This American Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is silky, whipped, decadent, and chocolatey with just the right amount of sweetness. It spreads and pipes beautifully over cakes and Chocolate Cupcakes.

Chocolate buttercream frosting on chocolate cupcake

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

We love homemade frosting recipes from Vanilla Buttercream to Cream Cheese Frosting and of course this easy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Homemade frostings have better ingredients and taste way better than store-bought.

Chocolate Frosting Video Tutorial

If you enjoyed this video for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, please subscribe to our Youtube Channel (P.S. Click the BELL icon so you can be the first to know when we post a new video). Thank you for subscribing!

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

This chocolate buttercream frosting is thick and fluffy. It holds its shape well just like Swiss Meringue Buttercream so it’s great for decorating and piping. It also has a rich chocolate flavor.

fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting on whisk

How much frosting does this make?

Frosting Cupcakes? This recipe yields about 2 1/4 cups frosting and generously frosts 12 cupcakes or lightly frosts 24 cupcakes.

Frosting a Cakes? To frost a 9” 2-layer cake, increase the recipe by 50% (i.e. 1 1/2 cups butter, 4 1/2 cups sugar, etc). 

Chocolate Frosting in mixing bowl with green spatula

The Key to Great Buttercream

For the best-textured buttercream, make sure the butter is at the correct temperature. Properly softened butter should be left at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours, or watch our video on how to soften butter in 5 minutes.

Your butter should feel cool to the touch and you should be able to indent it with your fingertip. Never melt or oversoften butter for the frosting.

Ingredients for Chocolate Buttercream

  • Unsalted butter – should be softened at room temperature
  • Confectioners sugar – also known as powdered sugar. Measured before sifting (sifting is not necessary).
  • Cocoa powdered – natural unsweetened cocoa powder or dutch process.
  • Heavy whipping cream – lightens up and thins the frosting.
  • Vanilla extract – we use real vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Salt – balances the sweetness of the buttercream. It’s the secret ingredient in buttercream that makes it taste not too sweet. We use fine sea salt.
Ingredients for making chocolate buttercream frosting with confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, butter, vanilla, salt and cream

How to Make Chocolate Buttercream

The best [Title] is easier and takes less time than you think! (Amazon links for tools used)

  1. Beat butter in a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment on high speed for 3 minutes until creamy and lightened in color.
  2. Add remaining ingredients – confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt.
  3. Beat together on low speed until powdered sugar is incorporated then on medium/high speed for another 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Add more cream if needed to thin the frosting.
Beating butter in mixing bowl
Adding cocoa, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and cream

Pro Tip: Scrape down the bowl several times to ensure the frosting is evenly blended and even in color. 

Whipped chocolate buttercream frosting made in a mixing bowl

Common Questions

What is the best cocoa powder to use?

Use either unsweetened natural cocoa powder such as Hershey’s brand or dutch process cocoa powder for making chocolate buttercream.

Can I Substitute Heavy Cream?

You can thin the frosting with milk instead of heavy cream, but you may need slightly less. Add it until you reach your desired texture.

Can I double the recipe?

You can easily double the recipe, increasing your mixing times slightly. 

Do I need to sift the dry ingredients?

Funny story, I spent years sifting the dry ingredients for this recipe until I decided to skip the step one day and found it did not make a difference. The ingredients incorporate easily without sifting.

How to Serve Chocolate Buttercream

This frosting is delicious over cakes, cupcakes, sweet bread, cookies you name it! Here are some of our favorite ways to use Chocolate Buttercream frosting:

Chocolate buttercream frosting served on a chocolate cupcake

Make-Ahead

  • To Refrigerate: Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to a week (do not store near fish or meat as it may absorb those fridge odors). Bring to room temperature and re-whip to make the frosting fluffy.
  • Freezing: Package the same way as for refrigerating, then freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then bring to room temperature before re-whipping to a fluffy consistency.

Enjoy this easy 6-minute Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. It’s one I’ve been making for years and I will never stop loving this recipe.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (6-Minute Recipe)

4.99 from 685 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
This American chocolate buttercream frosting is decadent, indulgent, and chocolatey. It has just the right amount of sweetness and is perfect for spreading or piping on cakes or Chocolate Cupcakes.
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 cupcakes
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • With a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat butter on high speed for about 3 minutes or until creamy and lightened in color, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  • Add confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, 3 Tbsp heavy cream, 2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated then increase to medium/high speed and beat for 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times to ensure everything is well blended. Add another Tablespoon of heavy cream if needed to thin the frosting.

