This chocolate buttercream frosting recipe is perfect for cupcakes or cakes. It’s easy to make and tastes delicious! Rich, creamy, silky chocolate buttercream with a perfectly smooth texture.
Learn how to make a homemade chocolate buttercream frosting with this easy, quick, and classic recipe. Only cacao powder is used in this recipe to give the buttercream its rich chocolate flavor. That is why it is important to choose high-quality cacao powder.
A pinch of salt is the secret of this chocolate frosting. The salt will enhance the flavor of the chocolate. You can use this chocolate frosting for cupcakes and cakes. Make this delicious chocolate buttercream frosting recipe from scratch!
I have tried a lot of buttercream recipes, but this recipe is by far the best frosting for chocolate cupcakes.
What is buttercream?
Buttercream is made by mixing softened butter with powdered sugar until smooth. It is used primarily as a filling or topping for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pies, and other desserts. The secret of a fluffy buttercream is to mix the butter for a long time (for a minimum of 10 minutes).
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Butter – I love to regulate the amount of salt I use for baking, that is why I always use unsalted butter. Make sure the butter is at room temperature. You can use salted butter as well, but don’t add salt to the recipe.
- Icing powder – the base ingredient for frosting because it dissolves quickly and produces a smooth consistency.
- Cacao powder – use quality cacao powder to give the buttercream its rich chocolate flavor. You can use melted chocolate instead of cacao powder, but I prefer cacao powder. Double the amount of icing powder in the recipe if you use melted chocolate instead of cacao powder.
- Sea salt – I used pure, fine sea salt. Adding a pinch of salt enhances the natural flavor of chocolate. It adds a nice balance to the sweetness of the buttercream.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
Let’s walk through how to make this buttercream frosting. For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.
- Mix the butter (room temperature) on the highest setting for 10-15 minutes. The longer the butter is beaten, the fluffier the buttercream becomes.
- Gradually the powdered sugar. Mix everything well each time with a mixer on the lowest setting, until everything is well dissolved. Add vanilla extract, cocoa powder and salt. Mix for another 2 minutes with a mixer on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy.
- Fill a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe onto cupcakes or smear in the middle and over the top of a cake using a palette knife.
The equipment you need for this chocolate buttercream
- Mixing bowl
- Electric mixer – hand mixer or stand mixer
- Kitchen scale
👩🏼🍳 Expert Tips
- You can add 2 or 3 tsp boiled water to make the
- Cool down – Make sure your bakings are completely cooled before you can put the topping on them. Otherwise, everything will collapse.
- Food styling tip – use the back of a small spoon to make deep swirls.
- Mix the butter well – mix the butter for a long time (10-15 minutes) if you want to have a fluffy buttercream.
If you’re not using the frosting straightaway, you can cover it and refrigerate it for up to a week. Allow it to come back up to room temperature and beat again if necessary before using. It will take about 1 hour to come to room temperature.
You can freeze a covered buttercream for up to six months.
⚖️ Baking in grams
The most accurate way to bake is by baking by weight. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can lead to baking failures. Therefore all of my recipes are posted in grams. I always bake with a scale, so I have a recipe card that automatically converts metrics to US customary, but it can have errors. So I advise you to bake with a digital scale. You can find them on Amazon for a small price.
⭐️ Did you make this? Please leave a star rating below or a review in the comments section.
The best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 250 grams unsalted butter room temperature
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 75 grams cacao powder
- 2 tbsp milk or heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt sea salt
- Take the butter out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before making the buttercream, to soften at room temperature.
- Mix the butter (room temperature) on the highest setting for 5 minutes. The longer the butter is beaten, the fluffier the buttercream becomes.250 grams unsalted butter
- Gradually the powdered sugar. Mix everything well each time with a mixer on the lowest setting, until everything is well dissolved. Turn the mixing speed up to medium high and beat for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract, cocoa powder and salt.200 grams powdered sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extract, Pinch of salt, 75 grams cacao powder
- If needed, add a bit of milk or heavy cream to thin out the texture. If it becomes too thin, you can add a bit more powdered sugar.2 tbsp milk or heavy cream
- Fill a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe onto cupcakes or smear in the middle and over the top of a cake using a palette knife. If not using inmediately, store the buttercream in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. Take the buttercream out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before frosting, to soften at room temperature. Re-whip before using.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
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