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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!
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 Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
JUST TAKE ME TO THE WHIPPE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING ALREADY!
If you’d rather skip my (pretty darn helpful) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this deliciously easy chocolate buttercream recipe, just scroll right on down to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card!
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!
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!
What Can You Use Whipped Chocolate Buttercream On?
- Just about ANY type of Cupcakes
- Triple Chocolate Cake (recipe coming this week!)
- 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)
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 & 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 For Chocolate Buttercream
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.
- 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.
Can You Make Buttercream Frosting In Advance? Can You Freeze It?
Buttercream frosting can be made up to 3 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 before frosting your dessert.
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.
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 Fluffiest Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
The trick is in the mixing order and HOW LONG you whip 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 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 and salt to the mixture. Blend it all together on low for 1 minute.
- With the mixer on low, drizzle in the heavy 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.
LOOKING FOR MORE CHOCOLATE DESSERT RECIPES TO TRY THIS FROSTING ON?
- Caramel Martini Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
- Homemade Chocolate Cake Mix
- Chocolate Pudding Cake
- Death By Chocolate Cake
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
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Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 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.