Home > Desserts > Frosting, Sauces, & Toppings > Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Chocolate Buttercream Frosting May 10, 2017 | No Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is deeply chocolate, rich, luscious, and smooth. This American-style buttercream is an indulgent treat and perfect topping for this Chocolate Cake Recipe, this Banana Chocolate Chip Cake, or these Cake Mix Cupcakes! Chocolate Buttercream Frosting As a chocolate lover through and through, I can’t get enough of this frosting — I could eat it by the spoonful! And if I’m honest, I do just that every time I make it. What to expect with this recipe: This chocolate buttercream is for the chocolate fanatic — it’s deeply dark chocolate and very rich. This isn’t a frosting with a subtle chocolate flavor — it’s all chocolate! This is an American-style buttercream which is typically considered the easiest and quickest buttercream to make. American buttercream frosting is known for its super-sweet flavor, slightly gritty consistency, and contains butter, powdered sugar, and milk or cream. This frosting is true to this style — it is very sweet! QUICK TIP American Buttercream? What other kinds are there? Actually, there are 8 types of buttercream frosting and each one has a particular use. They include: American Buttercream Swiss Meringue Italian Meringue French Buttercream German Buttercream Ermine Frosting Vegan Buttercream Check this article for an explanation of how and when you’d use the various varieties. How to use this frosting Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is a great recipe to have whenever you’re looking for a stellar way to jazz up cookies, cakes, or cupcakes. It’s tasty on brownies, peanut butter bars, or blondies. And beyond that, there are many other ways to get creative and use leftover frosting (or an excuse to make more of it!). Graham cracker sandwiches. Something about graham crackers and frosting is magical! We love smearing lots of this frosting between two graham crackers. Melt it. Need a quick hot fudge for your brownie-ice cream sundae? Melt a little bit of this frosting and drizzle it on top! Cookie sandwiches. Make Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies or Chocolate Cookies and spread lots of chocolate frosting in between. Top donut holes. If you’ve got some plain donut holes, jazz them up with frosting on top. (Chocolate Fondue shouldn’t get all the fun!) Use as a dip or spread. Have some fun snacks begging for frosting? Think Teddy Grahams, pretzels, marshmallows, vanilla wafers, or cereal! Add some frosting and let the fun begin! Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Dutch-process cocoa powder. The “secret” to the best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (IMO) is using Dutch-process cocoa powder. The Dutching process offers a much more robust and intense chocolate flavor. While regular cocoa powder works, we find the frosting to be overall less flavorful and less intensely chocolate. Here’s my all-time favorite Dutch-process cocoa powder (affiliate link) — it is unbelievably good! Hershey’s® “Special Dark” cocoa powder (pictured above) is a Dutch-process cocoa powder that is also delicious in this frosting and readily found at most grocery stores. Unsalted butter. The better the quality of butter used, the better the flavor will be. Avoid margarine of any type — it doesn’t work the same. Powdered sugar. For an ultra-smooth frosting, sift the powdered sugar before adding it in. (Confession: I usually don’t bother!) Heavy whipping cream. While a lot of buttercream frostings use milk, we find heavy cream totally worth it for texture, silky smoothness, and flavor. I don’t recommend using milk in this particular recipe. Fine sea salt and vanilla. Both are flavor enhancers. The salt intensifies the flavors and balances the sweetness — if you find the frosting to be too sweet, a small dash of salt is often the perfect fix. QUICK TIP Frosting quantities can vary depending on the exact ingredients used. If you find the Chocolate Buttercream too thick, add a dash more of heavy cream. Not thick enough? A touch more powdered sugar. These two ingredients can be played with a bit until the frosting reaches your perfect consistency. Tips Use room-temperature (not melted, not softened) butter: For this frosting to whip together nice and smoothly, we want the perfect temperature butter. For best results, leave the butter out at room temperature an hour before using. To speed up the process of getting room-temperature butter, use this great hack. While hand mixers will work, I’ve always had the best results making this frosting in a stand mixer with a whisk or paddle attachment. Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently with a spatula to ensure an even mix and dispersion of ingredients. Chocolate Buttercream Frosting FAQs1How do you make chocolate buttercream frosting from scratch?This buttercream frosting can be ready in 3 simple steps: Beat the butter until nice and creamy Add in the cocoa powder & powdered sugar Add remaining ingredients and beat until light & fluffy! 2What's the difference between buttercream icing and frosting?Frosting is thick, fluffy, and typically used to coat the outside or inner layers of a cake or cupcake. Frosting usually has a butter-sweet taste and is good for adding color, texture, and sweetness to baked goods. Icing is much thinner, glossier, and is typically used as a glaze. Icing has a sugary (almost sickly sweet) taste and is best for adding smoothness and shine to baked goods. 3What are the three types of buttercream? American Buttercream Swiss Meringue Buttercream Italian Meringue Buttercream Each have their own pros and cons. To read more on each, check out this article. 4Does chocolate buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated?If using it right away, it does not need to be refrigerated. If it won’t be used right away, it does. Use a spatula to scoop all the frosting from the mixer bowl into an air-tight container. Place in the fridge and store for up to 1 week. When ready to use, let the frosting stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour to soften to spreadable consistency. More chocolate dessert recipes Edible Brownie Batter made with heat-treated flour Brownie Recipe thick, chewy and rich with everyday ingredients! Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats with chocolate cereal Chocolate Chip Scones made with Greek yogurt Homemade Oreos made with a cake mix! FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Chocolate Buttercream Frosting 5 from 1 vote - Review this recipe Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is deeply chocolate, rich, luscious, and smooth. An indulgent treat and the perfect topping for so many different treats! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Chocolate Buttercream Frosting 5 from 1 vote - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is deeply chocolate, rich, luscious, and smooth. An indulgent treat and the perfect topping for so many different treats! Course Dessert Cuisine American, Vegetarian Keyword chocolate buttercream, chocolate buttercream frosting Prep Time 20 minutes Set out butter in advance to come to room temperature 1 hour Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes Servings 3 cups -- enough for about 20 cupcakes or to frost a 9x13-inch pan Calories 1252kcal Ingredients1-1/4 cups (20 tablespoons; 284g) unsalted butter, at room temperature3 cups (332g) powdered sugar3/4 cup (72g) Dutch-process cocoa powder Note 13-5 tablespoons heavy cream1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/16 teaspoon (tiny pinch) fine sea salt InstructionsBEAT BUTTER: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until nice and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. OTHER INGREDIENTS: Add in 3 cups of powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Mix on low until just incorporated. It will be very thick! Again, scrape down the sides. Add in the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix again on low until incorporated.FINISHING: Once incorporated, increase the speed to high and beat for 30 seconds up to 1 minute. The frosting will slightly lighten in color and become very creamy. If the frosting is too thin, add a touch more powdered sugar (add only 1/4 cup at a time until consistency is reached) and if the frosting is too thick add a touch more heavy cream (1 tablespoon at a time until consistency is reached). Taste the frosting and adjust to personal preference adding a dash more salt if it is too sweet. Use immediately. STORAGE: Use a spatula to scoop all the frosting from the mixer bowl into an air-tight container. Place in the fridge and store for up to 1 week. When ready to use, let the frosting stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour to soften to spreadable consistency. Recipe NotesNote 1: Cocoa: The "secret" to the best, deeply chocolate and super-rich chocolate buttercream frosting (IMO) is using Dutch-process cocoa powder. The Dutching process offers a much more robust and intense chocolate flavor. Hershey’s “Special Dark” cocoa powder is a Dutch-process cocoa powder readily found at most grocery stores. If you do not like a deeper, darker chocolate flavor, use natural (unsweetened) cocoa powder instead. We do find the flavor to be less robust with this cocoa powder. Nutrition FactsCalories: 1252kcal | Carbohydrates: 271g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 924mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 233g | Vitamin A: 713IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 8mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.