Chocolate buttercream is the perfect topping to so many cakes, cupcakes and cookies. This recipe is great for piping, isn’t too sweet and you can adjust the level of chocolate to your liking.
Making chocolate buttercream is a snap to do and it is so much better than what you can get in those tubs from the store. The best part is how customizable it is.
You can make it lightly chocolate, almost like a mouse. Or you can make it super chocolaty. Plus using cocoa powder really helps keep the frosting from getting too sweet. I’ll show you some variations so you can make your best frosting!
It is funny how history has a way of repeating itself! Especially in my life, I guess I am not that creative after all.
If something really works, I gravitate towards it. So when my family was throwing a hootenanny and celebrating my grandma’s 84th birthday I knew I had to make a cake.
Originally I was going to bring a cake called a hootenanny cake. It seemed appropriate for the party and was something a bit different than I normally make.
But after baking it, I was not impressed with the results. I couldn’t bring myself to present it at the party, I have a reputation to uphold and subpar baked goods just aren’t going to cut it!
So in a last minute pinch, I scrambled. Luckily I had a guitar cake pan in the basement, so I know I could still pull something off that would fit the theme.
But what kind of cake? Of course my absolute go to cake, the devilishly good chocolate cake. It has never failed me yet and is so easy to put together.
Of course a couple of tones of chocolate buttercream on top would help give the guitar it’s look. So I pulled up this recipe and went to work.
Adjusting the Chocolate Flavor With Cocoa Powder
I made a double batch, taking out about 3/4 of a cup of buttercream before I added the cocoa powder for the strings and lettering. Then I added some cocoa powder for the lighter parts of the guitar.
Once that part was done I added more cocoa powder for the darker parts. That is what I love about this recipe, you can make it as dark and chocolaty as you would like.
The bitter cocoa powder also helps cut the super sweet powdered sugar. So you are easily able to make frosting as stiff as you’d like without it being tooth achingly sweet.
In fact, if you go really dark you may want to taste it and make sure it is sweet enough. You can always add a bit more powdered sugar and a splash of milk until you get it just right.
It seems that the devilishly good chocolate cake and chocolate buttercream combo is a favorite birthday cake combo for me, as the first time I posted this recipe it was the same combo for Little Dude’s birthday party a few years back.
How do you store buttercream?
Buttercream can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Or freeze it for up to 3 months. Bring chilled buttercream to room temperature and give it a quick stir before using it.
More Great Chocolate Frosting Recipes
If you would like a little bit of tang in your frosting, try making chocolate cream cheese icing. It is not a good choice for piping, but is great for spreading over a cake.
If you are a frosting fanatic like me, check out my Frosting 101. It goes through the different types of frosting and links to all sorts of delicious recipes!
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup butter softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder*
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons milk plus more as necessary
- Cream butter until smooth and fluffy.1 cup butter
- Add remaining ingredients and beat until completely combined. Start with 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and work your way up until you have it where you want it.4 cups powdered sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder*, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 Tablespoons milk
- Adjust the final consistency with a bit more milk or powdered sugar as needed.
- Frost your cake or cupcakes right away or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- To use from the refrigerator, bring to room temperature and then beat for a minute or two or until fluffy again before using.