Go Back
+ servings
chocolate buttercream on chocolate cupcakes
Print Recipe
4.98 from 43 votes

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This light and fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting is a simple and classic frosting for cakes and cupcakes and filling for cookies. Plus, with only four ingredients this easy recipe can be made in less than 10 minutes! 
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24
Calories: 145kcal


  • 2 sticks butter 1 cup, softened
  • 1 pound powdered sugar 16 oz , 3.5-4 cups
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons milk or heavy whipping cream up to 1/4 cup, optional
  • 1/4 tsp salt optional, if using unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla optional


  • Using a standing or handheld mixer, mix butter on medium until light and creamy. About 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn off mixer and add powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Mix on low until it starts to combine, about 1 minute. It might start to look crumbly, this is normal, just keep mixing.
  • Once the frosting has started to come together, turn speed to medium and continue mixing until fully combined.
  • For a lighter frosting, add 1-2 tablespoons milk or cream and continue mixer another minute.


  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature. You want it soft so it incorporates the sugar. 
  • Mixing the butter for a few minutes before you add the powdered sugar makes for a very light and fluffy frosting
  • Out of cocoa powder? Use 6 oz of your favorite melted chocolate chocolate instead! Just make sure the melted chocolate has cooled to about 75- 80℉  (so it is barely warm to the touch). That way it doesn’t melt the butter when you mix it in.
  • If either the cocoa powder or powdered sugar is old and lumpy, you’ll want to sift it before adding it to the butter to ensure you have a smooth and lump free frosting.
  • Chocolate buttercream is great for making black frosting! You’ll still need to add black food coloring, but you’ll have to add way less than if you try to color vanilla frosting black.
  •  This can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and up to three months in the freezer. Make sure it is very tightly covered with plastic wrap and/or in freezer bags so the butter does not take on any additional flavors.
  • More Questions? Check out this American buttercream frosting recipe for more common American buttercream questions and answers such as how much a typical batch of frosting will cover, and how long frosted cakes and cupcakes can sit out. 


Serving: 2Tbps | Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 29mg | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg