The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

10 mins read

It’s thick, it’s fluffy, it’s oh-so-fudgy. It’s my Dad’s magical chocolate buttercream frosting that’s truly love at first taste. I have a very special recipe coming your way tomorrow featuring this glorious chocolate frosting recipe (yes, there’s a hint in the photo below) but this frosting is too good not to have a post of its own.

If you’re used to buying the Betty Crocker or Pillsbury brand of pre-made frosting from the store, I’m sorry to say that this chocolate buttercream will ruin all other chocolate frostings for you. I mean, just LOOK at those beautiful swirls! You’ll 100% want to take a spoon to it and I’m not here to judge.

Growing up my Dad was always baking something incredible, which is how I found my love for baking. I often revisit his classic recipes to bring back memories of him, and I’m so honored to be able to share them with all of you. Start with this beautiful chocolate buttercream, use it on your fav baked treats, and come back tomorrow for an extra special dessert that’s perfect for sharing with loved ones.

chocolate buttercream frosting spread on yellow cake layers

Ingredients in the best chocolate buttercream frosting

This easy chocolate buttercream frosting recipe requires just 7 simple ingredients, and each one gives the frosting that rich, luscious flavor. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Butter: I like to use salted butter in most of my dessert recipes because it brings out and balances all of the sweetness. You’re welcome to use unsalted butter if you’d like.
  • Powdered sugar: the base of this chocolate fudge frosting is made with powdered sugar (aka confectioners’ sugar).
  • Cocoa powder: you’ll want to use a high-quality dutch unsweetened cocoa powder for that true chocolate flavor.
  • Coffee: the secret ingredient that makes this chocolate frosting unique? A little cooled coffee! Trust me, it tastes AMAZING. Dad always, always put coffee in his chocolate frosting.
  • Heavy cream: a few tablespoons of heavy cream or whole milk make this frosting extra smooth and creamy.
  • Flavor boosters: you’ll also need some vanilla extract and a little salt to bring the flavors together. Learn how to make your own vanilla here!

ingredients for chocolate buttercream in bowls

Can I make dairy free or vegan chocolate frosting?

Sure! Simply use a vegan buttery stick like Earth Balance in place of the regular butter and your choice of dairy-free milk in place of the heavy cream.

butter creamed in a bowl to make chocolate frosting

Perfect chocolate buttercream in 3 easy steps

  1. Cream the butter. Add your softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and cream it on high speed until it’s fluffy and lighter in color.
  2. Add the sugar & cocoa. Scrape down your bowl, then add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and start mixing it on medium low speed. Once they are incorporated with the butter, increase the speed to high until smooth.
  3. Add the liquids. Pour in the cooled coffee, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt, and beat the frosting on high until it’s nice and fluffy. Feel free to add a tablespoon more heavy cream to thin the frosting to your liking.

ingredients in a bowl to make homemade chocolate frosting

Can I use a hand mixer?

Yes! Feel free to add the ingredients to a large bowl and make this chocolate frosting with a hand mixer if you do not have a stand mixer.

Tips for fluffy chocolate frosting

  • Use room temp ingredients. Be sure to leave your butter out at room temperature for about an hour so that it’s neither too cold nor too warm when you use it. When you press on the stick with your finger it should leave a little indent. Do not microwave the butter to bring it to room temp as parts of it will melt and not give you the right consistency. Make sure your coffee is also at room temperature — do not use hot coffee, and do not use it straight from the refrigerator as it will be too cold.
  • Start low, end high. When beating together the ingredients, you’ll want to start on low speed to let the ingredients incorporate, and then end on high speed to create those beautiful peaks.
  • Add milk as desired. Once you’ve beaten together the frosting, feel free to add another tablespoon of milk if you want the frosting to be a bit thinner.

chocolate fudge frosting whipped in a bowl

Don’t forget this trick for frosting your cake

I like to do a crumb coat on my layered cake so that they have that clean bakery look. To do so:

  1. Use an offset spatula to frost each layer as you normally would, then frost the outside of the cake with a very thin layer of frosting.
  2. Place the cake in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. This is so that the crumbs stick to the thin layer of frosting and not your main layer.
  3. Frost the outside of the cake with the rest of the frosting and serve!

fluffy chocolate buttercream in a bowl with a spoon

Delicious ways to use this chocolate frosting

the best chocolate frosting in a bowl with a spoon

How to store homemade chocolate buttercream frosting

  • At room temperature: this chocolate fudge frosting will stay good at room temp for about a day on a cake.
  • In the fridge: feel free to keep the frosting in the fridge for up to a week if you’re looking to prepare it ahead of time. Let the frosting come to room temp before using it. After you’ve frosted your cake or another dessert, I also recommend storing the cake in the fridge after one day.

Freezer-friendly chocolate frosting

You can freeze this chocolate buttercream frosting for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer-friendly bag. When you’re ready to use it, simply let it thaw in the refrigerator, let it come to room temp, and then re-whip it in your electric mixer.

easy chocolate buttercream in a bowl with a spoon

More frosting recipes to try

Plus, get all of my cake recipes here!

I hope you love this homemade chocolate buttercream frosting! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Dad’s Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

chocolate buttercream frosting in a bowl with a spoon

Prep Time 10 minutes

Total Time 10 minutes

Serves16 servings

My Dad’s incredible chocolate buttercream frosting is made with simple ingredients and filled with rich chocolate flavor. This deliciously fudgy chocolate frosting recipe will be your new go-to for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more! Skip the store-bought frosting for good.


  • 1 cup (226g) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups (396g to 452g) powdered sugar, depending on how sweet you like your frosting
  • ¾ cup (60g) dutch unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons leftover cooled coffee, at room temperature
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream (or whole milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  • Add the softened butter to the bowl of an electric mixer. Cream butter on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes until it lightens in color and is nice and fluffy. Scrape the bowl down, then add in powdered sugar and cocoa powder and mix on medium low speed for roughly 30 seconds to incorporate into the butter, then increase to high and beat until mixture is well combined and smooth, about 1 more minute. Next add in the cooled coffee, heavy cream, vanilla and salt and beat again on high speed for 1 minute. If the frosting is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of heavy cream. Use on your favorite cakes, cupcakes, and more!

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

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