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Smooth Chocolate Fudge Frosting

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Silky smooth and super chocolaty, this fudge frosting is perfect for piping out designs on cakes and cupcakes. Of course is spreads like a dream too, make a batch and see for yourself!

Swirl of piped chocolate fudge frosting with ruffled edges showing texture of icing.

Smooth chocolate fudge frosting is perfect for piping and is ready to decorate your layer cakes, cupcakes and cookies. This fudgy frosting recipe makes a luscious chocolate icing that has a bit of sheen and is silky smooth. It’s easy to make and delicious to eat too!

This is my new favorite chocolate frosting. It has a really creamy texture and rich chocolate flavor.

Ingredients, including powdered sugar, vanilla, butter, cocoa powder and coffee ready to be made into fudge frosting.

It has a full cup of cocoa in it for a rich chocolate flavor. All of that cocoa powder also gives it a nice deep color.

Of course you can use black cocoa powder or Dutch cocoa powder for an even darker color. Each has a slightly different flavor, but all will result in a delicious buttercream.

Mixer bowl filled with chocolate fudge frosting and mixer paddle showing creamy chocolate texture.

If you choose to make it with coffee, the flavor is even more intense. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like coffee. I just gives great depth of flavor to the chocolate.

Adding hot water or coffee helps to develop the cocoa powder a bit. It also gives the finished frosting that silky finish.

Whether you use coffee or water, it is silky smooth and a dream to decorate with.  If you are spreading it over a cake, you can do it while it is still warm.

That will help you to get a really nice finish. To pipe the frosting let it come back to room temperature or chill it a bit and then mix it one last time before loading your piping bag.

Hand holding mixer paddle with lots of fluffy fudge frosting on it.

One batch makes enough to very generously frost 24 cupcakes, but realistically it can do 36 cupcakes if you don’t pile it super high.  It is also plenty to fill, cover and decorate your favorite layer cake as well.

Of course you can cut the recipe in half if you would like. The ingredients all divide by two easily enough.

We tend to like to make the big batch and spread any extra frosting between two graham crackers. That is one of our all time favorite treats!

Piping bag filled with fudge frosting next to vanilla cupcakes topped with swirls of piped fudge frosting.

Ideas for using your fudge frosting:

Of course you can just pipe this fudge icing on cupcakes or spread it over a cake and leave it as is. But you can also use it to make cute designs on your cupcakes.

Cupcakes decorated like a turkey, rudolph the red nosed reindeer and monkeys all decorated with chocolate frosting.

This frosting would be a great base for making turkey cupcakes using candy corn and eyes as decoration. Or use it to decorate Rudolph the red nose reindeer cupcakes.

It would also be a great base for cupcakes decorated like monkeys. The possibilities really are endless.

If you are in the mood for a cake rather than cupcakes, it would be perfect on homemade butter cake. That recipe is my mom’s favorite birthday cake, the one her grandma made for her when she was a child.

My favorite chocolate cake recipe is chocolate crazy cake. It is super soft, moist and so easy to make.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store leftover frosting?

If you have extra frosting, put it in an airtight container and store it at room temperature for a couple of days. For longer storage, refrigerate it for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

What is the best way to get smooth perfect frostings?

Using room temperature butter is a great start. Cold butter is hard to get perfectly silky.

The hot water in this recipe helps to get a nice smooth frosting. But with most frosting recipes, the key is getting enough air to get it fluffy but not so much air that there are big bubbles.

Using a paddle attachment on your stand mixer is best, but you a hand mixer will also work.

Buttery cupcakes topped with chocolate fudge frosting for piping.

Tips and tricks:

  • If you are in a hurry (or your kitchen is warm from baking) you can speed up getting pipable frosting by putting it in the fridge for 10-20 minutes. Stir it every 5 minutes or so until you have the right consistency.
  • This frosting spreads great and pipes like a dream.
  • As the frosting sits, it does form a light crust. That makes transportation and storage easier!
  • The extra is fabulous between two Graham crackers.
Hand holding cupcake topped with a piped rosette of chocolate fudge frosting.

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!

Swirl of piped chocolate fudge frosting with ruffled edges showing texture of icing.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Servings: 24 Servings
Author: Carlee
This rich, smooth and creamy chocolate fudge frosting is perfect for piping. You can use it on your favorite cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Of course you can spread it too. It is the perfect way to finish your favorite desserts.
4.85 from 19 ratings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • cup hot coffee or hot water
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 pound bag powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional: 1 teaspoon coffee extract


  • Beat butter until smooth and creamy.
    1 cup butter
  • Add remaining ingredients to mixer.
    ⅔ cup hot coffee, 1 cup cocoa powder, 2 pound bag powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional: 1 teaspoon coffee extract
  • Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine and then on medium for 5 minutes. The mixture should be completely smooth.
  • Allow to sit until completely cooled to room temperature. To speed up the process, you can put the bowl in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  • Beat again until light and fluffy.
  • Pipe or spread on completely cooled cake.
  • Extras can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container. Just allow to come to room temperature and rewhip before using.


If you use unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to the frosting.



Serving: 1CupcakeCalories: 121kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 61mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Saturday 30th of March 2024

Came out great! Piped the outer edge and letters on a cookie cake. The consumer feedback was mixed, some folks thought it was PERFECTION others said the coffee taste was overwhelming. Will make it again using a less concentrated coffee.


Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Easy chocolate recipe! But, I had three different people (separately ) ask me if this was mocha icing, as it tasted like coffee. I did not use strong coffee. So, if you don’t like mocha, I’d suggest using the hot water option.


Wednesday 1st of November 2023

That is good advice. I am glad it was enjoyed.


Tuesday 12th of February 2019

I can't help it, frosting just calls to me!


Friday 23rd of November 2018

Thank you!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Sunday 18th of November 2018

You had me at fudge! I really didn't plan on baking tomorrow but, now I am feeling like I should!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Monday 2nd of March 2020

This made it on the birthday cake today. So so good! Seriously in love with this frosting!


Monday 2nd of March 2020

YAY! I am so glad you guys like it!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Sunday 1st of March 2020

I made this today for husbands birthday cake. Oh my... perfection!!


Friday 23rd of November 2018

You definitely should!