that when something is baked with butter for the shortening component, the flavor just gets mellower with age!

  243. 5 stars
    OMG!!! I helped my 8 year old daughter make this cake and I must say it was awesome. The steps were easy for her to follow. We just need to figure out what to do with the rest if the icing. 🙂 This recipe is a keeper!

    1. I use leftover frosting by frosting half of a graham cracker and putting the other half on top. A graham cracker sandwich!

  244. This frosting is yummy! I used nescafe instant coffee instead of espresso because I didn’t have any, and also, 5 cups of sugar is too much, I only used 3 and felt it was sweet enough.

  245. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! So highly recommended, although completely agree with previous post, that 5 cups of sugar Is far too much. Only used about half that. Think it would have been too sweet with 5.

  246. Can this buttercream be made a day in advance? Can you store left over buttercream and for how long?

  247. 5 stars
    Beautiful frosting! I tweaked it a little bit by only adding 2 and 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar because I felt 5 cups would have been too sweet. Also, I didn’t have any espresso on hand but I had instant cappuccino so I used that instead. It came out perfect and tasted divine. Can’t wait to make it again.

  248. 5 stars
    Great recipe – made the best chocolate cake recipe and iced with this as recommended. Was a hit! Left out the espresso powder as for children’s party

    1. 5 stars
      Really-one teaspoon of espresso powder will not make the cake taste like a cup of coffee. Put it in! It enhances the flavor of the chocolate just like the vanilla enhances the flavor. Even if the kids couldn’t care less I would hope the adults in the room would enjoy your cake with the espresso. Also try it in your brownies. People always ask why my brownies are so good. “What is your secret ingredient?” they ask. Espresso. Works magic!

  249. Hi,
    What is confectioners sugar?
    Can I replace with castor super?
    Also what is the effect if I use normal cocoa powder?


  250. Hi! This looks great! How much frosting does it yield? The cake I’m making and decorating needs about 1 lb

  251. Made this cake exactly as per directions – might I add, I am a good cook. The cake turned out flat on one side and high on the other. Very disappointing !!!!

    1. Hi Janette,
      I’m sorry the cake didn’t turn out like you’d hoped! It does sound like there could have been an issue with the levelness of the pan. The batter is so thin that it naturally flows to the lowest spot, which could then cause the problem that you had. xo

    2. 5 stars
      Yep, I’ve made this cake several times and have never had an issue with it being level. It’s now our go-to favourite birthday cake recipe (minus the espresso which my kids would prefer omitted, but which I like!!)

  252. I made this frosting for a tailgate our church was hosting. I am not a big chocolate cake or frosting fan. But I had to try this just for kicks. I added all the ingridients as your recipe but didn’t use all the powdered sugar it called for. I only use 3 cups.

    Also I wanted to try the chocolate cake recipe you have for this but ran out of time so I bought a chocolate cake box mix. I tweeted it a little. Added a tiny package of bustello espresso powder and package of chocolate pudding.

    I was a little concerned about the frosting being too sweet but everyone kept saying how great the cake was and how the frosting was the best chocolate buttercream frosting they’ve ever had and they all agreed that the frosting was the perfect sweetness. I’m really glad I only added 3 cups of the sugar. I’m saving your website for future recipes I want to try. I’ll be back to leave an update on the chocolate cake recipe soon. I’m going to make time to make both the cake and frosting.
    Thank you!!!!

    1. I used unsalted butter* & added a pinch of table salt- to mix;
      I also cut the recipe in half. Maybe use two pinches if you make full recipe**

  253. I made yellow cupcakes & used this recipe. I cut the frosting recipe half & there was plenty for just under two dozen cupcakes*
    I didn’t have any espresso powder, & used a teaspoon of regular coffee. Turned out so light, fluffy & was perfect on the chocolate taste!
    I’m using this every time I want chocolate frosting. Yuuummm, I ate three cupcakes in one day– umm for the frosting*-:-{}
    Thanks Robyn!

  254. would it be possible for all of the comments to be grouped together instead of having to click on older comments after reading only 4 or 5? I find it very tedious and time consuming . Can it please be changed?

  255. Don’t be afraid to leave out the espresso powder. I am sure it adds something but the recipe is delicious even if you leave it out.

  256. Thanks alot for this amazing receipe , i have followed the instruction but at the end the milk was floating separatly it didnt form well withthe mixture can you please help me on this , the taste still amazing but the way it looks not nice.

    Yours truly

  257. I substituted the milk with ALMOND MILK and the the butter with EARTH BALANCE BUTTER. I was incredibly worried with the substitutions the buttercream would come out weird. But it didn’t! It came out fluffy just like buttercream should be!

    The only thing I didn’t like about this recipe is the addition of the espresso powder. For me, it overpowered the chocolate within this buttercream.

  258. This recipe is a keeper. The cake is moist and delicious, the frosting is soft creamy and perfect in flavor. The espresso powder gave the chocolate a real boost in flavor don’t taste the coffee. Chocolate perfection. .

    1. I made this cake several times and I promise you will not be able to taste the expresso but will love the flavor of the chocolate

    1. with buttercream, the amount of powdered sugar is necessary to achieve the right consistency. frosting is supposed to be sweet anyway, although you could offset it by pairing it with a slightly bitter chocolate cake

    1. yes, the cake needs to be fully cooled otherwise the butter in the frosting will melt and slide off the cake

    2. 4 stars
      It doesn’t have to. It merely depends on whether you would like hard icing on your cake rather than soft.

  259. 5 stars
    Hi I am an avid baker. This is one chocolate cake that tops it all.. It’s simple, easy and tastes delicious. As for the frosting it tastes Devine.. Thanks for sharing your inspiration to the public.

  260. Just the right amount of delicious, smooth spreading, (did I say “Yummy”?) icing for the best chocoate cake recipe on this site. Making my second cake right now! Will someone go get some Bluebell?

  261. OMGOODNESS! I used this recipe for a poke cake and it was delicious! Just poke your holes, pour chocolate pudding over cake and frost with cool whip! Sprinkle chocolate flakes over the top! The best cake ever!! Thank you for sharing!

  262. Do you use salted butter in this recipe? I am taking the answer to be yes, since it wasn’t noted. Thanks!

  263. 5 stars
    Everything about the cake is just excellent! the best chocolate cake i have ever made myself, and i have just included it into my personal cook book to pass on to my daughters. Thank you for the recipe

  264. Hi, So I want to use this recipe for a double layer sheet cake I’m making for a birthday celebration. Just confirming- this recipe is for one double 8 or 9 inch layer cake, right? I’ll prob quadruple it for my cake. It seems like this recipe makes a generous amount. I’m thinking I may not need to make as much as I thought. Thanks for your reply. (Using a cannoli filling with this- yum!)

  265. This is the best chocolate cake recipe, I made it for my sister’s birthday and it was amazing. Very moist and tastes superb! Just included it into my cake book, thou I didn’t mix everything together at once. The dry ingredients were mixed separately and then added to the wet ingredients! And I loved the buttermilk, thanks for sharing this recipe!

  266. 5 stars
    This recipe is foolproof. Have made it several times and love it.
    Do you have a recipe for a vanilla or yellow cake version of this cake? One that has the same crumb texture like this one?

    Thanxs much

    1. Measuring I am confused with e.g. 1 1/2 cups of butter………….. is it measuring butter softening till it fills cup you using…….. Not an avid baker, but would love try cake……… Prefer to get measurements e.g. 500g of watever. Be thrilled if you could guide me here.

    2. looks deli…will this have a coffee taste to it since it uses espresso powder?? I love all things chocolatey but i donot like coffee much.

    3. 1 stick of butter = 1/2 cup
      So this recipe is calling for 3 sticks of butter.
      Happy baking, Noreen!

  267. 5 stars
    Best Chocolate cake recipe! I didnt make the buttercream frosting, ill make it for a special occasion.. nevertheless my kids loved it !

  268. I found the cakes came out really thin. They were a nice texture but so thin. Was incredibly disappointed. Especially since I made it the night before a work picnic and had to then stay up until 3am making another cake instead. I followed the recipe to the letter but for some reason they didn’t rise much. Sorry guys! ??

    1. Oh no, Juanita! I’m sorry that it didn’t work for you. I’ve not had this cake not rise for me. I know that had to be frustrating right before an event, too! I would recommend double checking the freshness of your baking powder. xo

  269. how do you manage to dissolve all that sugar? i put only 3 cups and it was creaking on teeth although i’ve mixed it for 15 minutes

  270. 5 stars
    This is the best frosting I’ve ever made. Thank you so much for putting the time and effort into posting this recipe. I’ve gone through a number of them online and none of them compare to this! Thank you thank you!

