5-Minute Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

from 521 votes

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.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.91 from 521 votes
5-Minute Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
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!


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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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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  1. 5 stars
    Super quick, easy-peasy, and tasty! FYI, I used Bensdorp dark Dutch process cocoa, and it tempered the sweetness down significantly. This recipe makes enough for a simply frosted two-layer 8 or 9-inch cake, or a single layer 8 or 9-inch cake with scalloped bottom edge and major frosting poufs on top. Wish I could send y’all a photo!

  2. 5 stars
    I made your chocolate frosting last night and absolutely love it! I’ve made other frostings over the years, but I felt like I wasn’t successful with them. Your recipe is right on the mark!

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely amazing! Super quick and delicious. I will admit it’s a tad sweeter than I assumed but hey, isn’t that what it’s all about? Perhaps I’ll use a dark cacao powder next time and see how it goes, just for fun. Thanks!

  4. 4 stars
    very good, but it turned out a bit more liquidy than i expected. other than that it was really delicious!

    1. Hi Grace – I’m not sure what could have happened with your frosting. You can add additional powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.

  5. 5 stars
    I had my doubts… would it really be that good. OMG. It Is sooo good! I’m saving this and it’s going to be my new go-to chocolate frosting from now on!

  6. 5 stars
    Made the frosting exactly as written. Perfection! Will not ever buy chocolate frosting in a can again. I only had Special Dark Cocoa powder. It was heavenly! This is my go-to chocolate frosting. Now to find the Vanilla Buttercream and I’ll be all set! Thank you so much for a perfect recipe!

  7. Will be making this tomorrow for a 6″ 2-layer cake. Unless I’m missing it, the recipe doesn’t say what size cake the 1x recipe will frost & I don’t want to make the 2x recipe and have tons left over as I’m a choc addict & can’t have leftover icing in house. Freezing it doesn’t help an addict btw! lol. nothing, not even freezing, stops the likes of us!

    1. Haha! I totally understand! This recipe yields 2 cups of frosting or about enough to frost 1 1/2 – 2 dozen cupcakes or a 9 x 13 sheet cake. Hope that helps! :)

  8. 5 stars
    Hi Kelly, I’m glad I came across your Buttercream Frosting recipe. I’ve actually been using this recipe since my mom gave it to me about 50 years ago. Of course we always used skim milk because that is the milk we drink. The frosting is always fluffy and delicious yet a little sweet. When I read your version I noticed you add salt. I’ve never thought to do that. I gave it a try, DELICIOUS. It helps cut down on the sweetness which means I can eat more, lol. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.
    PS – I would have posted a picture of my cake but it got eaten up. Barely any crumbs left. That’s a good thing!

    1. Love reading this, Sue! I’m thrilled you loved the addition of salt :) Welcome to Just a Taste!

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