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 and yellow 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. Use immediately or cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting on medium speed for a few seconds so it’s creamy again. After thawing or refrigerating, beating in a splash of heavy cream or milk will help thin the frosting out again, if needed.


  1. Quantity: This recipe is enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes or a thin layer on a 9×13 inch 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


Comments are closed.

  1. Great recipe thank you so much. I only had 2 eggs on hand and I had remembered I could use applesauce for a substitute for the 3rd egg and OMG it was amazingly moist and so good.

    1. Wonderful recipe!

  2. This is such a delicious and easy recipe! Thanks so much!

  3. My favorite secret ingredient in chocolate frosting is to add in Kahlua. So I made this replacing the vanilla essence and some of the cream with Kahlua. Yum Yum Yum!

  4. Hey Sally
    Thanks so much for sharing your recipes, I have been following them for years with wonderful results. Just a question it possible to use double cream instead of heavy cream in the frosting? I know the fat content of double cream is higher, just wondering if that would ruin the frosting

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah, That should be fine for this frosting.

  5. This icing was amazing!!!!! I doubled the recipe and had plenty for a 3-layer, 9” round cake for my son’s birthday as well as had plenty left over to freeze. As far as taste, it was delicious! This will be my go-to recipe from now on.

  6. I made this and the chocolate chip cookie cake with my daughter. It was all fabulous. This buttercream tastes like eating fudge!

  7. It is sooo good!!!! This recipe is the best!!!!!

  8. UGH!! So good!!! My first time making home made frosting and it came out WONDERFUL with this recipe!! I’ll be sure to use this from now on, thank you so much!

  9. Is it possible to use almond milk as a substitute here or will it change the consistency too much? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You can use almond milk in a pinch, yes.

  10. Henry David says:

    Hi Sally, I love your site and recipes. Quick question, have you ever made a buttercream with chocolate ganache? I just have some left over american buttercream and I’m wondering if I can combine it with a chocolate ganache, any thoughts?

    1. I haven’t, actually! Adding a little shouldn’t be a problem. Make sure it’s cool before beating into the buttercream.

      1. Henry David says:

        Awesome, thanks!

  11. Hey sally, how many cupcakes would this recipe make?

  12. Arlene Sarenana says:

    Hi, have you ever covered a cake with fondant using this recipe?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes, this buttercream works well under fondant.

  13. Diane Matthews says:

    Hi Sally,
    I made the chocolate buttercream cake and chocolate buttercream frosting for my chocoholic sister’s birthday. She loved the cake. One thing I discussed with my sister who bakes often was to possibly drop the temperature to 325 degrees because I used a coated pan, and the cake was just a little bit drier than I would have liked. So, maybe that is something to add in your notes. I’m not a big baker, so I wasn’t aware to drop the temperature. I baked it at 350 for 34 min. In a 9 x 13 pan. Overall though it was a big hit with my sister and she told me it was fabulous. Thanks for the recipes and your recommendations. P.S. I did use the sour cream version you discussed.

  14. Should I store the frosted cake in the fridge or will it be okay on the counter for a few days?

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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