5-Minute Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

from 535 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 535 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
    Best frosting ever! I’ll never purchase another store bought frosting again. It’s so easy and my family loved it! The kids were scraping the bowl clean :)

  2. 5 stars
    I discovered this recipe 5 years ago and it has been my go to ever since. It is absolutely DIVINE. The one thing that I will caution is that I always end up at a point where it’s just butter, sugar and chocolate in the mixer and it looks like a complete disaster! Like I have a bowl of densely packed dirt and I’m like “omg I totally screwed this up”. I follow directions well so I assume this happens to everyone and not just me. If (or when) it happens to you – don’t panic! As soon as you put that tiny bit of milk into the mixer the icing just blooms! It’s science! It will turn from a bowl of dirt to a bowl of luscious chocolatey heaven right before your eyes. It’s seriously magical. I lick too many spoons and spatulas every time. Thank you Kelly for this chocolate miracle!

  3. This frosting couldn’t be easier to make, and it has a great consistency. My only issue is how sweet it is, over the top sugary. Is there a less sweet chocolate buttercream out there?

    1. So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Jill! I haven’t tested this but you can always try using less sugar. Let me know how it turns out if you do!

  4. Hi, just a quick question: I’m making this for my moms birthday cake and I always get frosting/icing too thin and liquid-ish. How can I stop that?

    1. Hi, Adalyn! If you follow the recipe, the icing should be the perfect consistency! I hope your mom enjoys her birthday cake!

  5. 4 stars
    I know I did it wrong, but the butter, conf sugar and cocoa would never mix together. Finally, after about 20 min of beating I put in the milk, it clumped. So I had to beat that about 30 min to get it without lumps, sort of. Tasters good. What did I do wrong

    1. Hi Anne! It should clump and then quickly turn to buttercream. You shouldn’t wait that long to add the milk. Did you add it when the recipe stated to do so?

    2. Did you melt the butter? If yes, that’s why. You need softened butter for this recipe. That’s the only think I can think of.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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! :)

  13. 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!

  14. 5 stars
    While I have only made vanilla buttercream frosting perhaps 12 times (having only recently had enough courage to try…), I decided to try chocolate buttercream frosting using your recipe.
    I must say the recipe is absolutely grand and sooo easy to follow and prepare. I will continue to use this recipe in the years to come. Thank you so much for sharing your baking expertise.

    Cathy Traynor
    Bass Lake outside Vestaburg, Michigan

  15. 5 stars
    I must confess – I came online to see if my “invention” was a bona fide recipe. Sometimes, I just want a little something sweet, so I put a heaping tablespoon confec. sugar, a heaping tablespoon cocoa powder, and a dab of butter (TB?) and a little salt in a cup, microwave until the butter’s melted, stir well, and then drizzle in a couple tablespoons of half and half. What a nice little treat! Sometimes, I nibble with a spoon, sometimes I dip ruffles potato chips or pretzels. Who knew that this was actually icing!

    My invention is more chocolatey and less sugary than this, but it is delicious. I left some in the cup overnight to see what it would be like when it cooled, and it is fabulous. So, try upping the cocoa powder for more of a dark chocolate flavor. I’m going to ice my next batch of brownies with my invention. It cools down with a nice shine.

    Since “my” version is hot, it won’t swirl like yours does, but it is all of the same family of deliciousness. I’m also going to try adding orange extract – simple to make by just adding pared orange peel to a little vodka and let it sit for one hour or forever. I never throw away a citrus peel, I always make extracts. Thanks for this recipe!

  16. Purrr…fect! I didn’t have a paddle, but beaters worked well. I had to use margarine & it still turned out great. Not too sweet, which is perfect, too.

  17. 1 star
    I’m an experienced cook. I wasn’t familiar with beating the butter and sugar/cocoa mixture first before streaming in the milk but thought I would give it a try. I ended up with lumpy frosting, had to toss it in the trash and go search for my old tried and true recipe. What a waste of ingredients.

  18. So delicious ! My kids wanted chocolate icing for cupcakes and I didn’t have much time. I even halved the recipe bc I didn’t need much. And it turned out SO DELICIOUS. i love that it’s not a super sweet flavor- great balance of chocolate and sweetness. And the salt is the perfect touch, makes the flavors pop! So good! The kids and husband also loved it. We all kept saying “oh my it’s so good”

  19. Make this frosting quite often. It is very simple and tasty. Nothing like homemade frosting. Soooo good. The trick is to be sure you beat it at high speed to get the desired fluff.

      1. Hi Kim! 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. :)

    1. 5 stars
      This is a great, easy recipe! However, there is far too much salt for my taste. I know some like that salty/sweet taste but I taste so much of the salt. That being said, it’s still delicious and that’s not going to stop me from devouring it! I’ll just cut back on the salt next time. Thank you for sharing!

      1. Thanks for your note, Meghan! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe (even if it was too salty for you). :)

  20. 5 stars
    My husband asked me what do ya want me to make you for your birthday. I said Chocolate cake and I have the perfect frosting. And it is yours.

      1. 5 stars
        Best chocolate buttercream I have ever made in my 70+ years! It is perfect with the crazy cake, and I did add 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee to the dry ingredients of the cake.

  21. 5 stars
    Thank you for an excellent, fast recipe that uses standard pantry staples. I just got my frosting groove back.
    P.s.the spoon swirls were a fabulous idea.

  22. 5 stars
    We enjoyed this frosting. I did not add salt as suggested in the recipe because I used salted butter. A double batch covered a tiered cake. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  23. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time today. Wasnt sure if it was going to work from the way it looked at the beginning but it came together beautifully! So easy to make. And very tasty.

  24. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe and it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. Didn’t change a thing… great taste and great consistency. Used it on top of two 8 inch cakes. Thanks for posting this!

  25. 5 stars
    These are the same ingredients I’ve always used but wanted to check your portions against mine and I like your consistency better. I’ve always gotten rave reviews for my cupcakes with the
    Is icing so definitely worth a few minutes longer.

  26. 5 stars
    I made this recipe, and we loved it my grandboys said it tasted like a soft chocolate bar. It was very easy to make as well, it took me more than 5 minutes to make only because I went back and add more sugar.

    1. 5 stars
      I give this 5 stars because its the easiest icing Ive ever made.I came out silky smooth and delish.Highly recomend this recipe.I am going to use it with my Christmas choc cake.Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Jeanne! It depends on how thick you like your frosting, but I always recommend doubling this recipe as I’d rather you have ample frosting than not enough. :)

  27. 5 stars
    Wow…This is going to be my goto Chocolate buttercream recipe from now on. It’s chocolaty, creamy, smooth, luscious. Spectacular! I sifted my powdered sugar and cocoa to ensure there were no lumps. At first when I mixed these with the creamed butter, I was skeptical it would come together when the milk and vanilla were added. But after leaving the mixer on for 2-3 min, it became so super smooth. I love this recipe. It was so easy! Thank you so much.

  28. This recipe is amazing! I tweaked it just a little by adding a splash of milk and a lil bit extra powder sugar, and it tasted exactly like Hershey milk chocolate!

  29. The icing has a great taste to it, but it’s runny, I can’t fluff it even with added sugar. I’m tossing it inthe fridge with a lid, maybe that’ll help it with the fluffing, I’m an amateur chef, self learning despite cooking for a few years now.

    1. Is it very hot or humid where you live? When the temperature is hot and humid, it gives your buttercream frosting a higher chance to become runny. Popping it into the fridge will help stiffen it up :)

      1. 5 stars
        Excellent frosting for brownies. Topped with chopped walnuts and vanilla ice cream. Easy to make. Ingredients are staples in my kitchen. Will keep as a frosting go to recipe.

    1. 5 stars
      The very best chocolate frosting I’ve ever made. Actually ever had. I’m so glad I doubled the recipe. We heated some in a ramekin in the microwave. Oh my goodness.. it made the best hot fudge ever. All in all I absolutely LOVE this.

      1. 5 stars
        Tasty and easy recipe. I was in a rush got it done quickly without problem. I didn’t have whole milk or vanilla but I substituted 2 percent and vanilla syrup. It still worked. I just added a little extra powdered sugar to th8cken it a bit more.

    1. Hi Maya! 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. :)

  30. 5 stars
    This is one of the best chocolate frosting l have ever tasted. My family loved it, only needed half for the cake l made,placed the rest in the fridge in a sealed container,took it out a week later, brought to room temperature mixed witha spoon and spread it on another cake it was delicious, thoroughly recommend.

  31. This is a fabulous frosting. And so easy and quick. Very similar to how I was taught to make frosting from my grandma many years ago. Long before you could buy canned frosting. Which tasted like cardboard by the way.

    Just a suggestion to enhance the chocolate flavor sub in a little bit of cold coffee for part of the milk. It will take the flavor over the top!!!!!

  32. Hi Kelly,
    Just made a chocolate cake with your 5 min frosting and it turned out
    Lovely, delicious taste. I love it

  33. 5 stars
    Tasted fantastic. Just not sure what happened with the amount of milk, though — I had to add much more than listed here. But overall, a great recipe and I will be using it in the future.

  34. 5 stars
    I was able to frost my husband’s birthday cake between conference calls! Quick, easy and delicious, it will be a great dessert for the big day.
    Thank you, Kelly

  35. 5 stars
    I didn’t have a paddle beater, so just used by whisk style beater. The buttercream icing is delicious. Very rich and smooth.

  36. So easy and so yummy!!! Had all the ingredients in my pantry and refrigerator. Perfect icing for my homemade brownies!!!

    1. 4 stars
      Delicious and I also had all the ingredients on hand. I did find that this was way too much for a single layer layer cake that is iced in the pan. I checked online and found extra icing can be refrigerated for up to 14 days and frozen for up to 6 months.

  37. 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?

  38. 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

  39. 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!!

  40. 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.

  41. 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!

  42. 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.

  43. 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!

  44. 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. :)

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 4 stars
    Very, very thick…might need another drizzle of milk….It would be more spreadable….Flavor was outstanding… I give it 4 stars

  48. Hi, would I be able to use sweetened cocoa powder in this recipe? Also, would it be ok to sub the milk for half and half or whipping cream to make it even creamier?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Alie! Using sweetened cocoa powder means you’d want to cut down on the other sugar. You can try using half-and-half but I’m not sure what the consistency of the frosting would be and how much you’d need.

  49. 5 stars
    This frosting is fantastic! My cake was smaller than intended, so now I have an excuse to do more baking to use the remaining frosting – if it survives my “drive-by” spoonful sampling ;)
    FWIW I had only salted butter, so just skipped adding the 1/4 tsp salt.
    Love this recipe, Kelly.

  50. Kelly, for those of us without a stand mixer, would an electric hand mixer do the job for this frosting? I so want to make it for hubby’s B-Day cake

  51. 5 stars
    So good. I should have taken the suggestion to double it since we are all chocolate lovers. Fast and easy too.

  52. 5 stars
    Omg!!! This recipe is amazing. Easy to make with simple ingredients in 5 minutes! Tastes so good when done! Final product looks a little bit grainy, but I can assure you that the texture is perfectly smooth. I was skeptical while making it, because the cocoa powder and the butter and the sugar was all clumped together, and looked like it would never turn into frosting. But add the milk, and voila! Perfect, smooth, creamy, chocolatey frosting. 5 stars!!

  53. 5 stars
    Very easy to make. I did cut back on the sugar by about 30% and added a little cream cheese, which I think gives it a nice tang. Delicious!

  54. 4 stars
    it is not too sweet and it’s not too salty and it goes well with the chocolate cake that I made and it makes it fudgier and delicious. Also, I and my family loved it.

  55. I’m an older single man and have to cook for myself , and your frosting recipe is way to easy , yet it taste just like my moms did when I was a youngster . Thanks for sharing

  56. Delicious and easy to make! I always double the recipe and freeze whats left over. Thank you for sharing. Delicious!!!

  57. Hi, do you have the measurements in metric? I don’t use cup measurements for a long time. It’s more precise to use a scale.

    1. Hi Ingrid! I don’t provide metric conversions for my recipes, as I cannot guarantee they would be 100% accurate without being tested. However, you are welcome to use an online converter. :)

  58. 5 stars
    I have never commented on a recipe post before, though I use them frequently. This is so delicious. I had to take the time to thank you for sharing this recipe. I made it for my birthday cake with my children. We added a pinch of cinnamon as well to give it a Mexican hot chocolate flavor. Sheer perfection.

  59. This tastes exactly like the homemade icing my momma made in a cast iron skillet ❤️This was super easy & I used a hand held mixer & it did perfect. Thx!!

  60. I’m in the UK so not as familiar with measuring in cups – is it 2 x 1/3 cups of sugar or 2 cups plus 1/3 cup?

  61. 5 stars
    This frosting is so creamy and delicious. And it was super easy to make!
    I used plant-based milk (Almond milk) and plant-based butter, to make this a vegan frosting, and it was great. This recipe is a keeper, I’ll use it again and again. Thank you!

  62. 5 stars
    This recipe was delicious. I did add another tablespoon of butter. The frosting is not overly sweet and it’s lighter than most frostings. I got great reviews from my entire team at work. Will be my new secret recipe

  63. This is a fabulous recipe! Not only is it fast and easy. It makes the smoothest most creamy frosting I have ever had. Tastes great. Not overly sweet. My go to chocolate frosting from now on! Do you happen to have any more recipes like this for different flavors other than chocolate.

    Thank you so much for sharing.‍

  64. 5 stars
    OMG it took literally 5min and OMG it was incredibly delicious and this is coming from someone who is not a frosting eater. This will be my go to recipe for now on, Yummmm!!!

  65. I am making a birthday cake and will use this recipe to cover a large cake. Because I am not going to have much time to ice it at the last minute, how long could I leave it without refrigerating it which would dry the chocolate sponge?

    1. Hi Eileen! 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. :)

  66. 4 stars
    Excellent basic butter cream, I put it on a gluten free chocolate cake and wow it finished off the desert very nicely. Everyone enjoyed even the dieting folks who sampled the cake & icing thought it was just sweet enough and a prefect topping.
    I think the next time will add 1/4 tsp espresso powder to change it up kick up the chocolate flavour even more… this recipe is worth a try.

  67. 5 stars
    Turned out great and so easy. Deep chocolate flavor, perfect. I would note that I made a layered cake and there was barely enough for it. Maybe I like more frosting than others do? LOL

    I did do one thing that was not in the instructions, I sifted the sugar first so to make sure there were no lumps.

    1. Delicious and easy to make! I always double the recipe and freeze whats left over. Thank you for sharing. Delicious!!!

  68. 5 stars
    The texture was perfect. The recipe is delicious, not to rich, but just right. I have used this recipe twice as written, I have also added to it as well. This time I increased the confectioners’ sugar to 3 cups, and then added 1/4 whipped cream cheese, 3 TBSP Kahula, 1/4 whole milk. It added a neat twist to the frosting. I will continue to use this frosting as my “go-to” chocolate frosting.

  69. 5 stars
    This recipe is the best! I made it for a 13×9 inch cake (single layer) and, when I was almost finished, it didn’t appear that it would be enough icing. At the risk of diluting the delicious rich chocolate taste, I added another 1/3 cup of confectioner’s sugar and, then, of course, had to dilute it with more milk – naturally. I was out of milk but did have heavy cream so I used the cream, one teaspoon at a time, until the frosting was of spreading consistency . . . what a taste! It is the best chocolate frosting ever – and no melting little chocolate pieces. I really like that this is all made of pure ingredients – the butter, milk, cream, chocolate, vanilla – all pure, with no added chemicals. This will be my go-to icing from now on! Thank you, Kelly!

  70. 5 stars
    This turned out so good! I was a little worried that I did something wrong. I only have a hand mixer and I was having trouble getting the dry ingredients to incorporate with the butter. I couldn’t get it to really come together until I added the milk and vanilla. I made a huge mess and almost forgot the salt, but it came together in the end and my son really liked it.

  71. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious helped bunch when going to the store is not an option, and it’s fun with the family.

  72. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe twice now and it came out wonderfully both times! I used a hand mixer both times with a whisk attachment, no problems, came out very creamy. Made it a couple years ago for a friend’s birthday cake (pre-pandemic) and she requested it again this year. Just barely had enough to frost a 2-layer cake, so next time will make more. Also, I LOVE how you, unlike so many food bloggers, take the time to answer every single comment! Love your blog!!

  73. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! This will be our new go-to chocolate frosting. We followed the recipe exactly and it’s perfect!

  74. Today I needed to take something sweet to my neighbours, it was a sad day for them & their three boys, they lost their pet dog Lady who had been a part of the family for a long time. I felt so bad I just had to do something. I made chocolate cupcakes and used your buttercream frosting to finish them. They were so delicious!!! Thank you for this.

    1. I’m so sorry your neighbors lost their dog, Karen. It was so kind of you to bake cupcakes for them.

  75. 5 stars
    I found this recipe easy, and TASTY!!! I’ve tried my own icing before and it was a complete flop, but not this one, even though I forgot to sieve my icing and I used a whisk as I don’t have a fancy stand mixer. I tripled the recipe (thank you for those handy options!) as a love a cake smothered in tasty icing, but I went too far and have a bit left over. Does it freeze well? How long can I keep it for?
    I did a search through the comments for an answer and just wanted say it’s lovely to see you’ve replied to so many!
    Regards, Tammy

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe, Tammy! I’ve never tried freezing the frosting so I’m not sure what the texture would be like after defrosting/re-whipping it. However, 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.

  76. 5 stars
    Seriously the best! So easy, quicky to make and truly delicious chocolate flavor! Will be my go to from now on! Yummm!

  77. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. Perfect! Wish I could ad a picture. I used the back of the spoon like you suggested. Great idea.

  78. 5 stars
    Sooo good!! Most recipes either end up tasting like a pure stick of butter or plain old powder sugar but not this one at all! Thanks!! :)

  79. Could I use evaporated milk? I have an opened can I need to get rid of in the next day or 2. Also, if the frosting is a little grainy will extra whipping help with that?

    1. Hi there! I haven’t tried this recipe with that substitution so I’m not certain. If it’s grainy, you can try whipping it more, but did you use confectioners’ sugar?

  80. 5 stars
    Delicious!! My go-to chocolate frosting for all cakes. My family is gluten free, dairy free and soy free and they love it but so does other friends and family members. In addition, it’s so easy to make and covers a two layer cake

  81. 5 stars
    This buttercream came through for me when I needed something last minute. At first I didn’t think it would make enough, but I followed your instructions and kept whipping it and it came out fluffy and the perfect amount. Thank you!

  82. Loved this frosting so quick and easy to make – delicious too. Is it suitable for freezing? If not how long can I refrigerate it for? Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Gerry! The buttercream frosting 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.

  83. Can I give this recipe to my church sisters including your name and website? I gave a sample of a whole wheat chocolate cake and used your frosting recipe. It was a delicious! Thank you.

  84. Just made this for the first time and it did not disappoint! So light and delicious and just the right sweetness. Before I added the milk and vanilla, I thought I had done something wrong because it looked almost dry. This will be my go to frosting. Thank you for a great recipe!

  85. 5 stars
    Although I’m an avid review reader, I don’t believe I’ve ever posted a recipe review until now. I’m not much on frosting, unless it’s the cream cheese variety. But my husband wanted a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, and although I cheated and used a mix for the cake, I definitely had to go with homemade frosting! Well, let me tell you, I FOUND THE RIGHT RECIPE! Not too sugary, and not like eating a stick of refrigerated butter (because who could really complain about the melted kind?!). It’s like my mom’s Christmas fudge, only better and beautifully spreadable. You’ve made a frosting and personal fan out of me. I can’t wait to make more of your delicious eats!

