Chocolate buttercream frosting

Buttercream!!! Who doesn’t like this creamy, sugary goodness?? From kids to adults alike, one can never tire of enjoying a slice of cake or a cupcake frosted with buttercream. There are so many varieties of buttercream from an American style buttercream to Swiss/French/Italian meringue buttercream!!!

Buttercream is just an icing made by combining fat and sugar, whipped to the desired consistency and thickness, sometimes flavored with various additives like chocolate, fruit preserves/purees etc for variations.

As much as I love buttercream, I don’t make it that often. I prefer simple non frosted cakes to enjoy with my evening tea. Of course an occasion is incomplete without a frosted cake, which is the only time I actually make them! So this time when I made some frosting for my egg-less chocolate cupcakes, I thought I’d share it on the blog. I’ve slightly adapted the recipe for this chocolate buttercream frosting from here, and this has since been my go to chocolate buttercream frosting.

This is a very simple and straight forward recipe. After trying this recipe, I bet you will never return to buying those ready-made canned chocolate frosting. There is a world of difference between pure buttercream frosting and the canned ones made with Hydrogenated vegetable oil and preservatives, lacking butter flavor and loaded with trans fat.

You just need butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and some cream to make this  creamy, smooth and ridiculously delicious, chocolate buttercream frosting. Commercial bakeries use vegetable shortening because it is shelf stable and holds well, but I’m sure many home bakers prefer butter instead of shortening. Even without the use of shortening/margarine in my buttercream frosting, I have had no problems with the stability of buttercream. This chocolate buttercream holds it’s shape well at room temperature too. However, if you live in a very hot and humid climate, you can refrigerate the frosted cupcakes in an air tight container or keep the frosted and decorated cake in a cool room. I prefer to use heavy cream for the liquid ingredient, as it makes the buttercream even more rich, light, fluffy and smooth. It almost resembles a mousse! Oh yum!!! I’m sure with this recipe your search for the perfect chocolate buttercream frosting will come to an end!

Ingredients- Measuring cup used, 1 Cup = 250 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml

1 stick/ 1/2 cup/ 113 grams salted butter, softened, not melted

2 2⁄3 cups confectioners’ sugar (Spooned and leveled)

1cup cocoa ( Spooned and leveled)

5-6 tablespoons heavy cream/milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, add more if you want more vanilla flavor


1. In a mixing bowl, sieve confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder, whisk well and set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, place butter and beat on medium high speed until pale and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as required, about 2-3 minutes. You can also use a hand mixer.

3. Next, add the sugar-cocoa powder mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Beat on lowest speed until all the sugar-cocoa powder mixture is well combined with the butter.

4.  Add vanilla extract, and beat on medium low speed another few seconds.

5. Stream in the heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as required, until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.

6. Frost the cooled cakes/cupcakes using nozzles, or simply spread the frosting with an offset spatula! Yummmm  !!


  • For a silky-smooth buttercream that is free of lumps, always use room temperature butter. Powdered sugar/Confectioner’s sugar should always be sifted before adding to the creamed butter.
  • To avoid too many air bubbles in buttercream, never whip it too much. Again, if you start off with cold butter, you will end up over beating the butter, thereby creating more air bubbles. Beat the buttercream just until light and fluffy.
  • If your buttercream is not holding shape after piping onto cake/cupcakes, try adding more sifted confectioner’s sugar to help stiffen it. Also, wait for the cake/cupcakes to cool down completely before frosting.
  • This chocolate buttercream frosting is just the right sweetness for me. If you wish, you can reduce the sugar to 2 cups or for a more intense chocolate flavor increase the unsweetened cocoa powder to ¾ cup, adjust the liquid accordingly.
  • Always add liquid a tablespoon at a time, It is much easier to control the desired thickness of the frosting this way, rather than adding everything in one go, only to find out the frosting is too runny.
  • If the frosting is thick, add some cream to thin it out. If it is runny, add some confectioner’s sugar and beat until it is thick enough to hold its shape.
  • You can store the frosting in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and in the freezer for 2-3 months. If storing in the refrigerator/freezer, let it come to room temperature, and whip again to get a smooth consistency before using.
  • This recipe will yield enough frosting to frost 15-18 cupcakes depending on the size of the swirl. You will have to double the recipe if you want to fill and frost a two layer, 8″ or 9″ cake.
  • You may use margarine/shortening instead of butter, or use 50:50, 75:25 ,25:75 margerine/shortening:butter ratio, whatever works best for you depending on climatic conditions.

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Have a fabulous week ahead 🙂




  1. Richa says:

    Thanks for your valuable do’s and don’ts Freda. I am going to try your cupcake recipe… Will share the results with u.

  2. cupcakecache says:

    Reminds me of our store time. We closed in Dec. 2016 due to my husband’s cancer but he is now cancer free for the past year. I am going to post next week some of our frosting recipes. There is a secret to making the frosting. I will share next week. I never get tired of frosting.

    • Freda Dias says:

      Ohh! Glad to know your husband got past through it and is better now 🙂 I love how light and delicious this chocolate frosting turns out.
      Will be looking forward to your post, I’m always ready to learn 🙂

    • Neelam says:

      Hello… Good to hear about your husband’s recovery…Stay blessed always… though I m not a professional baker just like baking at home..But always like to keep learning more…So can you share your frosting recipe please… Thank you in advance

      • cupcakecache says:

        One secret is to always use real butter and if you have a Gordon Food Service nearby, check in with them for a whipped frosting which they sell which can be sparingly added to your frosting. I posted some pics under my site and you can check out some facebook pictures of our store which is still up under Cupcake Cache.

  3. Nivedita Asnani says:

    Hi…thanks for the awesome recipe. Have some queries..
    Can we use normal powdered sugar instead of confectioners sugar?
    What is heavy cream..whipped cream or Amul cream ..
    Will milk have the same effect?

  4. Upasna says:

    Thank you for the recipe Freda.
    I have one question; i added powdered sugar in the frosting & whipped the butter also for 3-5 min….but still the frosting was little grainy…what could be the reason ?
    Or is it supposed to be like that 😳

    • Freda Dias says:

      Hi Upasna. No it’s not supposed to be grainy, it should be really smooth and fluffy. You have to sift the powdered sugar/ icing sugar to avoid that grainy texture, coz powdered sugar tends to be lumpy. You can sift twice if need be, then only add to the butter. The sugar dissolves in the butter without giving any grainy texture.

  5. Aditi Dave says:

    Wanted to know what is heavy cream?
    N what is single fat cream?
    Amul fresh cream(blue colour pack) n Amul whipping cream(red colour pack) comes in which category?
    Can we use these in butter cream frosting?

    • Freda Dias says:

      You don’t need a whipping consistency cream for the frosting. Even something like regular amul cream will work, the blue packet. I’m not sure what the red packet is, coz I’m not in India. But if you check the label, if it has 35% fat, it can be whipped up to stiff peaks. Those are required for whipped cream frosting. If you have none of these, simply use milk for buttercream frosting, you need a liquid to thin it out and make it pipeable consistency.

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