  271. I would love to make this cake for my son’s birthday party!! Does the cake or butrercream have a coffee taste from the expresso powder?, oh can I add chocolate chips to the batter as well? Can’t wait to make it!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      The espresso powder doesn’t give the cake a coffee taste…it just enhances the richness of the chocolate. I hope you enjoy it and that your son has a wonderful birthday! Thanks! xo

  272. This buttery frosting looks delicious. I will try making it with the chocolate cake. Thanks for sharing.

  273. 5 stars
    I’ve made this frosting to frost your best chocolate cake recipe several times, but it always ends up making more frosting than I need. How can I store it for later? Also, everyone I have made it for, including myself, thinks it’s the best cake they’ve ever had!

    1. Hi Monica,
      You can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Then, to use, just let it warm a bit outside of the refrigerator and stir to combine well. I hope that helps! xo

  274. Can i use instant coffee instead of espresso powder? Also is it ok im making it in a microwave and not oven?

    1. The espresso powder enhances the richness of the chocolate and doesn’t add a coffee flavor. I don’t use instant coffee in the recipe, so I can’t advise on how it would taste.
      You will need to bake the cake in an oven for it to bake properly. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Carla,
      I’ve not measured the cups of this frosting after making it, but next time I make it, I will update the recipe to show that measurement. Thanks so much! xo

  275. Hi!
    I really want to make this cake for my birthday tomorrow looks amazing !
    i’m French so I need to convert in grams , did you use US cups measurement ?
    Thanks !

  276. I haven’t tried either, but I will. I just can’t quit looking at the hob nail cake platters, they’re so pretty.

  277. 5 stars
    This was THE BEST frosting recipe EVER! It made the perfect amount to frost a 3 layer cake! I wanted something yummy for my mom’s cake since my girls wanted to make it for her this year. Check! This was it!

  278. Hi just wondering if this recipe is okay if I’m wanting to pipe roses around your chocolate cake recipe? Will it hold?

    1. Hi Natasha,
      I think the frosting would need to be a little stiffer than this for piped roses to hold. Thanks!

  279. I was extremely worried about how runny the batter was but it looks to be rising and baking beautifully! I substituted vanilla soy milk for milk, and strong Italian roast coffee for hot water and powdered espresso. I reduced the butter in the frosting by 1/3, and I reduced the cocoa in the frosting to just a hint of color. Now let’s see how the whole business tastes! I like finding a chocolate cake that called for cocoa and oil instead of baking chocolate and butter — makes me feel less guilty about real butter frosting.

  280. I have just come across this receipe and was wondering if you have the ingredient measurements in grams. Really would love to make rhis cake.

  281. I need to understand if I need to add boiling water to espresso powder or just put espresso powder in as is? If I need boiling water how much do I use to the espresso powder? Thanks.

    1. I believe for buttercreams, you use unsalted sweet cream butter, unless the recipe specifically calls out for salted.

      I used unsalted and it was great!!

  282. 5 stars
    I used lightly salted goat butter and it was fantastic. I also used oatmilk instead of cow milk. My husband is allergic to cow dairy. I made the cake for his birthday. He’s a chocolate lover and declared the cake and the frosting fantastic. Definitely worth repeating.

  283. Love this icing and so did my 3 year old !! Tastes perfect and I am such a chocolate lover !! Wow I am definitely keeping this recipe as number 1!!!

    1. Oh I’m happy you and your 3 year old both loved it! It’s always been one of my son’s favorites too! Thanks so much for sharing that with me, Christine! xo

    1. I recommend room temperature under a cake dome or wrapped well as the refrigerator tends to dry out cakes, in my opinion. I hope you enjoy it!

  284. I did the exact recipe for the cake and also the frosting, they all said that the cake is perfect! BUT the icing is too sweet. Is there any suggestions to keep the sweetness a little bit less?

  285. HI there,

    I am in the midst of baking this cake (the batter tasted fantastic:)), and just realized I bought salted butter for the buttercream frosting! Will it taste terrible with salted?

    Also, I am making it ahead for a dinner tomorrow night . . should I refrigerate it?

    This is literally the first chocolate cake I’ve baked from scratch in my life!

    Many thanks.

    1. I use salted butter all the time, Susan. I think it tastes great. You are fine to leave unrefrigerated for your dinner tomorrow. I hope you enjoy it – it’s delicious! Thanks so much!

  286. Love this recipe!! Perfect!! Not too many recipes I don’t tweak;-) this one meets my approval
    Thanks for posting it!

  287. Will this still come out okay if I don’t have a hand mixer? I only have basic kitchen utensils (forks, spoons, etc), but really want to make this for my boyfriends birthday!

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      It will be a lot of mixing by hand, you’ll just have to make sure you get the ingredients creamed and mixed together well. Hope you enjoy it! Thanks!

  288. Hi! I’d like this recipe for chocolate butter cream frosting but I only need to make enough for 1 dozen cupcakes! Could you help me with the measurements?

  289. Can I use buttermilk instead of regular milk? Will this recipe frost a 9 x 13 cake ? Or is it too much frosting?

    Thanks so much

    1. Hi Joan –
      You may want to refer to my recipe for my Best Chocolate Cake for 9×13 pan for the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting amount for that size cake.
      I’ve never used buttermilk in this frosting, but I would think it would taste sour.
      I hope you enjoy it – thanks so much! xo

  290. Hi. I’ve used this recipe before and it was wonderful.
    I am wondering, I want to make a giant birthday cupcake for my daughter, can I use this recipe without altering anything?

    Thank you

    1. I’m not sure how large your giant cupcake will be, so it could be correct amount or you could have extra – but not sure since I don’t know the size of cupcake. If you have extra, maybe you could save it for extra cupcakes?
      If it helps, I have various recipes for frosting sized for a few cupcake recipes as well as my 9×13 Chocolate Cake
      I hope you enjoy it – It’s very delicious! Happy birthday to your daughter! Thanks Grace! xo

    1. You can omit the espresso if you wish but it doesn’t taste like coffee. The espresso just enhances the richness of the chocolate. Thanks!

  291. Hey! I’m thinking of making this cake tomorrow however I’d like to ask, would this frosting recipe be too much for a two layer 8 inch cake?

    1. Thank you Robyn. This will be my first homemade attempt at baking a cake and icing. For the espresso powder. I’m having a hard time locating that in my area grocery stores. Can you use instant espresso and if so would it be the same amount as what is called for of the powder in this recipe?

    2. Hi Jamie,
      If you are having difficulty finding the espresso powder locally, you can purchase online. I’ve had luck finding it at Amazon as well as sometimes at Williams-Sonoma. I do not like the flavor of the cake when using just instant espresso as I think it left a bitter after taste to the cake when I tested. xo

    3. Thank you! I’m having a hard time finding espresso powder…is instant espresso the same thing? If so, would you use the same amount of it for this recipe? Sorry for all of the question, this will be my first homemade cake.

  292. 5 stars
    Just finished making this cake, delicious delicious delicious. I made something similar back in the 80s but this version is way better.

  293. 5 stars
    I don’t have espresso powder. I was wondering if I could use coffee instead? And If I did, how would I do that? I don’t want to change the consistency of it so would I leave out the milk? Or just add more powdered sugar?

    1. I could not find espresso powder at my grocery store so I used coffee extract instead (can be found in the seasonings aisle with vanilla extract, etc.). Seems to work fine, just add it in with the liquids rather than the powdered ingredients. I could not really taste it, though. If you want any actual coffee flavor, maybe double up on the amount listed in the recipe.

  294. 5 stars
    I use confectioner’s sugar but my frosting becomes very crunchy. It’s delicious, but is there a way I can fix that ?

  295. hi there! i’ve made this cake a few times now, it is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. I used to get a similar cake at a restaurant in college and have been seeking similar ever since. Thank you!!

  296. What is the substitute for espresso….. And can I whip it by hand bblender….pls mam can u reply me soon as I wanna make it today……pls

    1. You don’t have to use the espresso if you don’t have it. It just enhances the chocolate flavor.

  297. 5 stars
    Thank you for a great chocolate cake and the perfect icing too! I used instant coffee in the milk and did not need all and still turned out to be best homemade chocolate icing I’ve ever made!

