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Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (6-Minute Recipe)

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

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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

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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


  • 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.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (6-Minute Recipe)

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes

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.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $6-$8
Keyword: American chocolate buttercream, chocolate buttercream frosting
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Calories: 275 kcal
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


  1. 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.

  2. Add confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, 3 Tbsp heavy cream, 2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/4 tsp salt.

  3. 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 Facts
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (6-Minute Recipe)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 275 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 46mg15%
Sodium 53mg2%
Potassium 64mg2%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 30g33%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 528IU11%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 12mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Tanuja
    May 6, 2021

    Can I use cold whipping cream?


  • Michelle Diaz
    May 1, 2021

    So I started, and it worked beautifully tasted REALLY GOOD, and looked awesome, then I scooped it into the piping bag only to realize it wasn’t creamy enough.
    So I had to throw away the piping bag after scooping out the frosting, and that was sad .
    BUT then I added cream and it worked better, I mean, I’m no expert at piping , but this was much better than my attempt with your Swiss buttercream (very badly done on my part and I’m quite sure it was operators error)
    So yeah I filled the cupcakes with whipped chocolate ganache (they were chocolate cupcakes with chocolate filling and chocolate frosting! Talk about a chocolate overload!!!) and then piped the frosting on top.
    It was much easier to pipe than a lot of the frostings I’ve made before and I can’t wait to make it again!!
    Thanks so much Sally and Team!!!
    Y’all are the best and I can’t wait for you next recipe!!!!


    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 1, 2021

      Thank you for sharing that with me, Michelle! I’m glad you enjoyed our frosting recipe.


  • Kiran
    April 30, 2021

    Hi Natasha
    Can I skip the chocolate and add food color to make different designs ? How does colored frosting works?


  • Natasha's Kitchen
    April 27, 2021

    That’s so nice of you, thank you so much for your recommendation and awesome review! I’m so glad you are enjoying my recipes and videos.


  • Linda
    April 27, 2021

    just made this frosting. It is just so yummy!!!!
    Thank you so much for all your fabulous recipes. Rating a 5


    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

      You’re welcome, Linda! I’m so happy you enjoyed this frosting.


      • Alena
        April 29, 2021

        You and your husband are so talented with the videos, great job 👍


        • Natasha's Kitchen
          April 29, 2021

          Hi Alena, we appreciate that. Thank you!


  • Betsy
    April 27, 2021

    So light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious! Perfect topping for all my decorating needs! Even if it’s just a smear between graham crackers! 😀


    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

      That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Betsy!


  • anthony chihuahua
    April 27, 2021

    Yummy sounding, fluffy frosting recipe. I will add this to my must-make frosting recipes!
    I❤️Cakes and Cookies!


    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

      Aren’t they the best?! I hope you love this recipe!


  • Mystery Girl
    April 27, 2021

    Natasha’s I love this buttercream mine turn out delcious. Thank you for all your videos you help me. People please subscribe to her youtube channel it has tons of delicious food and dessert. Thank you 🤗☺️💖


    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

      I’m so happy you’re enjoying my recipes and videos! Thank you for that wonderful compliment!


  • Mystery Girl
    April 27, 2021

    Natasha, I love this buttercream it was so easy to do it I love your videos. People, please subscribe to her channel on youtube because she makes awesome food and dessert.🤗☺️


    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

      Thank you so much for your great feedback and recommendation. I appreciate it!


  • Erin
    April 27, 2021

    I used this recipe to teach my daughter how to make cake frosting. It turned out perfectly! Thanks!


    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

      Aww, that’s the best! I’m so glad you got to this together. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m all smiles


  • MW
    April 27, 2021

    The softest and fluffiest frosting! It was delicious on the boxed cake mix cupcakes I made. And especially yummy straight off the spoon lol


    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it!


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