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The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

The best chocolate buttercream frosting with a rich chocolate flavor that's ready in 10 minutes! You'll want to eat this frosting on everything!

A bowl of the best chocolate buttercream frosting with a white napkin on the side.

Homemade chocolate buttercream frosting is made with cocoa and melted bittersweet chocolate, giving it a deep chocolate flavor.  The butter and half and half ensure that it's luscious, rich, and creamy.

That's why lots of folks have proclaimed this the BEST chocolate buttercream frosting!

I can literally eat this frosting right out of the bowl with a spoon, no cake needed!

If you do want cake though, you'll love this Moist Yellow Cake, which is the perfect base for the best chocolate buttercream frosting. You can use the cake recipe for cupcakes or layer cakes.

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Best Chocolate Cake - if you want chocolate all the way, then this is the recipe for you!

Helpful tools and ingredients:

  • Stand mixer - you can use a hand mixer for this homemade chocolate buttercream frosting recipe, but it's SO MUCH EASIER if you use a stand mixer!

Ingredients for the Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa
  • Bittersweet chocolate
  • Half-and-half (or cream or milk)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

How to Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Step 1. Melt chocolate squares in microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power, stir, then in 10 second increments at 50% power until fully melted. Set aside.

Step 2. Whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa over a sheet of parchment paper until there are no lumps in the cocoa.

Step 3. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter about 2 minutes, starting on low and raising to medium in the last minute. Toss in the pinch of salt while beating the butter. 

Step 4. Add the powdered sugar mixture, some half and half, and the vanilla extract and beat on low speed until combined, then increase the speed to medium for about 2 minutes.

Tip: You will need to stop periodically and scrape down the sides.

Step 5. Add the melted chocolate and beat on low speed until combined then increase speed to medium and beat 1-2 more minutes until fluffy.

A cake frosted with best chocolate buttercream frosting on a white platter.

Tip: You may need to add additional tablespoons of half and half if the frosting is too thick or dry.

Need more tips on how to use the Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting? Here's a great tutorial for How to Frost a Cake from the New York Times.

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A bowl of the best chocolate buttercream frosting with a white napkin on the side.

Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

5 from 1 vote
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This easy chocolate buttercream frosting is made with cocoa and melted bittersweet chocolate, giving it a deep, rich chocolate flavor.
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prep time: 10 mins
total time :10 mins
servings :3 cups
author: Lucy Brewer

Ingredients 

  • 5 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-8 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Melt chocolate squares in microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power, then again in 10 second increments at 50% power until fully melted. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa over a sheet of parchment paper until there are no lumps in the cocoa.
  • In bowl of stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter about 2 minutes, starting on low and raising to medium in the last minute. Toss in the pinch of salt while beating the butter. Add the powdered sugar mixture, 3 tablespoons half and half, and the vanilla extract.
  • Beat on low speed until combined and then increase speed to medium for about 2 minutes. You will need to stop periodically and scrape down the sides.
  • Add the melted chocolate and beat on low speed until combined then increase speed to medium and beat 1-2 more minutes until fluffy. You may need to add additional tablespoons of half and half if the frosting is too thick or dry.
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Nutrition
Serving: 3cupsCalories: 2133kcalCarbohydrates: 283gProtein: 10gSaturated Fat: 73gCholesterol: 258mgSodium: 41mgFiber: 13gSugar: 253g
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If you want something a little more complicated than this homemade chocolate buttercream frosting, but absolutely delicious, try Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Update Notes: This post was originally published May 7, 2015, and on May 31, 2019, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

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