  298. 5 stars
    My first time to bake a cake without using a cake mix and my boyfriend said it was really good! I like that the frosting is firm. My only issue is I find the frosting too sweet. Is there a way to reduce sweetness without sacrificing the texture?

    1. Hi Darlene,
      The espresso powder enhances the flavor of the cocoa powder, but doesn’t leave a coffee taste (at least that I’ve found). If you use instant espresso powder, it will leave a bit of a coffee taste to the cake and frosting (and I think a hint of a bitter aftertaste).

  299. HI I made the cake, the ganache and the buttercream frosting with the dark cocoa. The cake and ganache filling were fantastic. However the buttercream frosting was disappointing. The biggest issue was that it was gray or taupe. Any thoughts on what may have caused this to happen? As my brother said, “it’s really good cake, so it doesn’t matter how it looks ” Since I am making it for a judged event, it really does matter. I appreciate any thoughts you may have. Thank you.

    1. So funny – sounds like it’s a winner in your house! I’m so glad you like it! Thanks! xo

  300. 5 stars
    Made the Chocolate Buttercream frosting tonight and it truly is a the best I’ve ever had. So light and silky and not too sweet. Keeping this recipe handy! Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for such a special compliment – I appreciate it very much! I’m thrilled that you enjoy it, Shauna! xo

  301. 5 stars
    Simply the BEST Homemade Chocolate Cake & Chocolate Buttercream Recipe bar none. The espresso powder makes this!! Thanks for amazing recipes- this will be my second year making this for my now almost 8 year old son (his now favorite birthday cake recipe). Cheers!

    1. Aww! Happy birthday to your son, Christina! What wonderful memories I know he’ll have of his Mama making the cake for his special day! I hope it is fabulous! xo

  302. Hi! I have never baked before so this is my first time planning to do this. I have one question I need to ask..
    Should I use salted or unsalted butter?

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Annie,
      I hope you enjoy the frosting! I use salted butter unless I specify unsalted. Thanks so much! xo

  303. Hello. I lot of buttercream frosting recipes can be made in advance and kept in the fridge. Is this the case with this recipe as well?

  304. This was absolutely delicious. Just made it to go with your super-moist chocolate cake, it was a hit!

    1. I so glad you enjoyed it and the cake, Julieanne! Thanks so much for letting me know you liked it! xo

  305. Can the cakes be left out? I’m never sure as the frosting contains milk so should I keep them in the fridge? I always prefer my cakes at room temperature.

    1. Hi Leena,
      This cake does not have to be refrigerated. I just suggest to keep it covered under a cake dome or something similar. I hope you enjoy it – it’s so delicious! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Hana,
      You will not have to refrigerate your buttercream frosting if you use it within a few days. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks!

  306. 5 stars
    I have made this frosting many times and only once has it ended up badly. But that was my fault as I added the milk to quick! Oops! I love this recipe so much. I learned in fact if you want chocolate mint frosting just add peppermint extract instead of vanilla.

  307. 5 stars
    For chocolate peanut butter icing: I took out one stick of butter and added a half a cup of smooth peanut butter. So yummy. Also I didnt have espresso powder so half and halted the milk with coffee

    1. Hi Susan,
      Chocolate and peanut butter are so delish together! I’m glad your frosting with peanut butter turned out so well – it sounds so tasty! Thanks so much! xo

  308. One of the best buttercream frostings I’ve made, great recipe! Only mistake I made was leaving the whisk on after I whisked the cocoa, so I cleaned it off and switched to the paddle attachment.

  309. Hi! Looking forward to trying this recipe this weekend. Does the frosting come out firm enough to be piped? Also, I only plan on making 24 cupcakes (from your recipe), can the excess frosting be frozen for a later date?


    1. Hey Merida –
      I’ve piped this for simple designs, but nothing especially fancy. There may be comments from someone here that has. You can freeze the frosting in an airtight container up to 3 months. You will thaw overnight in refrigerator (or several hours), stir again until light and fluffy.

  310. About to make this frosting but I’m out of milk!! I do have buttermilk & know it can be substituted for milk. Is it ok in this recipe rather than whole milk? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Teresa,
      I’ve never used buttermilk in this frosting, but others do in some frostings. Thanks so much!