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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

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.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (6-Minute Recipe)

5 from 15 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
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 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

  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

  • mark bill
    September 19, 2021

    Just made a batch, thank you for making it extremely easy, I’ve never attempted it before because I didn’t think I’d get it right lol my piping skills need some work lmao but the frosting turned out awesome.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 19, 2021

      Hello Mark, nice work! Good to know that you enjoyed how it turned out.

      Reply

  • Joe
    September 11, 2021

    Hi Natasha , Do you have a recipe for a creamy peanut butter frosting?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      September 11, 2021

      Hi Joe, I don’t have one currently but thank you for the great suggestion

      Reply

  • Ann Marie Procopio
    September 8, 2021

    I really love your video recipes and you talking us through it step by step, sorry I miss it and found it not as helpful to just have music, your voice makes it much more approachable to tackle and try new recipes (and I have done quite a few)

    Reply

    • Natasha
      September 8, 2021

      Hi Ann, we only have the short videos are the simple recipes that are about a minute long, but we do have the full video with voice on our Chocolate Cake video. I hope that helps and thanks for that feedback.

      Reply

  • Marianne
    September 5, 2021

    Thank you for this recipe. We are hosting good friends in our new home and this recipe to go with vanilla cupcakes. I did not have all ingredients for cupcakes so I used Betty Crocker boxed mix. But I wanted the cupcakes to be special so I made this frosting recipe and my guests really loved it and raved about the frosting. Thank you! l really appreciate your recipes.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 6, 2021

      You’re very welcome, Marianne! I’m happy to hear that it was a huge hit!

      Reply

  • Jennifer
    September 4, 2021

    Would I need to increase the recipe for a 9″x13″ sheet cake, or would this be enough to cover the top of the cake?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 4, 2021

      Hi Jennifer, yes, you will need to increase the recipe for a 9×13. Please see the note in the recipe “How much frosting does this make?”

      Reply

  • Susan
    August 31, 2021

    Do I need to sift the confectioners sugar?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 1, 2021

      Hi Susan, please see this note in the recipe: “Confectioners sugar – also known as powdered sugar. Measured before sifting (sifting is not necessary).”

      Reply

  • Bonnie
    August 2, 2021

    With request from my niece asking for a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for her B-day. I don’t buy the store self frosting, way to much sugar for my tastebuds. So, I made this buttercream chocolate frosting. OMG…silky, creamy, buttery and absolutely DELICIOUS!!
    Natasha thank you for another one of your awesome recipes!! Everyone enjoyed it so very much!! Definitely a keeper in my recipe book!! I will share with ALL my family & friends with delight!! 🙂

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 2, 2021

      Aww, that’s the best! Happy birthday to your niece! I’m so glad you all enjoyed this frosting!

      Reply

  • Jenna
    July 23, 2021

    Hi Natasha,
    I made your chocolate buttercream frosting yesterday and it was delicious, but it had a grainy texture even though I used powdered sugar. Can you please tell me what may have gone wrong? Maybe using icing sugar would have helped?
    Also how do we prevent the frosting from melting? Any solutions for that?
    It would be highly appreciated if you could clarify these for me. Thanks in advance! 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 24, 2021

      Hi Jenna, this buttercream is pretty stable normally. It sounds like either the butter was oversoftenend or too cold – either of these two could be the culprit for a grainy frosting. A buttercream should not melt unless you put it in a very warm environment or out in the sun so I would avoid both, but this is normally stable for several hours at room temperature. I would refrigerate overnight.

      Reply

      • Jenna
        July 26, 2021

        How soft should the butter be ideally? Sorry for asking such a question, but I have no idea regarding all of this as I am a beginner in baking.

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          July 26, 2021

          I haven’t tested that to advise on the outcome. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

          Reply

        • Patti
          July 28, 2021

          Jenna, set your butter on the counter to soften, not melted. If your room is too warm and the butter gets too soft, chill it back up a bit. You want to be able to spread it. It’s great you are new to baking, hope you enjoy it!!

