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– just as Swiss meringue buttercream does. This is simply 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 love your frostings, Sally and especially how you always use them to decorate cupcakes. I need to hone my frosting skills a little more – huge swirls of frosting atop a little cupcake are the best!

  2. Sally, I don’t like a super sweet buttercream. So instead of adding cocoa powder to a lot of sugar, can I just replace some of the powdered sugar with cocoa powder and add less cream? You’re the frosting expert, please answer! Haha.

    1. That would work, yes, but you’ll have less frosting– and it will be slightly greasy because of all the butter (and not enough dry ingredients).

  3. I’m going to make this chocolate but was wondering if you mnew a recipe for frosting  that is good to make flowers with! I’m still learning to decorate. Teaching myself would be easier if I could find the right recipe for frosting I can use. Thank you for your time Debra

  4. Hi Sally,
    Any ideas for less sugary frostings? I.e., less than a cup of powdered sugar? Like Mily I don’t like it super sweet…or the guilty feeling when I eatmore than one frosted treat!

    1. I always halve the sugar in any frosting recipe, which leaves it plenty sweet. Of course, I get a little less frosting that way, but I don’t like them super sweet either.

  5. I was looking for a frosting recipe to go with a chocolate birthday cake and cupcakes.
    This is great! I love the texture of it.

  6. I just made this frosting, and the taste and texture are perfect!! What are your thoughts about storing it, if I’m making the cupcakes to serve the following day? Refrigerator or room temperature?

  7. Sorry if you stated previously Sally, but what Wilton Tip # did you use to frost these delicious looking  chocolate cupcakes? 

  8. Hello Sally,

    I have a handheld mixer, and I do not have a paddle attachment. I was wondering if Hamilton Beach’s “soft scrape beaters” would do the job ? I would really appreciate a response (:

  9. Made these last night to take to the office – just because I love to bake 🙂 OMG! They are wonderful and were a huge hit! Definitely will make these again. Thank you, Sally!

  10. Hello sally,
    Just checking If I don’t not use heavy milk, normal milk as stated is it going to work out fine too the frosting? 

  11. Would the buttercraem be ok to make and store in a container over night ready for wedding the next day? I don’t want to make everyone ill ?

  12. I don’t have a paddle attachment for my mixer.  Can I still make this icing? What would the difference be if I just used the regular mixer attachments? 

  13. Hello, can I still make this butyercream, if I don’t have a paddle attachment. The only thing I have is a Hand Mixer with the regular attachment. Thank you.

  14. Made these with these cupcakes and came out great!  Hit at my 3 year olds birthday.  I just put an M&M on each one.  I whipped by hand.https://www.google.com/amp/www.food.com/amp/recipe/moist-deluxe-dark-chocolate-cake-mix-copycat-duncan-hines-129855

  15. This frosting is amazing made some tonight and paired it with yellow cupcakes Yum!! i was wondering if you knew the nutritional value or the calorie content of the frosting?

    1. Hi Kristen! Calorie counting calculators online can often be inaccurate (different brands/products/etc) and I would hate to publish wrong information on my website. Sometimes I share an estimate, but that’s rare– feel free to calculate at your own discretion!

  16. I made this as well as your vanilla buttercream to frost some cupcakes we’re taking to a BBQ…I’ve never seen my husband so enthusiastic about licking the frosting bowl!

  17. Hey Sally….does this hold up well in 80 degree weather.  Wedding in a barn this weekend and no AC.  I know my normal frosting will melt.  Thanks. Claire 

  18. Love your recipes…they print out beautifully (for those of us that like a printed copy)…and I own some of your books.  Frosting question (I haven’t made frosting since 4H) – if I frost brownies with this recipe, can I wrap individual frosted brownies?  I’m doing a little fall bazaar at a nursing home.  Wasn’t sure if the frosting will stick to the wrap or brownie.

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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