    1. This was my very first time making a frosting from scratch and it was dee-licious. The cake was devoured by my family. Thank you so much for sharing.

  86. 5 stars
    The best chocolate frosting! Super easy, creamy, chocolatey and DELICIOUS. Best of all, it doesn’t taste like sweetened butter. A winner for sure

  87. 5 stars
    This recipe was easy to make and turned out just the right consistency! It also tasted very good! I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder and it had a deep rich flavor!

  88. 1 star
    This was a bust! I followed the directions exactly!!!!! I used my stand mixer. I still found tiny chunks of butter after beating it for ten min. I think I need to go back to hand mixer for frosting. This did not work for me.

  89. 5 stars
    OMG this was amazing. It was super easy, and a big hit at my daughter’s birthday! I’m super picky about frosting, but this… yummm! It was rich and fudgy but still light somehow.. I ate way too many cupcakes lol. A keeper for sure!

    1. Perfect. That’s all I need to say.
      And the trick with the spoon. Need I say more. Suddenly I am a professional

  90. 5 stars
    Took less than 5 minutes. I used half & half instead of the milk and added a bit more to keep the frosting soft. Great flavor and no melting chocolate.

  91. I don’t like the pre-made frosting tubs from the grocery store. To me they have a chemical, off taste and don’t taste at all like the real thing.

  92. 5 stars
    Best and Easiest Chocolate Buttercream Frosting I’ve made. Great when you want something home made but still as quick and easy as throwing store bought into your trolley, if you include paying at checkout :) that is.
    Love the tip “Grab a small spoon and use the back of it to make luscious, deep swirls and create the perfect peaks”
    Thank you, with your help I created a true masterpiece.

  93. This beautifully presented & written recipe looks perfect, just what I was looking for. But then I saw it was measured in inaccurate spoons and cups! There are official quantities for these : it’s annoying to have to work out how much is meant. Most of us in the UK don’t fill our cupboards with extraneous measuring cups & spoons when only one item is needed:a scale!
    Thanks for great recipe

    1. Hi Alice – Our recipes are written in the Imperial format, so feel free to use an online conversion program for metric. :)

  94. 5 stars
    I needed a quick buttercream frosting recipe for a 9×13 pan of brownies and this one was great! I didn’t have to melt any chocolate, I grated the butter to get it to room temperature fast, and it came together in hardly no time at all. It’s intensely “chocolaty”…I even did the spoon tip to make the swirls on top!! Pretty…….Thanks.

  95. 5 stars
    Perfect. Quick and incredibly delicious. I used milk 1%, that’s all I had, and it still turned out really good. This frosting doesn’t taste like pure sugar or like a hunk of butter, like other homemades I’ve made.

  96. 5 stars
    Today ,baked home made vanilla cup cakes for my daughters Birthday. Looked up chocolate icing recipes using yours. The icing is delicious and ready in minutes.
    Friends and neighbors enjoyed them.
    Thank you for posting.

  97. 5 stars
    Second time making this recipe. It my new favorite and so easy and it doesn’t taste like 5lbs of butter like other recipes I have tried! Thank you!

  98. 5 stars
    Best easiest ever great tasting recipe I have found for chocolate buttercream frosting. My family raves about it. Very fluffy and easy to spread. 5 ⭐️star for sure. Not too expensive and simple ingredients you normally have in your pantry.

  99. 5 stars
    This was so delicious, so creamy. Used it for a chocolate cake I baked for my wife’s birthday. I was hesitant to make the chocolate cake because the frosting recipe was so involved, requiring constant temperature monitoring. A little bit of googling later I landed here…your recipe was such a lifesaver! Incredibly simple but compromises nothing in taste and texture. Bookmarked and saved. Thank you and great work Kelly!