Nutrition Per Serving

275kcal Calories32g Carbs1g Protein17g Fat11g Saturated Fat1g Trans Fat46mg Cholesterol53mg Sodium64mg Potassium1g Fiber30g Sugar528IU Vitamin A1mg Vitamin C12mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (6-Minute Recipe)
Amount per Serving
Calories
275
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
17
g
26
%
Saturated Fat
 
11
g
69
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
46
mg
15
%
Sodium
 
53
mg
2
%
Potassium
 
64
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
32
g
11
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
30
g
33
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
528
IU
11
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
12
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: American chocolate buttercream, chocolate buttercream frosting
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 275

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Kat
    February 28, 2024

    I rarely leave reviews for recipes, but I HAD to for this one. So simple, so good, so easy! My kids and i couldn’t stop eating it from the bowl. I used whole milk instead of heavy cream bc we didn’t have it, and it was still amazing!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 28, 2024

      That is the best when kids love what we moms make. That’s so great!

      Reply

  • Jan Scarborough
    February 27, 2024

    Thank you for the sweet recipe! It is exactly what I was hoping for 🙂

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 27, 2024

      You’re welcome, Jan!

      Reply

  • Kevin C.
    February 19, 2024

    What amazing buttercream frosting. I was a bit short on 10x sugar and it was delicious. The 35 y.o. birthday girl loved her chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting!
    Thanks – Kevin

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 20, 2024

      Thnaks a lot for your good feedback, Kevin. Great to hear that it was a success!

      Reply

  • Arlene
    February 17, 2024

    Just what I was looking for!
    Light and fluffy with an excellent chocolate flavor.
    My go to chocolate Buttercream!
    Thank you Natasha…

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 17, 2024

      Hi Arlene! You’re so very welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe.

      Reply

  • Christine
    February 14, 2024

    I made both this chocolate buttercream and chocolate cream cheese frosting along with your chocolate cupcakes to bring to work and both are delicious! They both also have great texture and made beautiful cupcakes. I come straight to the Natasha’s Kitchen page whenever I need a delicious recipe! So far everything I have tried has been a success! Please keep sharing your recipes!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 14, 2024

      That’s so great to beat, Christine! Thank you.

      Reply

  • Savannah Rucker
    February 14, 2024

    I cut down the sugar to 2.5c and this is the best chocolate buttercream I’ve ever tasted!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 14, 2024

      I’m so glad you love it, Savannah!

      Reply

  • Cathyc
    February 10, 2024

    Just finished making this. I followed directions exactly as I always do the first time I make something. I wish I had added one more tablespoon of heavy cream. I think it would have been perfect. Without that extra heavy cream, it is still very good, but would have been easier to spread with an additional tablespoon of cream. It is really delicious.

    Reply

  • Brian S
    February 10, 2024

    I simply do not understand any of the negative reviews. I followed the recipe exactly, except I used 2% milk in lieu of cream. I used a hand mixer with whisk attachment to whip the butter and then the regular beaters to finish it. It came out smooth, delicious and creamy – more than enough to frost a 9×13 cake.

    Reply

  • Mary S
    January 24, 2024

    Nightmare site! Can’t find list of ingredients (too many ads, and your explanations of each ingredient). Haven’t made frosting in a while so wanted quantities. I guess I should go elsewhere for someone who gives quick info. Don’t have all day. Nice pics tho…

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 24, 2024

      Hi Mary, At the top of the post, Click ‘Jump to Recipe’ to see the ingredient list.

      And thank you for sharing your concerns and feedback. The only way we can continue providing free recipes is by having ads on our site, so we are not able to remove those at this time. We find that most people would rather see the ads than pay to see the recipes. But we will definitely take note of your feedback and use it to improve our website.

      I appreciate your feedback, and I hope you love every recipe you try.

      Reply

    • Brian S
      February 10, 2024

      Get an ad blocker, like Adblock Plus or U-Block to avoid seeing ads on all sites.

      Reply

  • Rhonda
    January 18, 2024

    Amazing! easy to make and absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 19, 2024

      You’re very welcome, Rhonda!

      Reply

  • Nina
    January 14, 2024

    So yummy! After a failed icing recipe and a bit of sulking, I found yours and it was delicious! Not to mention super quick and simple! Thanks Natasha!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 14, 2024

      I’m so glad that you found our recipe and decided to try it! Thanks for sharing that.

      Reply

  • M.
    December 30, 2023

    This was the best chocolate recipe I have ever made. It was the perfect consistency, and tasted amazing. Not too much butter, or sugar. I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a new frosting recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 30, 2023

      Thank you so much, M for the wonderful feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed the frosting.

      Reply

  • Lisa
    December 29, 2023

    Finally a buttercream that isn’t overly sweet! Thank you for providing times for the beating steps, it turned out light and fluffy. Bookmarked!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 29, 2023

      I’m so glad you loved it, Lisa! Thank you for the wonderful review.

      Reply

  • Charlotte G Schindler
    December 19, 2023

    When doubling for a 2 layer cake do I just double the butter, confectionary sugar?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 19, 2023

      Hi Charlotte, yes you can easily double the recipe, increasing your mixing times slightly. You would double all the ingredients. I hope you love it.

      Reply

As Featured On

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.