Chocolate buttercream is something of a must in your baking repertoire. So it’s good to find a reliable recipe that’s both easy to execute and flexible. You can use chocolate buttercream to frost a classic round chocolate cake or a sheet cake of another flavour, or to pipe on cupcakes. It’s a simple way to make both the kids and the adults happy.

We’ve been using this beloved recipe for both the cake and the frosting for a while now. It yields a beautiful and delicious chocolate frosting but is admittedly rather involved—melting the chocolate just right, plus the addition of an egg and some coffee which some people might make a face at. And yet creating a simpler chocolate buttercream that isn’t just all a ton of powdered sugar has not been easy either! Enter our new recipe for Chocolate Buttercream.

You will need just a stand mixer or a hand mixer, or get a mini arm workout and just whip this up by hand using a sturdy whisk and a good bowl. There is no melting of any chocolate, as you will be using cocoa powder instead. It’s the chocolate buttercream of your dreams—thick yet airy, not too sweet, even slightly salty. Buttery and creamy in the mouth, with a rich, deep chocolate flavor that’s quite frankly, addicting.

Chocolate Buttercream

1 cup softened but cool butter (salted)
1/4 cup good whipping cream (very cold)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Extra whipping cream


1. Measure the cocoa powder and the powdered sugar and put in separate bowls. Use a whisk to break up any lumps. Set aside.

2. Whip the butter, whipping cream and salt together until light and somewhat fluffy.

3. Add the cocoa powder in several batches and whip on medium speed. Add the powdered sugar the same way. Whip until fully incorporated into the butter and the frosting is airy. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer this should take just a few minutes, and longer if whipping by hand. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

4. Taste the frosting and decide if you want to add just a bit more powdered sugar. We also recommend adding up to 1/4 cup of extra whipping cream for an even airier, creamier frosting, although this is entirely optional.

5. Use immediately as frosting on completely cooled cake layers or pipe on cupcakes.


1. This recipe can generously frost a two layer 9-inch cake.

2. The frosting hardens in the fridge and will soften again if popped in the microwave for a few seconds or allowed to soften at room temperature.


P.S. How to frost a cake like a pro.

*Photo by Ina Amor Mejia.