    1. Hi there! This recipe yields 2 cups of frosting or about enough to frost 1 1/2 – 2 dozen cupcakes.

    2. 5 stars
      Loved it! I agree with them all. it is simple, great tasting, and extremely versatile with a little imagination. I made a vanilla bean cake with chocolate frosting. I had made a double batch just to make sure I had enough. It went on extremely smooth. I decided to decorate with a shell border and it held its shape just fine. The problem is, I can’t stay out of the leftover icing in the refrigerator. It goes great with a spoon too! Thanks again

      1. You are so welcome, Jamie! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe! And I totally agree with you, it tastes great with just a spoon :)

    1. Hi Izzy! 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. :)

  100. 5 stars
    This is such an amazing recipe! I did add more cocoa powder to have more of a dark chocolate feel & now is going to be my top go to recipe! So in love with the taste and texture. Crazy delicious!

  101. 5 stars
    Amazing! Made it for my grandmas birthday and she loved it. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  102. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy to prepare! Best recipe i’ve ever made and ejoyed.
    Thank you, looking forward to trying many more recipes.

  103. 5 stars
    Let me say that I have been trying to find a recipe similar to the kind you find from a store bakery. I have a obsession with frosting. No more wasting my money on the store cupcakes from the bakery. This just checked all the boxes on my List!!! And super easy! And does not taste like I am eating a tub of butter! My husband said it’s a winner! Thank you so much!

    1. 5 stars
      Simple but effective and delicious buttercream! I used Hershey’s special dark dutched chocolate powder. Came out fabulous

  104. 5 stars
    Way better than store bought and easy. Used my hand mixer cuz thats all I have and no problem. Just had to really soften butter and add cocoa in slowly because you can end up in a cocoa cloud if too fast. My husband wasn’t sure but he loves it too!

  105. 5 stars
    This is the recipe I have used for years. So reliable and so yummy. I will never use anything else!

      1. Hi Hayley! I’ve never tried this recipe as a base under fondant so I’m not entirely sure. I THINK it would work, but let me know if you give it a shot!

  106. Please forgive me if this was answered. I may have missed this. Does this recipe frost a TWO layer 9-inch cake? Or would I need to double this? Thank you. I make a mean chocolate cake, but never ever get the icing right.

    1. Hi Nancy – I’d recommend doubling the recipe as I’d rather you have ample frosting than not enough. :)

  107. 5 stars
    I used a tad too much milk. But the recipe is so dreamy I absolutely love it. Not too rich as some buttercream recipes are. Delicious ‍♀️

  108. Just made this frosting; seems to be great. Used to frost a mini, 4 layer-chocolate chip cookie cake. Quick question, do you need to refrigerate after frosting? I looked through comments and do not see this question. Please let me know as soon as you can. Thank you.

    1. Hi Loretta! 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. :)

  109. 5 stars
    Delicious! Easy !
    Hubby’s favorite is a layered yellow cake with chocolate frosting! Found a great frosting! Thank you!

  110. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe! My only problem was I didn’t have enough cocoa powder, but it still turned out great! I highly recommend. Very tasty. I will definitely will make this again!

  111. 5 stars
    Very easy and very tasty. I thought the Amish fudge frosting I made was good but this far exceeds it.

  112. I just made this frosting to top a birthday cake yesterday, it was delicious. I did find the frosting to be a little too sweet for my taste, but I generally like things only lightly sweetened so my palette definitely doesn’t speak for the masses.

    If I cut the sugar down to 1 and 3/4 cups, do you think I’d need to alter the measurements of any of the other ingredients?

    1. Hi G! I haven’t tried it with that amount of sugar so I’m not sure what the consistency would be. You may need to use slightly less liquid.

  113. 5 stars
    Easy to make, smooth and delicious. Great match for my favorite vanilla cake recipe and can’t wait to try it with others.

    1. I’ve never tried this recipe with coffee powder, but I know others have and had total success :) Let me know if you give it a shot, Sharon!

  114. Great recipe, came out perfect. It is a 5- minute recipe. Made for my brother’s Birthday. Will use it from now on.

  115. This is the first time I’ve made homemade frosting ever and I am so pleased at how easy it was to make and how delicious it turned out. I forgot to use salt so I will definitely use it next time. One question—there were a few little spots of butter that I assume I didn’t combine enough. Any suggestions for next time?

    1. Hi Amy – It could be that the buttercream just wasn’t beaten for long enough. Also, always use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all the ingredients are incorporated and no lumps of butter or sugar are left in the bowl when mixing. :)

  116. I am going to substitute heavy cream for the milk. (No milk available except for powdered). Might have to titrate it, but it should work. Your thoughts? Thanks ⚡

    1. Hi Elle! 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.

  117. 3 stars
    Made these pancakes yesterday, so fluffy and delicious. I served them with bacon, sausages, eggs and maple syrup. WOW!! What a treat.

  118. 5 stars
    that is delicious ,i used coconut milk ,i may add Carmel to it next time ,its so creamy ,ill never buy store bought again thank you

  119. 5 stars
    We LOVE this frosting! I substituted vegan salt-free butter for the butter and toasted coconut almond mild for the milk and it still was the best tasting and nicest consistency chocolate frosting ever. The vegan butter was a little tricky because it softens differently that regular, so I had to warm up a small amount of the almond milk and add it with the step where you combine the butter and powdered sugar. Otherwise, followed the recipe as is. Thanks! It will be my go-to!

  120. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best cake! I added chocolate chips to batter. This was the first time to make my own frosting and I couldn’t believe how easy and so good….thanks

  121. 5 stars
    When I first started mixing the powdered sugar and cocoa into the butter, I didn’t think this was going to turn out, then I started streaming in the milk and it all came together beautifully. Other reviewers described it as silky. That’s the perfect word for it. Delicious and perfect come to mind too. It’s not overly sweet either. Thank you.

  122. 5 stars
    This is my GO TO for chocolate buttercream when I want to ice a cake or cupcakes. Thank he salt balances out the perfect sweetness. Making it today for my daughter’s bday cake. Thank you!

  123. 5 stars
    This is the most highly requested icing for my cake customers. I now make at least 5 batches per week! Thank you so much for sharing it. My customers thank you too

  124. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe twice now … for both 9f my son’s birthday cakes and it came out perfectly both times! I increased everything by 1.5 … we like lots of icing on our cakes. This is definitely my go- to chocolate buttercream recipe!

  125. Hi – I havent’ made this yet – what if I only have a regular blender (or food processor?) and no stand mixer? Thanks!

  126. 5 stars
    So delicious!! I did not have whole milk on hand so substituted heavy whipping cream. The frosting was so silky. I ate a spoonful before turning to my cupcakes!

  127. 5 stars
    I tried this today and it tasted just like my Grandmother’s. Not too sweet and so creamy! Nothing like yellow cake and chocolate frosting! Thank you, this is a keeper!

  128. 5 stars
    SO GOOD!! Super easy to make. Makes enough to frost and fill a 9-inch round cake with no piping borders. I’ve been baking and decorating cakes for a lot of years now and have tried LOTS of different recipes. This is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Definitely will make this again.

  129. What size cake does it frost? Does that include the filling or just the outside? how many cupcakes will it frost?

    1. Hi there! In general, this will be enough to lightly frost a 9 x 13 sheet cake or about enough to frost 1 1/2 – 2 dozen cupcakes.

  130. 5 stars
    These are so good! I was afraid we’d pick up the slight fermented taste of sourdough but not at all. I made a half recipe which gave up 12 good size cupcakes. They rose great and the top has a shiny appearance similar to a brownie. Great texture. Im an older baker and my standby was the Betty Crocker chocolate cake for the past 45 years. To note another comment…a keeper! Thank you!

  131. 5 stars
    I made the icing. My husband was really impressed. My icing had a few little edie bitty little lumps in it but I think if I would have mixed it more . That would have fixed it or my coco may have been old. But it tasted GREAT. OH It was really creamy too.. I will never buy another chocolate frosting. Thank you so much.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Linda! It could be that the buttercream just wasn’t beaten for long enough. Also, always use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all the ingredients are incorporated and no lumps of butter or sugar are left in the bowl when mixing.