Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This easy chocolate buttercream frosting is silky chocolate perfection! Made with cocoa powder, this not too sweet frosting is perfect for any cake or cupcake!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 24 cupcakes


  • 1 cup salted butter1 (at room temperature)
  • 3 ½-4 cups powdered sugar2
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk, half-and-half, or cream3


  1. With an electric mixer (either hand or stand), beat butter until pale, about 3-4 minutes on medium.
  2. Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Add 3½ cups powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk.
  4. Mix on low until powdered sugar and cocoa powder are incorporated.
  5. If the frosting is too dry, add another tablespoon of milk. If the frosting is too wet, add powdered sugar 2 tablespoons at a time until it reaches a spreadable consistency.


  • You can use unsalted butter along with a couple pinches of salt. Also, be sure to have your butter at the right temperature. Room temperature means the butter should be about 72 F. The butter should give a little when pressed but should hold its shape overall. The butter shouldn’t be soft and melty.
  • Third, if your powdered sugar and/or cocoa powder are lumpy, sift them before adding them into the butter. It will help them incorporate more easily into the butter.
  • Using heavy cream will give you a slightly lighter, fluffier frosting. However, milk or half-and-half will also work.
  • The difference in the color of the frostings pictured is the result of using different brands of cocoa powder.
  • Nutrition facts have been estimated.

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Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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