You NEED this easy, fluffy Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe in your back pocket for all of your delicious baked creations! Made with cocoa powder, it’s whipped up with heavy cream – making it the lightest, silkiest buttercream you’ll ever taste!
This post first appeared on Real Housemoms, where I am a contributor.
Do you have any idea how many frosting recipes there are in the world?
Everything from whipped cream to cream cheese to the various European buttercreams, cooked frostings, ganache you can whip, meringues…the possibilities and flavor profiles are nearly endless!
Today we’re making a homemade frosting…yep! Actually the BEST chocolate frosting you’ll ever have!
Light and fluffy and the PERFECT amount of sweetness!
Having grown up in a house that constantly had an array of sweets in it at any given time, I developed quite the sweet tooth.
As I’ve gotten older, I gravitate less towards baked goods, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still lick the spatula after making a frosting – especially if it’s this homemade chocolate buttercream.
I just love the rich chocolate flavor!
This recipe is an American buttercream, which is a combination of fat (butter in this case, but shortening can also be used) and powdered sugar.
American buttercream is known to typically be overly sweet and sometimes slightly grainy.
That’s not how it has to be, though!
Balancing out the sugar and smoothness is really easy once you know the order and ratios – and I’ve cut out the guesswork here by telling you how I do it!
It’s such an easy recipe, and the result is a ridiculously fluffy, chocolatey buttercream that spreads beautifully on any cake, but holds up like a champ when piped on a batch of fresh cupcakes…or any other dessert you put it on!
It’ll soon be your favorite chocolate frosting recipe!
Grab these ingredients to make this fluffy stuff:
- butter – unsalted and softened; if you prefer using salted butter, simply omit the extra salt from the recipe
- unsweetened cocoa powder – use you favorite here, even dark chocolate powder will be delish
- powdered sugar – also known as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar
- salt – kosher is best, but sea salt will work
- vanilla extract – you can also substitute vanilla bean paste here, or the seeds of a whole vanilla bean
- heavy whipping cream – known as double cream in Europe
What can I use whipped chocolate buttercream on?
- Just about ANY type of Cupcakes
- Triple Chocolate Cake
- Sandwich Cookies and Whoopie Pies
- Cookie Cups
- Cookie Cakes
- On top of Homemade Brownies
- Pumpkin Cake
- Eggnog Cupcakes (for the holidays!)
- Cake Pops
- As a Cookie or Cake Glaze (by adding some milk to a small amount)
- Birthday Cakes, wedding cakes, sheet cake, 2-layer cake – you get the idea
This creamy frosting just about can go on any baked good! Anything you’d typically put chocolate icing on or just eat it with a spatula.
Pro-Baker Tips For Fluffy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Soften your butter before beginning! Pull it out of the fridge at least 1 hour before making your buttercream. If you’re pressed for time, fill a tall glass with hot water, then cover the butter with it to help the softening process. Don’t leave the butter out TOO long, though – your buttercream may have a hard time setting up with overly softened butter.
- Also, use unsalted butter. Salted butter is delicious! But using unsalted in baked goods allows you to control the salt content, since every brand of butter has varying amounts.
- Sift powdered sugar & unsweetened cocoa powder before adding it to the butter. This helps to avoid lumps in the frosting, keeping it super creamy and silky smooth.
- Don’t skip or substitute the heavy cream. If you don’t care for fluffy buttercream, you can leave it out, but the whipped consistency can only be achieved by using cream.
Fun flavor twists
If you’re looking to switch up the flavor profile of your cake, cupcakes, or cookies, try one of these combos next time you’re in a baking mood:
- Add some hazelnut extract for a very Nutella-like twist
- A little bit of espresso powder can go a long way for coffee lovers
- Love those chocolate oranges? A little orange extract and zest will transform this buttercream
- Booze it up! Chocolate is delicious with rum, bourbon, and most other dark liquors and liqueurs
- Mint chocolate fan? Mint extract and a handful of mini chocolate chips will calm that craving
You can also swirl your chocolate buttercream with another frosting flavor! Raspberry buttercream is a delicious pairing, and so is a standard vanilla frosting. Try it with whipped cream cheese frosting for a real treat!
How much frosting does this recipe yield?
