Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

If you're chocolate lover, plain vanilla frosting won't cut it, you need this homemade chocolate buttercream frosting recipe for all your cakes, cupcakes, or any dessert with frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Photo: Karla Conrad
Total Time:
15 mins
enough to frost tops and sides of two 8- or 9-inch cake layers


  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla

  • 5 cup powdered sugar, sifted

  • 5 tablespoon heavy cream

  • dash salt

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. In an extra-large bowl beat softened butter with a mixer on medium 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy.

  2. Beat in 1 cup powdered sugar. Add 3 Tbsp. heavy cream, 1 tsp. vanilla, and dash salt; beat on low until combined.

  3. Gradually beat in cocoa powder and 3 additional cups powdered sugar just until combined. Beat on medium 5 minutes or until fluffy, scraping bowl occasionally.

  4. Add 2 Tbsp. heavy cream; beat on high 1 minute more. (This frosts tops and sides of two 8- or 9-inch cake layers.) Makes 4 cups.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Prepare as directed, except add 3 Tbsp. heavy cream with the vanilla, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder with the 3 cups powdered sugar, and 2 Tbsp. heavy cream before beating on high 1 minute more. Makes 4 cups.

Almond Buttercream Frosting

Add 1/4 tsp. almond extract with the vanilla. Top frosted cake with toasted sliced almonds.

Citrus Buttercream Frosting

Beat in 1 to 2 tsp. lemon, lime, or orange zest with the butter. Top frosted cake with additional zest or quartered citrus slices.

Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Beat in 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder or instant coffee crystals with the vanilla. Top frosted cake with chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Strawberry Jam Buttercream Frosting

Beat 3 Tbsp. strawberry jam (large pieces snipped) into butter before adding powdered sugar. Top frosted cake with fresh strawberries.

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Substitute 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract for the vanilla. If desired, tint pink with red food coloring. Top frosted cake with crushed peppermint candies; press additional candies onto sides of cake.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

Substitute 1/4 cup peanut butter for 1/4 cup of the butter. Sprinkle cake with chopped peanuts.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

206 Calories
8g Fat
34g Carbs
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 206
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 86mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Calcium 10.1mg 1%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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