Front view of chocolate buttercream frosting piped into a tulip jar. Frosted funfetti cake and slices in the background.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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Today I’ve got some amazing, smooth and fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting. It’s super easy to make, with no melted chocolate required. Perfect for any chocolate lovers out there!

My chocolate buttercream is packed with chocolate but doesn’t require the hassle of melted chocolate. All you need is regular cocoa powder to make this easy frosting. Pair it with whatever you like but I love it with citrus, berry or spices.

When I decided to make my own recipe for chocolate frosting, I wanted to make sure the chocolate really shone and it was as chocolatey as possible. I also wanted to keep it simple which is why I didn’t add melted chocolate to this frosting. My recipe has more cocoa powder them most and I promise you will love it just for that reason!

If you’re interested in a lighter frosting option, then give my stabilized whipped cream a try! Super simple and doesn’t require any gelatin or cream cheese.

Overhead view of a bowl of smooth and silky chocolate buttercream frosting.

This frosting would go amazingly with my gingersnap pumpkin cupcakes, my chocolate cupcakes or my easy vanilla cupcakes.

You could also make cookie sandwiches with it. My chewy ginger molasses cookies would be amazing for this and wouldn’t be as sweet. Or for a citrus combo, try it with my chocolate chunk strawberry cookies or my orange chocolate chip pecan cookies.

This recipe makes about 4.5 cups of frosting which is enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes.

You should also be able to frost a 2 layer 9 inch cake. For other sizes or layer amounts, I highly recommend checking out Chelsweets buttercream calculator. It’s a great easy tool and she has everything you can think of in this post!

Front view of chocolate American buttercream piped in a swirl in a tulip jar. Frosted funfetti cake in the background.

Grainy frosting is honestly the hardest part about making frosting to me. Over the years, I have learned a few tricks including sifting your powdered sugar. You can also let the chocolate buttercream sit for a while in the fridge, allowing more of the sugar to dissolve.

I would say the most important step is properly mixing your frosting though. You want to beat the butter for at least 3 minutes initially to make it light and fluffy. Then add your sugar in parts allowing it to fully incorporate each time. Then, the most important step, beating for an additional 5 minutes at the end helps to make a super light frosting while allowing the sugar to fully incorporate.

So this is actually much easier then it seems. Get a large cup, I usually use one of my kids giant plastic cups from the movie theatre. Put your piping tip into your piping bag and then lay that end into the bottom of the cup. I fold it over so the tip portion is facing upwards, this way frosting won’t start leaking out the end.

Then fold the top of the bag over the top of the cup. This keeps the bag in place and helps keep you from overfilling the bag. Then scoop the frosting in until you’re almost at the top of the cup. Unfold the bag from the top of the cup, twist the top of the bag and clamp it with a chip clip. You’re ready to pipe!

Front view of creamy chocolate buttercream frosting on a slice of funfetti cake.

To ensure your frosting is light, fluffy and smooth, follow the above steps. Depending on the consistency you’re looking for, you may also need to add a couple extra tablespoons of milk depending on how stiff your buttercream is. If your frosting is too thick, it will be very hard to pipe or spread onto your baked goods.

To get a smooth frosting, once your done mixing, you’ll need to stir the frosting by hand with a spatula or wooden spoon for a couple minutes. This helps to get out big air bubbles ensuring a smooth piping experience.

  • Ensure you properly mix everything together and you beat the frosting for an additional 5 minutes at the end to ensure a smooth, fluffy frosting.
  • For smooth frosting, stir the frosting by hand once you’re done to get out big air pockets.
  • I create my recipes based off weights so I recommend measuring by weights if you own a scale. It’s actually so much easier and makes for much less cleanup. I wish I had baked by weight from the beginning, I could never go back now.
Overhead view of chocolate buttercream frosting piped into a tulip jar. Frosted funfetti cake slice in the background.

Today’s song is a classic from my childhood and it’s by a Canadian band! Here’s King for a Day by Crush. Happy baking!! **Disclaimer: Liv’s Little Muffins owns no rights to this song.

Don’t forget to leave a STAR REVIEW if you try my recipe! Follow me on Facebook or tag me on instagram @livslittlemuffins. Find more ideas on my Pinterest or Whisk.

Front view of chocolate buttercream frosting piped into a tulip jar. Frosted funfetti cake and slices in the background.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Olivia Daly
Amazingly smooth and fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting is super easy to make and perfect for any chocolate lovers out there! No melted chocolate required.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 12 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 4.5 cups


  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (125g) cocoa powder
  • 3 3/4 cups (525g) icing sugar sifted
  • 8-10 tbsp milk (not skim)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground espresso (optional, but recommended)


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, add the butter. Beat on medium high speed for 3 minutes. Add in the salt and cocoa powder and mix at low speed until incorporated.
  • Add in 1/4 of your sifted icing sugar and mix at low speed until incorporated. Add in 1-2 tbsp of milk here if you need too. Once incorporated, turn mixer to medium high for 10 seconds.
  • Add in the rest of your icing sugar in 3 parts, mixing in fully each time. Add in milk as you need too, 1 tbsp at a time. Add in your vanilla extract and espresso powder and beat on high for 30 seconds.
  • Check the consistency of your frosting, if it's too thick, add in more milk 1 tbsp at a time. I typically use 8 tbsp of milk total. Once your happy with the consistency, beat the frosting on medium high speed for an additional 5 minutes.
  • To get out air bubbles, mix the frosting by hand with a spatula for 2-3 minutes. This will be how you get a super smooth frosting. Then, add the frosting to a piping bag and use as desired. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months and enjoy!
Keyword chocolate American buttercream, Chocolate buttercream frosting
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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size4.5cups
Servings24 (3 tbsp)
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate25g
Dietary Fiber1g
Total Fat12g
Saturated Fat7g
Trans Fat0g

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