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This truly is the best chocolate buttercream frosting recipe ever. You’ll have to read on to see my secrets! I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to come up with a chocolate buttercream icing that I liked. I have to be honest and admit that I only have tried on a couple of occasions to whip one up, but they never seemed to compare to my regular Best Buttercream Icing recipe.

chocolatebuttercream2 Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

How to Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Of course, this chocolate buttercream frosting because I put everything I could think of in it. Cocoa? Check. Melted chocolate? Check. Instant coffee? Checkity check check. And that’s how my recipes come about.If at first you don’t succeed, throw everything into the mixer and pray! Words to live by my friends, words to live by. Really though, I took everything I could think of from all the recipes I have ever come across in my baking years and just put the best of it all together.You need more than just cocoa,  but the dry bitterness really is a must. Do I even need to explain melted chocolate and salted butter together? No. I do not. Because I am sure as you are reading this your heart just skipped a beat with chocolate lust seeing those words together.

Melted chocolate. Salted butter. Amen.


  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 ounce one squares of melted then cooled semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1-2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 1/4 – 3 3/4 cups icing sugar


  1.  Melt your three chocolate squares in the microwave, slowly and carefully until they
    are liquidy smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whip the butter in your mixer using the paddle attachment until it’s light and fluffy.
  3.  Add in the cocoa, beating until combined.When the chocolate is cool, add it to the
    butter. Make sure it’s cooled!! Beat until it’s mixed through completely.
  4. Dissolve the instant coffee into the one tablespoon of cream, then add to the butter mixture
  5. Now you can put in the icing sugar one cup at a time, beating until combined.
  6. Adjust the thickness/texture by using another tablespoon of cream, adding it
    slowly until the texture you want is achieved.
chocolatebuttercreamicing1 Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

So without further ado, the best recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting/Icing! So creamy. So dreamy. So super chocolate bliss. Best chocolate buttercream icing ever!!! Feel free to play around with the amounts of everything listed and create the balance that is right for your taste buds. I just know that you most certainly need more than just cocoa, you need melted chocolate and a dash of coffee taste to make this amazing!


Happy Baking everyone!


The Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Rocks My Nest Magpie

Pinnable-Pic-Recipes Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

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chocolatebuttercreamfrosting Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

4.94 from 45 votes
chocolatebuttercream3-220x220-c Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
How to make the best chocolate buttercream frosting! This is one of the most popular icing recipes on my website!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Frosting
Keyword: chocolate buttercream frosting
Servings: 15 cupcakes
Calories: 151 kcal
Author: Karlynn Johnston
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 ounce one squares of melted then cooled semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1-2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 1/4 - 3 3/4 cups icing sugar
  1. Melt your three chocolate squares in the microwave, slowly and carefully until they are liquidy smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whip the butter in your mixer until it's light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the cocoa, beating until combined.When the chocolate is cool, add it to the butter. Make sure it's cooled!!
  4. Add the instant coffee to one tablespoon of cream, then add to the butter mixture
  5. .Now you can put in the icing sugar one cup at a time, beating until combined.
  6. Adjust the thickness/texture by using another tablespoon of cream, adding it slowly until the texture you want is achieved.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 151 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 109mg 5%
Potassium 79mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 7.9%
Calcium 1.1%
Iron 4.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.




Hey guys, I'm Karlynn! Welcome to The Kitchen Magpie, my website full of family friendly recipes, cocktails & homesteading tales of chickens & cows from the family farm! Make sure to check out my bestselling cookbook, Flapper Pie & a Blue Prairie Sky ,stay tuned for info on my second cookbook!


  1. Hi… I was wondering if hot chocolate drink powder and milk chocolate could be used to replace the powder and semi sweet chocolate? I absolutely hate the taste of bitter chocolate even when its sweetened. Milk chocolate frosting is so much more palatable.

    • All chocolate products start off as unsweetened coca powder. The chocolate drink mix and any other chocolate product you can think of is ingredient 1 sugar (boat loads) ingredient 2 coca… then the other chemicals and stabilizers. If you have an aversion to using unsweetened coca there are semi sweet versions with pre added sugar or just go to the higher end of the confectioners sugar measurements. You may just naturally prefer heavier sweetness in your chocolate as it is very bitter naturally. As an example I have a feeling you donto like dark chocolate and find it extremely bitter. Dark chocolate has less coca butter and sugar but the same base as milk chocolate. Good luck Antoinette.
      Personally I found this to be an amazing recipe! I love all chocolate so the bitter for me was not an issue. I was worried about the coffee flavor coming through but it didn’t at all. My wife is particular about icing and she loved the original buttercream recipe so I had to try the chocolate. It is easy to put together and tastes amazing!

  2. ShannanRioux Reply

    Do I have to use the instant coffee? Is there something I can substitute instead, or just leave it out entirely?

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      ShannanRioux You can leave it out, but it adds a nice bitterness to the icing.

  3. Gabriela Isabel Mejia Reply

    Just finished making it for the first time & loved it!!!! Thanks for the great recipe.

  4. I tried this recipe and it is fabulous! Put some leftover icing in a container and the chocolate did not break. I used the double boiler method and I think it made the difference. Thank you for this not too sweet icing recipe.

  5. Hi Karlyn,

    I just tried this recipe and it is super easy and delicious! Great creamy texture and I used espresso powder and love it! Thank you. I love your blog!

  6. Hi! This recipe looks greatt and I can’t wait to try it. But do you by any chance have conversions of the ingredients in grams/millilitres (UK) Thank you!  

  7. Priyanjali A Reply

    Hi Karlynn

    Thanks for the recipe. I will try it definitely – can we use hersheys choclate syrup instead of melted choclate? 

  8. “You can’t over beat a buttercream”…. Well in the case of that type of icing, in fact, it can happen: then, the butter starts to melt or desintegrate. My solution ? If that happens, put it in the fridge for some time and beat it again. But not TOO much. You know, just enough. Replacing coffee with cayenne and a hint of powdered clove give a punch to your great recipe. 

    And yes, it does need a lot a beating, but just don’t let your stand mixer run and hope for it to be wise enough to stop just at the right moment. It’s basic chemistry…

  9. What brand butter did you use or recommend? I find that with baking, brands make a huge difference.

  10. Hii ,can ou pleas tell me what shall be the effect if i replace the butter with margarine or a 50:50 mix..

    Thank you

  11. Hi i made this chocolate Icing Recipe Bt It tuned up to be very bitter, Why is IT?

    • Frazzled Baker Reply

      Adlina It’s hard to tell, it may be due to the chocolate you used. Was it fresh, stale (old) which chocolate did you use?

  12. Just finished making this frosting and WOW….sooooooo good. I currently have the cake in the fridge for a crumb coat to set, and I’m seriously resisting eating the whole bowl! I had no issues with it being grainy. I melted the chocolate the old fashioned way until it was just melted and then ensured it was room temp before continuing. I also made sure my cream was at room temperature as cold would definitely cause the chocolate to seize up and get grainy. I will be making this again for sure!

  13. Mine also seized up and became grainy after adding the powdered sugar. I followed the directions exactly and used a thoroughly cooled quality chocolate. I decided to try adding 1/2 stick more softened butter, and like magic it was transformed back into a creamy smooth frosting. 

  14. I plan on making a birthday cake the day before my sons first birthday party. Would you suggest making the icing and piping it on the day before or on the day?

  15. JenniferPrint Reply

    This is, hands down, the best and yummiest icing EVER. (Tied with the original butter cream icing of course… Which is simoly fantastic!!!).  Not to mention they are both EASY! I don’t microwave the chocolate.. I do it the old way with a bowl on pot with an inch of boiling water.. I have ruined my kids for store bought stuff now lol.  

  16. ShanenSteppenwolf Reply

    what kind of instant coffee do you use for this and what kind of heavy cream do you use?

    • Frazzled Baker Reply

      ShanenSteppenwolf Hey there, for recipes which call for instant coffee, I buy Nescafe Clasico Dark Roast

  17. I don’t know how this works for you but I just put about $20 of ingredients and an hour of my wasted time into the most massive fail of a recipie ever. The mixture was fine when I had added about half the sugar but when i added the full amount I could never get the consistency back, even using slowly added cream. Turned grainy and horrible. Biggest waste of time and money ever. And there’s no way you got the colour shown in the picture using this recipie. Mine was extremely light when using the given proportions.

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      @Donna If the recipe hadn’t been tested with sucessful results by around 40+ different people on this comment thread, I would be concerned, but I suspect ingredient quality or the method. Are you using white sugar? The only reason that something would be grainy after adding sugar is if it’s the wrong type. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you!

    • @Donna it probably had something to do with the type of cocoa you used. unsweetened natural  cocoa powder tend to have a bitter taste as against the dutch processed kind. 

  18. This is the third time I’ve made this icing (AND your classic buttercream) in literally the three weeks since I found the recipes!  TRULY divine.  My Dad actually said my cupcakes with both kinds of icing tasted better than one of our TOP notch, HIGH priced bakeries in town!  How about that?  QUICK question for anyone who wants to weigh in….

    I have a batch already made, and after I was done, I remembered that my son and his friends (9 yrs old) kind of thought it was a bit too bitter (HUH!?  What do they know?)…anyway, the batch I just made is for his b-day cake for his party on Saturday.

    ANY ideas on how to perhaps add something, or do something to the finished product AS IS to make it a little less bitter?  Vanilla?  More cream?  In hindsight, I probably should have made it with milk chocolate (any input, has anyone tried that?)…but I already have a double batch made.  Any ideas would be super.

    If I cannot change it, I’ll just have to keep this double batch ALL for myself!!!  (Darn it anyway!)

    Thanks a million for sharing your recipes!!!!  Truly awesome! 

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      pgraham Add some more icing sugar to it, it won’t change the consistency that much but if it does add more cream ! Glad you love the icings!! 

  19. Hi, how much of this frosting do I need to sandwich two 8 inch cakes and cover them with buttercream also? Thanks.

  20. Do the 3  1 ounce chocolate squares mean just 3 ounces of chocolate?

  21. Is icing sugar the same as powdered sugar?  Also, what type of cocoa and chocolate do you use? My mother in law loves, loves, loves chocolate cake and I want to make it absolutely, positively perfect:-).  Thanks so much for sharing!

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      @Kansasmom You bet! Powdered sugar and icing sugar are the same! I used Hershey’s or even No Name cocoa and baking chocolate!

  22. The first time I made this buttercream, I used regular cocoa powder and Hershey’s semi chocolate chips. It was to die for. The second time, I used ruby red high quality cocoa powder from Bulk Barn, and Callebout Milk & Dark chocolate. I truly think I have died and gone to heaven. Thank you for this incredible recipe.

    Note: if you are having issues with your chocolate becoming grainy, avoid that ever happening and DON’T microwave it! Bring a sauce pan with an inch of water to a summer, put a steel bowl over top and melt chocolate in steel bowl. Stir constantly. Exceptionally smooth chocolate that cools quickly everytime!

    • Mery042309 Reply

      Komatost Hi, how much did you use when you used hersheys semi sweet chocoate chips, as in cups or ounces?

      • Probably about 1/2 to 3/4 cup but I think I doubled the recipe. It was a couple years ago now so I can’t quite remember. Sorry I can’t offer more info. Good luck! This is still my go to recipe.

  23. This recipe is really awesome!:)  Thanks!  Everyone loved it!:)  It wasn’t grainy at all…very silky smooth. 

  24. RainbowBaker Reply

    As a gay man who bakes a lot (yes, I know, I’m very stereotypical sometimes), I’ve been told many times that my baking is the best. I just tried making this recipe and it turned out grainy, bitter, and grotesque. After following the recipe exactly and having no luck, I experimented to see if I could get it to be better by adding more cream, and that helped a bit, but it was still horrible… maybe I’m losing my mind, but this recipe didn’t work for me at all.

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      RainbowBaker  The grainy would be the chocolate, for sure, either it wasn’t cooled enough (most likely) or it was a cheap chocolate. It should never have made it grainy. The bitterness? With so much sugar, there should be NO bitterness, however, any bitterness is from the cocoa. It’s all about the ingredient quality you choose to use.

      • Or maybe your recipie is no good! My chocolate was definitely cool and good quality. Now I have to throw it all out 🙁

        • LeahThereseWilliams Reply

          @Donna Stop being so rude, pull the stick out of your ass and try again. We all fail sometimes, but this is not the fault of the kitchen magpie- I have made this recipe ten times at least and I sell cakes with rave reviews. 

  25. i’ve made the buttercream using butter and salt, but i mixed butter and it didn’t became light nor soft… could I made something wrong? is  butters quality isn’t good enough or it do not mix so well when is too hot? I do live in a tropical country.

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      anitamaxb It might be too hot there, because this should work like a charm!

  26. Hi, me again. 🙂  Can I use MILK instead heavy cream? Because the heavy cream here is valid for 3 days and little use in the recipe, so I wanted to use milk.

  27. I’m sorry again. What is ” 3 one ounce” is 3 ounce, or one (1) ouce? 

  28. I found a recipe like this. But it only takes half a cup of sugar to 2 cups of butter. It will be better with more sugar? the more sugar sweeter and more consistent?

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      anitamaxb This recipe takes my extremely popular buttercream icing and makes it chocolate. The proportions in this recipe are the best, I find, especially when you are adding cocoa.

  29. Hi Kitchen Magpie,

    How do you go about making white chocolate butter cream icing? Coffee doesn’t really fit, and I’m yet to see white cocoa. Would you use cocoa butter and milk powder instead? And what proportions?

    Thank you very much.


  30. Baking Enthusiast Reply

    I tried your recipe and it tasted awesome and the texture was amazing too!! But I chilled it in the refrigerator as I needed to use it the next day plus it contained cream. Sadly, the next day when I remove it out of the fridge I found the buttercream to be grainy and no matter how much I would beat it, the texture was gone. Any suggestion why this could have happened? 

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      @Baking Enthusiast I’d guess it’s the chocolate “seizing” in the mixture, I have refrigerated this no problem, so perhaps it’s either the quality of the chocolate used OR it wasn’t incorporated enough into the mixture? It should be mixed in enough that it isn’t  grainy when it hardens….

    • thekitchenmagpie Reply

      @May You could, but the taste would not be as good, at all.

  31. Thank you soo much for these AMAZING recipes!!! And to think you’re in Edmonton too!! I’ve been searching since forever for great frosting recipes! My cakes come out great but I’ve always been told that my frostings are too sweet, so it’s great to be able to find ones that are just great!

  32. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    Double it if you’re a heavy icer! For 4 layers definitely 2 batches.

  33. Ginny Felton Reply

    How much does this recipe make? I’m going to use this on a vanilla layer cake this weekend… four layers, so I’m trying to figure out if I need to double this?

  34. The Kitchen Magpie Reply

    Aw thanks Renee! I uh…have slight chocolate problem so it goes without saying chocolate icing HAS to be really yummy haha! I really want cake now…….

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