Homemade chocolate buttercream frosting comes together easily and tastes so much better than the canned variety. Make this recipe and taste the difference!
As a child, I was always more into pie than cake. Lemon Meringue, especially. It wasn’t until I reached adulthood that I realized it wasn’t really cake’s fault.
It was the fault of the frosting. More specifically, canned frosting. Or worse, that greasy stuff the grocery store used back in the 80s.
Homemade Buttercream, however, that is where it’s at. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. At least not until 2010, when, in an effort to save money and eat more healthfully, I perfected homemade frosting.
I may have been a little late to the party. But that’s okay. Still tastes amazing.
I’ve shared with you my Homemade Buttercream Frosting which is pretty awesome. But what if someone in the house wants chocolate though? Do what I do: I stick to my old standby, but mix in 1/2 cup of cocoa.
Oh my! Heaven on a spoon. This stuff tastes amazingly amazing.
Ingredients needed for this easy chocolate buttercream frosting:
- Butter (make sure it’s softened to room temperature)
- Powdered (or confectioner’s) sugar
- Cocoa powder
- Milk or half and half
- Vanilla extract (or you can switch things up and use mint extract)
How to make this chocolate buttercream:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add three cups sugar, the cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon milk, and the vanilla extract.
Beat until combined and fluffy.
Adjust with more sugar or milk, depending on what consistency you’re looking for.
This chocolate buttercream comes together very easily — and it’s so much tastier than what comes in a can! Plus, it’s real food.
How much frosting does this make?
This recipe frosts about 18 cupcakes. For a nine-inch, two-layer cake, make 1 1/2 batches for generous coverage. A single batch will frost a naked cake.
Alternatively, you can make a single batch and a separate filling for between the layers. That’s what my daughter and I did for this layer cake. We smooshed some cream cheese frosting and jam in the middle.
What can I use this chocolate buttercream for?
Oh well anything your frosting heart desires! It would be delicious on my Chocolate Zucchini Cake (Made With a Cake Mix!), or if you want to make one from scratch then try this homemade Chocolate Zucchini Cake version.
Does buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated?
There is a little bit of milk in this frosting recipe but it will be fine at room temperature for a few days. Any longer and it should be refrigerated.
How long does chocolate buttercream last?
It can last in your refrigerator for about 1 week. But it can also be frozen up to 3 months. When ready to use, just thaw in your refrigerator and then re-whip back to its original consistency.
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the price of butter and sugar is important.
- Buying in bulk – I buy my butter in big ginormous packs at Costco. It offers the best unit price in my neighborhood. If you don’t go through butter very fast, just freeze it, packaging and all. Thaw in the fridge or on the counter when you’re ready to use it.
How I make this recipe easy:
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
- a large mixing bowl – here’s the Pyrex one I have.
- a hand mixer
- a sifter – The powdered sugar must be sifted!
Want to make your cakes pretty?
I’m a self-taught cake decorator. I never took a class (obviously), but through trial and error have figured out how to make it work. My kids are thrilled with the themed birthday cakes I’ve made over the years.
Here are some tools and ingredients that I’ve found helpful:
Easy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup butter softened
- 3-4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-2 tbsp milk or half and half
- 1 tsp vanilla extract you can use mint extract, too, if you'd rather
- In large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add three cups sugar, cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon milk, and vanilla extract.
- Beat until combined and fluffy.
- Adjust with more sugar or milk, depending on what consistency you're looking for.
- Storage: There is a little bit of milk in this frosting recipe but it will be fine at room temperature for a few days. Any longer and it should be refrigerated.
- Make Ahead: It can last in your refrigerator for about 1 week. But it can also be frozen up to 3 months. When ready to use, just thaw in your refrigerator and then re-whip back to its original consistency.