Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

If you think plain cream cheese frosting is the best, wait until you try chocolate cream cheese frosting! It’s silky, undeniably creamy, and the flavor is absolutely delicious.

Creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

If we think regular cream cheese frosting is the best, we’re definitely backwards. Because this chocolate cream cheese frosting is, in fact, the best in the biz.

  • it’s silky smooth
  • and pipe-able with your favorite piping tips
  • it’s rich and easily spreads
  • and creamier than any chocolate frosting you’ve had before
  • you’ll want to eat it with a spoon!!

Tip for piping cream cheese frosting: Refrigerate the frosting inside the piping bag for at least 30 minutes prior to piping. Cream cheese frosting holds its shape much better when it’s piped cold.

Creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Unlike most frostings, chocolate cream cheese frosting is not overly sweet. Rather, its sweet and tangy flavors are perfectly balanced and it tastes much better than buttercream on even the sweetest of cakes!

What Tastes Best with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting?

Besides zebra cake, you’ll also love it with:

Silky and creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

If you’re in the mood for vanilla, here is my plain cream cheese frosting recipe.

Avoid Runny Cream Cheese Frosting

Make sure you’re using a block of cream cheese, not cream cheese spread.

  • Cream cheese is sold in 8 ounce blocks– and you’ll need 1 and 1/2 blocks of the full-fat stuff. I’ve gotten many questions about cream cheese frosting being too runny and the #1 reason is because bakers have accidentally been using the spread instead of the block.

There’s a HUGE difference!

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chocolate cream cheese frosting in a glass bowl and on a whisk attachment

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 cups

Description

Chocolate cream cheese frosting is silky, undeniably creamy, and absolutely delicious.


Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (335g) full fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature*
  • 3/4 cup (175g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2/3 cup (52g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Beat in the butter until combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, 1 Tablespoon milk, and salt and beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy. Add 1 more Tablespoon of milk to slightly thin out, if desired. Taste, then add another pinch of salt if desired.
  2. Cover and store leftover frosting for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting for a few seconds so it’s creamy again.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Cover and store leftover frosting for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting for a few seconds so it’s creamy again.
  2. Cream Cheese: Make sure you’re using the blocks of cream cheese, not cream cheese spread. They’re typically sold in 8 ounce blocks, so you’ll need 1 and 1/2 blocks.
  3. Tip for Piping Cream Cheese Frosting: Refrigerate the frosting inside the piping bag for at least 30 minutes prior to piping. Cream cheese frosting holds its shape much better when it’s piped cold.
  4. This recipe is enough to frost 18-24 cupcakes, one 9×13-inch sheet cake, or one 3 layer cake.

107 Comments

  1. Hey Sally (and Sally’s baking team :D) Quick question; I’d like to use this chocolate cream cheese frosting on your Pinata Cake for my birthday and I was wondering if a double recipe would suffice as a substitute for the buttercream in the recipe?

    Also, I would just like to say that this is by far my favorite frosting recipe and I use it or the original cream cheese frosting on nearly every cake I make 🙂 I never suspected that tangy cream cheese and decadent chocolate could compliment each other so well, but it’s absolutley delicous!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah, We are so glad you enjoy this frosting! As written this frosting is enough for a three layer cake, doubling it should be plenty for the pinata cake! If you have leftovers, it freezes well 🙂

      1. Hi Sally!
        I just made it last week for my little one and we loved it!
        For how long can i keep it freeze?
        Thank you so much!
        🙂

  2. Is this enough for a 9” 2 layer cake?

  3. Do you think this could be made with coconut milk instead of half and half?

  4. Martha Blakely says:

    I love this recipe- decadent chocolate meets creamy, tangy cream cheese (most of it didn’t make it onto the cake)

  5. Hi Sally! Will this frosting “set” as a crumb coat and then a final layer of frosting? I’m assuming yes because it does have butter, but I’m planning to use it to make a striped cake (using a frosting comb), so I would need it to almost harden a bit in the fridge to achieve the look I’m going for. Thanks!!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laura, Cream cheese frosting won’t crust or get as hard as a buttercream. You can definitely try to refrigerate or even freeze it to help it harden before making your stripes. Let us know if you try it!

  6. David Hamilton says:

    I made this frosting this morning. I had no unsalted butter and was too lazy to go get some. I used the salted butter I had but did not add the pinch of salt. It worked for me.

    I also put it in the fridge for a few minutes before using it. Again, it worked for me.

  7. Will this frosting hold up if I pour a chocolate ganache over the top?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Priscilla, Yes it will! Yuu will want to make sure the frosting on the cake is cold, so place your frosted cake in the refrigerator to cool it, and then make sure you let your ganache cool down a bit after making so it’s not too hot that it melts the frosting. Enjoy!

  8. Gretchen Cristobal says:

    Hi Sally. Can I use brown butter in this recipe?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      No, you need to use confectioners’ or powdered sugar for this frosting.

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