Skip the store-bought frosting in favor of this easy recipe for the best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting that takes just 5 minutes to make.

A top-down view of a chocolate cake with buttercream

I have a confession to make. Chocolate buttercream frosting has always been an item on my grocery list rather than a recipe in my baking repertoire.

Who has the time to make buttercream frosting when it takes all of 2 seconds to toss it into your shopping cart and call it a day? But after a reader emailed me asking for a fool-proof chocolate buttercream frosting recipe (to follow up on the vanilla variety), I knew it was time to wave goodbye to the store-bought stuff and finally go the DIY route.

A close up view of swirled chocolate buttercream frosting

Little did I know, 5 minutes into my recipe creation process I’d be licking a spatula slathered in the richest, creamiest, most chocolatey buttercream frosting to ever cross my lips. I repeat, 5 minutes.

cooca powder in a stand mixer with milk being poured in

No fancy preservatives. No seven-syllable ingredients. Simply butter, cocoa powder, sugar, milk, vanilla, and my secret ingredient, a pinch of salt. The salt helps balance out the sweetness and round out the flavors. Toss all of the ingredients into a stand mixer, and you too will be a confectionery convert.

A close-up shot of buttercream on a KitchenAid beater blade

A few tips for whipping up homemade chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • Use good quality cocoa powder. The better the quality, the better the taste of your frosting.
  • This recipe can be easily doubled for all my fellow chocoholics out there.
  • Use the beater blade with your stand mixer (rather than the whisk). It’ll result in creamy frosting that lightens in color the longer it’s mixed.
  • This stuff pipes like a breeze. So get your fancy pants on and check out my simple trick for piping two-tone swirled frosting.

A close-up shot of swirled buttercream frosting with sprinkles

One more trick of the food styling trade? Grab a small spoon and use the back of it to make luscious, deep swirls and create the perfect peaks and valleys for a shower of sprinkles in every color.

A top-down view of chocolate buttercream frosting on a sheet cake

Ready to see this buttercream in action? Tune in to the video below then get ready to buttercream all of your favorite baked goods!


A close-up shot of buttercream and a KitchenAid glass mixer bowl

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5-Minute Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Skip the store-bought frosting in favor of this easy recipe for the best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting that takes just 5 minutes to make.
4.92 from 447 votes
5-Minute Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 2 cups


  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it is smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Add the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder to the bowl and beat until combined. With the stand mixer running on low speed, slowly stream in the milk and vanilla extract then add the salt and continue beating until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed, about 2 minutes. 
  • Increase the speed to high and beat the frosting for an additional 2 minutes. Use the frosting immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge. (If you refrigerate the frosting, you may want to re-blend it for a few seconds in the stand mixer before using it.)
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.

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Calories: 955kcal, Carbohydrates: 160g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 24g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 322mg, Potassium: 545mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 140g, Vitamin A: 1115IU, Calcium: 97mg, Iron: 4.5mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Saved me since I didn’t have a cup of butter every other recipe required. Thank you.

      1. Hi Kelly, your recipe sounds amazing! Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted, and skip the added salt?

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve used this recipe several times and each time I’m so delighted at how easy and Delicious it is !!!!
    The only thing I change is I use whipping cream instead of whole milk.
    Love, Love, Love this recipe

  3. 5 stars
    Easy frosting to make! I doubled the recipe, used coffee in place of half of the milk and sifted the cocoa powder with the powdered sugar. Delicious l!!

  4. 5 stars
    Best frosting ever! I made it with cow milk and then again with full-fat oat milk, and King Arthur Burgundy cocoa powder. So very easy to make and spreads like a dream. I would make 2x for a double layer cake. 1x is definitely enough to cover it, but we want it thick! Thank you!

    1. Hi Mrs. Lemak! Either of those will work however, the consistency might be slightly different than if you were to use whole milk.

    2. 5 stars
      This is yummy. And very easy to make. I used 2% milk and 2 cups of icing sugar. Turned out nice and light and creamy.

  5. 5 stars
    This frosting is the best! I had a little left over and kept it in the fridge. My husband kept putting it on graham crackers for a snack. I guess he liked it too!

  6. 5 stars
    Just made this frosting for my daughter’s cake. Had to taste it and it is delicious! Love that it’s not too sweet and you can really taste the cocoa. It’s a keeper!!

      1. Hi Paula! It can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to five days. When ready to use, allow it to come to room temp and mix with a spoon or electric mixer.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this frosting today for my dad’s birthday cake. It is delicious, but I recommend making a double batch, as one batch was not enough to cover the cake. It is probably the best chocolate buttercream I’ve made, though!

  8. 5 stars
    Just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that I just made your chocolate frosting for a special occasion. I have baked many cakes in my life (almost 80 years old) but I truly think this is the best chocolate frosting I have ever made. It was easy and the consistency made it so easy to frost my cake. I did make it with my hand mixer following the exact directions and it turned out so good that I kept heaping more on my cake because I knew I would lick the bowl clean otherwise. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Hi Jacquelyn! A decorated cake with buttercream frosting can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. However, if it’s hot or humid where you live, store the cake in the fridge. :)

  9. 5 stars
    Just made this for my son’s birthday cake and they were eating it out of the bowl before I could get it on the cake! They all loved it. Good thing I doubled the batch. How long can it keep in the refrigerator?

    1. Hi Terry! It can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to five days. When ready to use, allow it to come to room temp and mix with a spoon or electric mixer.

  10. 5 stars
    Quick, easy, and delish! Instead of using milk, I actually used coffee left over from the morning to give it a stronger flavor. Great recipe! (Also, the icing dries pretty quickly which was helpful for stacking)

      1. Absolutely, Charlene! This recipe yields about enough frosting for 1 1/2 – 2 dozen cupcakes.

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