Favorite Chocolate Buttercream

Deliciously soft, creamy, silky, and easy PERFECT chocolate buttercream recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here we go! This is my favorite chocolate buttercream recipe. I’m tempted to call it a “basic” chocolate buttercream, but it’s anything but– it’s incredibly CREAMY, silky, smooth, and rich. Like a decadent brownie in frosting form. Melts in your mouth and is unbelievable on chocolate cupcakes.

Deliciously soft, creamy, silky, and easy PERFECT chocolate buttercream recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Even though it’s a wonderfully creamy chocolate buttercream, it holds its shape beautifully. So it’s perfect for piping even the most intricate and fancy designs.

What Tastes Best with Chocolate Buttercream?

I’ve made this chocolate buttercream more times than I can count, but I love it with:

  1. Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
  2. Yellow Cupcakes
  3. Coconut Cupcakes
  4. Pumpkin Cupcakes
  5. Banana Cupcakes
  6. Chocolate Cupcakes
  7. If you scale it up, you can use it to frost a layered cake, like I do with my chocolate cake

Dive into this chocolate decadence!

Deliciously soft, creamy, silky, and easy PERFECT chocolate buttercream recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Chocolate buttercream recipe

Favorite Chocolate Buttercream

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2.5 cups
  • Category: Frosting
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This is my favorite chocolate buttercream recipe. It’s incredibly rich, creamy, silky, smooth, and easy to work with for decorating cakes and cupcakes!


  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup (45g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 1 full minute. Add 1/4 cup more confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick.
  2. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing or refrigerating, thaw in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature then beat the frosting for a few seconds so it’s creamy again. You may need to add a little milk if it’s still too stiff.


  1. Quantity: This recipe is enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes or one 9×13 quarter sheet cake. Follow these ratios for a 2 layer cake and these ratios for a 3 or 4 layer cake.

And here is my favorite vanilla buttercream recipe!

Deliciously soft, creamy, and easy PERFECT vanilla buttercream recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Deliciously soft, creamy, silky, and easy PERFECT chocolate buttercream recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com


  1. I just found your website about three weeks ago and I tried this recipe along with the vanilla buttercream frosting recipe last night, I made it into the cake version and it was my first time making a homemade cake and frosting, it turned out perfect! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes, I’ll definitely be making this again and trying other ones.

    I also took your suggestion and bought the pans you recommended, love them!

    I do have a question about the vanilla buttercream recipe, do you think if I reduced the amount of confection sugar to 3.5 cups, it wouldn’t be sweet enough or it would have more of a buttery taste? 4.5 cups was just a little sweet for me and I added some salt as you suggested to make it less sweet but it was still a little sweet for me but the frosting was absolutely delicious.

    1. Hi Giselle, I’m so happy to hear that you baked a homemade cake and frosting for the first time! Yay! Buttercream frosting is very sweet and if you reduce the sugar that much it would be pretty thin. You can certainly try it, but if you want it to hold up well or pipe anything you will need the full 4.5 cups. You an also try cream cheese frosting as it’s a bit more tangy: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/favorite-cream-cheese-frosting/

      1. Thank you so much for your response, you answered my question and I’ll take your advice. I’ll also be sure to try your cream cheese frosting recipe, sounds amazing! Since my initial comment, I made your vanilla cake with the help of my kids again, they enjoyed being able to make them with me and they loved eating them even more! Today we’re making the chocolate cupcakes with “chocolate” buttercream! Yum! Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Worked perfect! I normally don’t care for buttercream and opt for cream cheese or ganache but the picture looked so nice that I tried it and it was delicious. Easy to pipe too! Thank you!

  3. I’m not a huge fan of buttercream – I prefer ganache or whipped cream, but I had a craving for a good old-fashioned chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream yesterday. I found this recipe for your favorite chocolate buttercream and whipped it up and I can honestly say it was perfect with my favorite chocolate cake recipe! Thank you so much, I’m definitely using this buttercream recipe again!

    1. You can, yes, but cacao powder tastes more bitter. That might be exactly what you crave in a sweet chocolate buttercream, though. Enjoy!

  4. SO GOOD! this is a delicious and super pipeable icing. I replaced 20 g of icing sugar with cocoa to make it extra chocolatey and dark (it was still plenty sweet), and followed the mixing times closely and it made a very beautiful dark rich icing. I also blitzed the cocoa powder and some of the icing sugar in a food processor before adding them to get rid of any lumps. Good reviews from everyone at the birthday party I brought the cupcakes to!

  5. Hi! Can I frost a cupcake night before and leave in a airtight container till next morning? I wanted to make these for my daughter’s preschool birthday party, but there won’t be time in the morning to frost and decorate.

  6. I made the chocolate butter cream frosting and a 2 layer cake today!! My first time Ever doing everything homemade and it was a huge success!! I’m so happy and it looked beautiful!! Thank you for sharing this recipe! I will definitely try your other recipes! It was AWESOME!

  7. I don’t exactly have enough vanilla extract to equal the amount needed for this recipe. Will that alter the consistency or taste too much?

  8. Sweet Success! Made this the morning of my 6 year olds party and it was delicious! Even better the next day. The kids loved it too! Followed the recipe completely. I’m the worst cook on earth and you make me look like I have talent. Thanks Sally!

  9. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe! And thank you for breaking it up into manageable and informative chunks. I am not a baker, but your directions made me feel confident.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally