Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This recipe makes the fluffiest, creamiest homemade Chocolate Buttercream Frosting! It tastes amazing on all your baked goods—you’ll never want store bought frosting again!

Every homemade cupcake recipe needs a homemade frosting that compliments it perfectly! This chocolate buttercream goes great on top of Peanut Butter Cupcakes, Vanilla Cupcakes, and especially our Chocolate Cupcakes!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting in a mixing bowl

Fluffy + Creamy Chocolate Frosting

You wanna know the major difference between bakery style cakes/cupcakes and subpar homemade treats? THE FROSTING!

I promise you, making homemade frosting rather than using a container of store bought stuff makes all the difference in your baked goods. Plus, whipping up a batch of buttercream is way easier than you think!

This recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting makes the fluffiest, creamiest frosting with just the right amount of cocoa flavor. It’s the perfect compliment for cakes, cupcakes, bars, cookies, and any other thing you want to smother with this stuff  😉

Beating butter for chocolate buttercream recipe

The Ingredients

This recipe doesn’t require anything special or fancy—in fact, if you typically have baking supplies stocked in your pantry, you probably won’t even have to make a trip to the store! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter – make sure it’s softened! If you need tips on softening butter quickly, go HERE.
  • Cocoa Powder – either regular or dutch processed cocoa works great.
  • Powdered Sugar – I highly recommend sifting the powdered sugar (more tips on this below).
  • Milk or Half and Half – half and half will yield a slightly denser/creamier frosting, but it’s only a slight difference.
  • Vanilla – I prefer pure vanilla!
  • Pinch of Salt – you can control exactly how much saltiness your frosting has with this pinch of salt.

Best chocolate buttercream frosting recipe

How to Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Grab your hand beaters and get ready to whip up this frosting!

Beat together the butter and cocoa powder until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix until well blended, adding additional milk if needed to bring the frosting together.

Continue to beat for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Recipe Tips

  • Use unsalted butter. You can control the amount of salt you like with the “pinch of salt”.
  • You can choose regular or dutch processed cocoa. Whichever you pick, be sure it is good quality because the better the quality, the better the flavor will be. 
  • Room Temperature ingredients: Make sure the butter is softened so that it creams up easily. Also, having the milk/half and half at room temperature will also help this frosting cream together nice and easy.
  • Sifting: the extra step to sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder can seem tedious, but it helps ensure you aren’t left with any hidden clumps of powder. 
  • Skip the whisk and use the beater blade with your stand mixer. It yields a creamier frosting.

Chocolate buttercream frosting on top of chocolate cupcakes

Piping Tips + recipes to use frosting with

I generally only use my piping tips when I’m topping cupcakes or other small desserts. The following steps are how I pipe onto cupcakes, but you may find the tips adaptable to other treats. 

  1. Choose your tip. The larger the tip the thicker the piping will be. I like using larger tips like the  Ateco 808 for smooth piping, or an Ateco 844 tip for star piping.
  2. Place your tip of choice at the bottom of a piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag you can trim the corner off of a Gallon Ziplock bag. It will have a smooth edge like the Ateco 808.
  3. Fill the bag with frosting. I like to place the bag inside of a tall cup, fold the end of the bag over the edges of the cup, then use a baking spatula to fill the bag. Make sure you leave enough space to twist the top of the bag closed.
  4. Gently push the frosting down to the bottom to make sure you don’t have any air pockets. Twist the top closed.
  5. Make one dollop of frosting in the center of the cupcake. The dollop will be the guide for the rest of the frosting to go around.
  6. Frost around the center dollop. Once you have gone a full rotation lift up to the second layer, moving inward slightly, and continue squeezing out the frosting. Repeat layers until you’re happy with the height and look.
  7. Be sure to use even, steady pressure the entire time as you push out the frosting.

We hope these help so you can have beautiful, piped cupcakes!

Chocolate Frosted Desserts

This chocolate buttercream frosting recipe is great on cupcakes, cake, brownies, bars, cookie cups. Here are some of the go-to treats on our website that you can add the frosting to.

Chocolate buttercream on top of chocolate cupcakes

frosting faq + storing

How much can I cover with this amount of frosting? Depending on how thick you make the frosting will depend on the amount of coverage you get. For example: We were able to pipe the frosting onto 12 cupcakes, but would be able to do more if we used a butter knife to spread on the frosting. 

Too thick or thin? Getting the right consistency for your frosting is key. For example if you plan to pipe on a generous top for cupcakes you’ll want a thicker consistency. Other desserts may be better with a thinner frosting. You can easily adjust the consistency by:

  • If it’s too thick add 1 tbsp of milk at a time 
  • If it’s too thin add 1 tbsp of powdered sugar at a time 

How to store frosting?

  • Fridge: The frosting can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days. Store in an airtight container. Be sure to bring it to room temperature and remix before frosting your dessert.
  • Freezer: Place the frosting in an airtight freezer safe container. It can be frozen for 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge and then bring to room temperature. Mix well before using.

For more frosting recipes, check out:

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

5 from 7 votes
This recipe makes the fluffiest, creamiest homemade Chocolate Buttercream Frosting! It tastes amazing on all your baked goods.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 133 kcal
Author Lil' Luna



  • Beat together the butter and cocoa powder until light and fluffy.
  • Add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix until well blended, adding additional milk if needed to bring the frosting together.
  • Continue to beat for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Pipe the buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    It tastes like something from Louis Bakery! I’ve never had good luck with homemade frosting, but I adore this. I made it and put it on a cake for my Mom’s 45th birthday. ❤

    1. Oh thank you for your sweet words! How awesome you used this buttercream recipe for your mom’s cake. Hope she enjoyed it too! 🙂