This recipe will yield about 2.5 to 3 cups of frosting. This is enough to pipe on 16-18 cupcakes or fill and ice a 3-layer 6-inch cake. If you need more, go ahead and double or even triple the recipe.
Can I make buttercream frosting in advance?
Buttercream frosting can be made 4 to 5 days in advance. After whipping, place the frosting in an airtight container and seal. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring to room temperature and mix well to fluff the buttercream before using it on your dessert.
Can I freeze it?
If you find you’ve made too much, American buttercream freezes wonderfully! After whipping, spread the frosting in an even layer in a freezer-safe container, or wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in a zipper bag. When you’re ready to use it, thaw the frosting overnight in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature and mix well before frosting your dessert.
How to Make the BEST Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
The trick is in the mixing order and HOW LONG you whip it! It you follow my directions to a T, you’ll have the perfect chocolate buttercream frosting recipe. All of your friends will be asking for it!
- First, place the softened sticks of butter and 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar in a large bowl. Using a whisk attachment, mix on low speed with an electric mixer (or in a stand mixer) until they’re just combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat with remaining powdered sugar, adding 1 cup at a time.
- When the sugar has all been incorporated, turn speed up to medium-high and whip 4-5 minutes until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Turn off the mixer and scrape the bowl.
- Next, add the sifted cocoa powder, vanilla extract and pinch of salt to the mixture. Blend it all together on low for 1 minute.
- With the mixer on low, drizzle in the heavy whipping cream. Once the cream is added and the mixture is mostly combined, turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl well.
- Finally, turn the mixer up to medium-high and whip the buttercream for 4-5 more minutes. You’ll end up with frosting that is impossibly silky, light, and fluffy. Don’t worry about the air bubbles – they can be smoothed out when you use it.
As you can see there are no fancy ingredients, all of these simple ingredients you can get at your local grocery store. Following my method above you’ll create a delicious frosting – the best buttercream that all chocolate lovers will go crazy for!
LOOKING FOR MORE CHOCOLATE DESSERT RECIPES TO TRY THIS FROSTING ON?
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Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder sifted
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Place softened butter and 1 cup powdered sugar in a large bowl (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer) Using the whisk attachment, mix until combined, scrape the bowl, and repeat with remaining sugar, adding it 1 cup at a time. When all sugar has been added, turn speed to medium-high and whip about 5 minutes, until pale and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt, and blend on low for 1 minute. Add heavy cream in a slow drizzle as it mixes.
- Once the mixture is mostly combined, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Whip buttercream on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes, until it is silky, light, and fluffy.
Selah M.H. says
This is a fabulous chocolate frosting recipe! Definitely will be my go-to!! Thank you so much!!
Jayne Wenger says
I want to thank you for is fabulous frosting recipe and all the tips you gave. I never could get my frosting “right”. It was always too sugary tasting. I followed your instructions exactly and was amazed how smooth it turned out. Must be cream addition at the end of recipe. I tried the techniques with a lemon buttercream and it too was fabulous. I think the blue ribbon @ the fair is going to be mine!!!!
Jayne, this is amazing feedback – thank you so much for stopping by! I’m a big fan of fluffy frostings that aren’t too sweet myself (I often find myself putting cream cheese in EVERYTHING just to offset the sugar), so I’m happy that my instructions helped! Good luck at the fair! 😀
Hi can I use this frosting for crumb coating underneath fondant please
Lucy Parissi says
I never tire of finding new frosting recipes. This one looks so easy to make and delicious. Great tips on getting the perfect consistency too – thanks
Lucy, I’m flattered! You definitely know what makes good confections – thanks SO much for the sweet words!
This frosting is so rich and delicious! It was perfect for yellow cakw I made over the weekend. The wonderfully creamy texture made it so easy to make pretty cake!
Hi Wilhelmina! Thank you so much for the feedback!
So yummy!! Reminds me of this chocolate mousse my sister & I would make when we were younger! I used whole milk & used a little less. It was delicious & very easy to spread & pipe.
Lisa G says
Would you substitUte the hazelnut extract for the vanilla if you wanted the nutella-like version? How much hazelnut? Thanks!
Best chocolate buttercream frosting ever!
