This easy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is creamy, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth soft and is packed with deep chocolate flavor without being overly sweet.
You only need 5 ingredients to make this creamy chocolate buttercream frosting (and a spoon to eat it!) and it’s hassle-free to make because I use cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate.
This Creamy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is SO GOOD that it should legitimately come with a warning. Buttery, fluffy, creamy chocolate buttercream frosting with all the chocolate flavor that you’ll need. It pipes beautifully onto cakes and cupcakes, and is good enough to even eat on its own. 🙂
Whisk the cool butter with the cold cream until light and fluffy. This is the first step for an exceptional buttercream!
Chocolate frosting is easily my favorite type of frosting. Out of all the types of chocolate frosting out there, like chocolate Italian or Swiss meringue buttercream, chocolate French buttercream, fudgy chocolate buttercream frosting, chocolate whipped cream frosting, chocolate ganache frosting etc., this creamy chocolate buttercream frosting is my personal #1. And the fact that it’s the easiest out of all those to make, just makes it even better!
What makes this Creamy Chocolate Buttercream even better is that you can adjust it to your liking.
I change the amount of cocoa powder I add, to make this chocolate frosting two ways.
- A Dark Chocolate Buttercream – with extra cocoa powder, this buttercream is just as creamy and delicious with a little bitterness from the extra cocoa powder. It tastes like semi sweet chocolate buttercream.
- A Classic Chocolate Buttercream (or a sweeter chocolate buttercream) – made with less cocoa powder, this has the classic flavor of a sweet and chocolatey buttercream. Tastes almost like it’s made with milk chocolate.
Then add the cocoa powder…
Why is this creamy chocolate buttercream the best ever?
- This chocolate frosting is seriously super easy to make. This buttercream is made with cocoa powder, instead of melted chocolate. So there’s no hassle of melting and cooling chocolate. But do use a good cocoa powder, because that’s where all the chocolate flavor comes from.
- Speaking of, this chocolate frosting is really packed with some deep chocolate flavor. Since I’m using a whopping 3/4 of a cup of cocoa powder for the dark chocolate frosting, and 6 – 7 tbsp of cocoa powder for the sweeter chocolate frosting, there’s enough chocolatey goodness to go around.
- Using dutch cocoa means, that this frosting has a deeper chocolate flavor too. But if you only have natural cocoa at home, you can use that instead.
- Just like my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe, this chocolate buttercream recipe is made with cool butter (not completely softened butter). This makes it wonderfully pipeable, BUT with a little extra milk or cream, it’s soft enough for old fashioned cakes too.
- This easy chocolate frosting needs ONLY 5 ingredients – Butter, Confectioner’s sugar, Cream, Cocoa powder, and Vanilla. You can add extra flavor if you want though, which brings me to my next point.
- This creamy chocolate buttercream frosting is very adaptable.
- Want an even softer and creamier frosting? Add more milk/cream.
- Want mocha buttercream frosting? Use 2 tsp of instant coffee that’s dissolved in 1 tbsp of cream or water, and add it to the mix.
- How about jaffa buttercream frosting? Add 2 – 3 tsp of orange extract (plus extra orange zest if you like too).
- And one of my favorites – brandy chocolate buttercream frosting! Add 2 – 3 tbsp of brandy to the frosting for a good dose of booze. You can sub the brandy with bourbon, or even rum or Irish whiskey too.
…followed by the confectioner’s sugar.
The butter for this buttercream frosting should be cool to start with. This is an important step. Usually buttercream recipes call for softened room temperature butter, but I find that if the butter is too soft, you have to add HEAPS of confectioner’s sugar to get the butter stiff enough for piping and creating creamy swirls. BUT, starting with butter that’s cool (not cold) and a little firm, gives you the best chocolate buttercream frosting that’s perfectly sweet, pipeable and swirl-able!
You can also change the consistency of this creamy chocolate buttercream frosting by changing the amount of liquid you add. 1/4 cup of cream is the minimum amount that I add. This obviously adds a creaminess to the buttercream as well. After this initial amount of cream, I add another dose of cream (after I’ve added the flavoring) to get the desired consistency.
If I’m making the sweeter chocolate buttercream, I don’t need to add as much of the extra cream as I would with the dark chocolate buttercream. This also depends on the season and ambient temperature. In the summer, I may not need any more cream because the butter will be softer and I won’t need more liquid to get a softer consistency. But in the winter, I may add the extra cream.
I used Callebaut cocoa powder to make this chocolate frosting. Callebaut cocoa powder is a dutch process cocoa powder. If you’re using a supermarket cocoa powder, PLEASE do measure the cocoa powder to get the best results. And if you prefer using cup measurements, be conservative with how much cocoa powder you add. 1 cup of gourmet cocoa powders like Callebaut or Valhrona weighs less than 1 cup of supermarket brand cocoa powders like Nestle or Hersheys.
This really is the BEST chocolate frosting! You may need to grab a spoon because it’s inevitable that you’ll be licking chocolate frosting off the back of it! 🙂 And it’s even better on cakes.
Easy Creamy Chocolate Buttercream FrostingPrint
- 8 oz cool, unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/4 cup whipping cream chilled
- 2.6 oz dutch cocoa powder (3/4 cup) FOR A DARK CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM sifted, OR
- 1.3 oz dutch cocoa powder (6 tbsp) FOR A SWEETER, MILK CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM sifted (see notes)
- 10 oz confectioner's sugar sifted
- 1 tbsp vanilla (reduce to 1 tsp, if using brandy)
- 2 tbsp brandy or bourbon optional
- 1/4 cup extra whipping cream chilled
Place the butter and salt in a mixing bowl. With the whisk attachment, whisk the butter until creamy, light and fluffy - about 3 to 5 minutes on medium high speed. Add the cream and whisk for a further couple of minutes. (SEE NOTES)
Lower the speed of the mixer and add the sifted cocoa powder and let it whisk in and get fully incorporated. Add the confectioner's sugar in 3 - 4 additions and mix until it's completely mixed in - this should take only a couple of minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides for any sugar and cocoa that's stuck on the bottom or the sides of the bowl.
Add the flavoring - 2 tsp vanilla + brandy or bourbon. Turn on the mixer to medium high speed and whisk the buttercream for a further 3 - 5 minutes, until the buttercream is light, fluffy and creamy. Add more cream as needed while whisking, but be careful not to add too much as it can cause splitting.
Optional step (but recommended) - since the buttercream will have a lot of air incorporated into it, you can switch over to the paddle beater and mix the butter cream on medium high speed for a couple of minutes to “break” some of the air bubbles in the frosting. This way your frosting will still be creamy, but with less “bubbles”.
Use the chocolate frosting as needed. You can store it, covered, in the fridge if required, but allow the buttercream to thaw slightly and then whisk/paddle beat the frosting again until creamy and fluffy.
Notes on Butter
If you are using butter that is soft (not cold, but has gotten softer at room temperature), make sure to mix it less to avoid the buttercream from splitting. I
Notes on Cocoa Powder
You can use dutch cocoa powder or natural cocoa powder for this recipe. I prefer using dutch cocoa powder, but they interchangeable for this recipe. Use weighed amounts of cocoa powder for this recipe. Volume of cocoa powder varies greatly between dutch cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder.
For a lighter, sweeter chocolate buttercream - use 38 g or 1.3 oz of dutch cocoa powder (about 6 tbsp)
For a darker chocolate buttercream (less sweet, and more chocolatey) - use 2.6 oz / 75 g of dutch cocoa powder (about 3/4 cup)
Mocha buttercream - use 2 tsp of instant coffee that's dissolved in 1 tbsp of water, and add it to the mix in place of the brandy/bourbon.
Jaffa buttercream frosting - add 2 - 3 tsp of orange extract (plus 1 tbsp orange zest if you like too).
Other alcohol options - add 2 - 3 tbsp of bourbon or rum instead of the brandy.
Mexican chocolate buttercream - add 1 tsp ground cinnamon to the frosting. Plus 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper for a spiced version.
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