This is my absolute favorite chocolate buttercream frosting from scratch. It is rich, creamy and a chocolate lovers dream. It’s great for frosting cakes and cupcakes.
Oh, how I love chocolate! And this my friends, is my favorite chocolate frosting. It is one of my favorite ways to eat chocolate. Creamed with butter, flavored with vanilla, and mixed until smooth and creamy. Top it on cakes, cupcakes, in between cookies, however you can think of. My mom used to make this chocolate frosting when I was little and I loved licking the bowl! Remember those days? Now with 4 kids, if I want to lick the bowl I have to hide in my closet. But, somedays just call for licking chocolate bowls in the closet.
How to make chocolate frosting from scratch
Homemade chocolate frosting is really easy to make and you only need a few ingredients and a mixer. You can use a handheld mixer or a stand mixer.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
- butter (salted and room temperature)
- powdered sugar
- cocoa (unsweetened)
- vanilla flavoring
Make sure your butter is room temperature before you start so you’ll end up with smooth and creamy frosting. When your butter is room temperature, mix together the butter and vanilla.
Next, with your mixer on low, slowly add the powdered sugar and cocoa. Mix all the ingredients together until you have smooth and creamy chocolate frosting.
Tips for making chocolate buttercream frosting from scratch
- Always use room temperature butter. Cold butter will be harder to mix and will not produce a smooth, creamy frosting.
- Always use real butter. Do not use margarine or butter substitute. Use real butter.
- Use salted butter. I always use salted butter in my chocolate frosting. I’ve always preferred the taste of salted butter in my buttercream over using unsalted butter and adding salt.
- Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa. For extra smooth frosting, sift your powdered sugar and cocoa before mixing to remove any lumps.
- The cocoa matters. There are several different cocoa powders out there. For this recipe I use unsweetened cocoa.
Can frosting be made in advance?
Chocolate buttercream frosting or any buttercream frosting can be made in advance. As long as it is properly stored it can be made ahead of time.
How do you store chocolate buttercream frosting?
Frosting made with butter has a pretty long shelf life. If you have leftover chocolate frosting you should store it in an airtight container. Homemade frosting can sit out on the counter for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. When you’re ready to use it again, bring it to room temperature and re-mix. But, if I had to guess, you won’t have any leftovers!
Can you freeze homemade frosting?
Yes, you can freeze frosting as well. Make sure you store your frosting in an airtight container and it will last up to 3 months. When your ready to use, let it thaw in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature, and re- mix it.
Decorating cakes with chocolate buttercream frosting
For frosting cakes, you’ll want a thinner consistency frosting. To thin out your frosting, add milk or half and half by the tablespoon until your frosting is at a spreadable consistency. Using a cake spatula, spread out your frosting evenly over your cake.
My favorite tools for frosting cakes:
Piping with chocolate buttercream frosting
When piping with chocolate frosting, you’ll want a thicker consistency. Your frosting should be thick and piping consistency when your done mixing it. If you need to thicken your frosting from a thin consistency, add a 1/4 cup of powdered sugar at a time until you reach piping consistency.
My favorite piping tips for piping frosting on cupcakes:
More recipes you’ll love:
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting From Scratch
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2-4 Tbsp milk or half and half
- In a medium bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and vanilla until butter is creamy.
- With mixer on low, slowly add powdered sugar and cocoa until frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Add milk or half and half until you have your desired consistency.
- Makes enough frosting to cover a 2 layer, 8 inch cake or 24 cupcakes.
Happy baking and decorating!