All I have at the moment is half and half would that work instead of the heavy whipping cream?
Easy to work with and delicious!
This frosting came out great.
Perfect! The taste and texture was wonderful. Loved it!,
Followed the instructions exactly and I got the best, smooth and fluffy frosting ever! Thank you so much for this recipe
Best chocolate icing I have ever made!
Esther Davies says
This frosting was super duper fluffy, and offered a light consistency whilst still being packed full of flavor. The only thing I would say is it was a little too sweet for my taste, but this is definitely a recipe I’ll go back to.
So I need to refrigerate after frosting my cakes?
Sherry boyce says
Did you need to refrigerate this cake after?
I don’t like frosting, and I especially don’t like chocolate frosting, but I LOVED this. Amazing. We used it on our “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake that we make on Christmas Eve and eat on Christmas morning while opening gifts.
If I wanted to do vanilla instead, do I need to put in something in place of the cocoa?
That is such a sweet and neat idea. May have to take that and do it on Christmas haha
Really good and fluffy! I would recommend adding a little less cocoa powder because it was was to put, maybe just 1/2 a cup or even 1/3 if you want it to be lighter
I Love to cook but never was much of a baker. I made your chocolate frosting today and said, where have you been my whole life, lol. My husband and son love it too. I used up the last of my cocoa powder and won’t get any for a few days. How do you make a white butter cream? I would love YOUR recipe! Great stuff!
I have been making this for about 6 months. My family (especially my husband) absolutely love it!
Lavonne Kruckenberg says
This frosting was excellent and had the perfect consistency for frosting chocolate cupcakes. I will definitely use this recipe again.
Thanks for the feedback, Lavonne, I appreciate it! So happy you loved this buttercream – it’s absolutely my favorite, as well.
My new favorite! So helpful, thanks a lot for this chocolate buttercream frosting recipe! It’s really tasty and very flavorful! Will surely have this again! Highly recommended!
This was a big hit at our house! Used it to frost some cupcakes for a party and everyone wanted more. Thank you for a delicious recipe!
This is the most delicious, fluffy chocolate butter cream. It whipped up like a dream and tasted so good. If I hadn’t chased everyone out of the kitchen there wouldn’t have been any for the cake!
This frosting was absolutely amazing! Almost needed to make a second batch because I ate so much with a spoon!
You sound like me LOL – glad you enjoyed it, Lara!
A keeper! I added some espresso powder (instant) to make it a mocha frosting. Put some chocolate sprinkles on top for a little decoration. This is a very good use for a stand mixer.
I LOVE the mocha addition!! It’s always fun playing with flavors in frosting, and I’m happy you made it your own – thanks for the feedback, Ginger! 😀
I made this exactly as it shows but it is outrageously chocolatey
Is there any way to tone down the chocolate taste a little?
Hi Tanya, thanks for stopping by! If it’s a bit too chocolatey, just reduce the amount of cocoa powder you use and replace it with more powdered sugar (maybe try 1/3 cup of cocoa instead and add another 1/3 cup powdered sugar for balance). If it’s already made and you want to lessen the chocolate, I would try adding a bit more powdered sugar and a little more vanilla? Just play around with those ingredients, and maybe add a bit more heavy cream to lighten it up – I hope this helps!
Marcia Shar says
I made this today for chocolate cupcakes. So yummy!
I never leave reviews, but don’t understand how this only has 3.98 stars. I’m a home baker, and always get RAVE reviews on this chocolate frosting. I’ve been using this recipe for a few years now. Paired with my chocolate cake, everyone says it tastes like a fudge round. The best!
Great recipe I was looking to a buttercream frosting that didnt taste the same. This wa just what I was looking for. Creamy and not too sugary.
Sherry boyce says
Did you have to refrigerate your cake after?
Making this recipe tonight for my son’s chocolate birthday cake! ❤️
Sherry boyce says
Do you need to refrigerate cake after?
I have baked for years. Love to try new icing suggestions. This was the bomb. I thought it would be too heavy with 1 c butter. Nope. Absolutely delicious. I did 1 1/2 of the recipe for a two layers 8 inch. Plenty. Prob didn’t need to do extra but wanted to be safe.