          Reply

  • JACK & POLLY
    July 15, 2021

    We made this today……………AWESOME!!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 15, 2021

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Nancy
    July 9, 2021

    Very rich;
    very deliciou!
    Thanks Natasha

    Reply

  • Delana
    June 26, 2021

    I used you chocolate butter cream recipe and it was absolutely perfect in texture. Thank you for posting

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 26, 2021

      You’re welcome, Delana! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Beenish fatima
    June 26, 2021

    Hello Natasha I love yr baking please tell me the trick to make a soft and moist chocolate cake

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 26, 2021

      Hi Beenish, have you tried our chocolate cake recipe? It is so soft! I hope you give it a try!

      Reply

  • Meerub
    June 26, 2021

    Should I double the recipe to 18 people in the recipe card for 9”2 layer cake to frost the cake

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 28, 2021

      He Meerub, 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.). Also, have you tried our chocolate cake recipe? It is so soft! I hope you give it a try!

      Reply

  • Susanna Pollock
    June 25, 2021

    Hi there, I don’t have heavy cream, will 10% be okay? I made the cupcakes last night and they turned out perfectly! All your cake recipes are outstanding!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 27, 2021

      Hi Susanna, I think that will work. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • Meerub
    June 25, 2021

    Should I double the recipe to 18 people in the recipe card

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 25, 2021

      Hi Meerub, this recipe makes 12 cupcakes, so you can make double the recipe and have extra or adjust the recipe to 18 cupcakes and use those measurements. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Meerub
    June 24, 2021

    I want to make a 9”2-layer cake so can u tell me how much coco powder to use to make this
    buttercream
    Btw love your videos:)

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 24, 2021

      Hi Merrub, I recommend reading through the recipe notes, we note there “scale it up by 50% for a 2-layer cake”. “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).” I hope this is helpful!

      Reply

  • Vicki Modica
    June 13, 2021

    Simply perfect. New go to recipe. I used salted butter, so left that out and it was perfect. Soooo much better than canned frosting, which tastes awful to me anymore! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 13, 2021

      Hi Vicky, you are very welcome! I’m glad to know that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for sharing that with us.

      Reply

  • Renee Livingood
    June 11, 2021

    Extremely decadent and delicious frosting! Went perfectly on top of your chocolate cupcake recipe!! My 3 kids wanted to eat the frosting off the top slowly to enjoy it by itself before diving into the wonderful cupcake 😀

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 11, 2021

      Yum! I’m so glad you paired those two together! Sounds perfect! That is the best when kids love what we parents make. That’s so great!

      Reply

  • Chloé
    May 24, 2021

    Easiest and best chocolate frosting ever! I halved the recipe to go along with the chocolate cupcakes recipe, making only one major change and two minor ones: I decreased the amount of powdered/confectioner’s sugar to a 1/2 cup (personal preference). It still turned out so fluffy and creamy, perfectly chocolatey too! The minor changes I made were halving the salt and swapping heavy cream for half and half. You can’t beat an easy to follow recipe with impressive results!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 24, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Nassira Bedford
    May 21, 2021

    I made the frosting last week it is sooooo yummy!
    thanks for the recipe 😉

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 21, 2021

      You’re welcome and glad you liked it!

      Reply

  • Tanuja
    May 6, 2021

    Can I use cold whipping cream?

    Reply

  • 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!!!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 1, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Kiran
    April 30, 2021

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

    Reply

  • 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.

    Reply

  • 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

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

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

      Reply

      • Alena
        April 29, 2021

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

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          April 29, 2021

          Hi Alena, we appreciate that. Thank you!

          Reply

  • 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! 😀

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

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

      Reply

  • anthony chihuahua
    April 27, 2021

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

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

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

      Reply

  • 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 🤗☺️💖

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

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

      Reply

  • 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.🤗☺️

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

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

      Reply

      • Verily
        June 26, 2021

        For someone who is sensitive to whipping cream, what would you suggest using?

        Reply

        • Natasha
          June 27, 2021

          Hi Verily, I haven’t tested anything that is non-dairy. I know canned coconut milk can be whipped, but you will need to do a google search to see if it can be turned into a chocolate frosting.

          Reply

  • Erin
    April 27, 2021

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

    Reply

    • 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

      Reply

  • 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

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 27, 2021

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

      Reply

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