The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This decadent chocolate buttercream frosting is the best topped high on cupcakes! It’s super simple to make and tastes incredible on all your favorite sweets (or straight off the spoon — I won’t judge!).

If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll adore this incredible chocolate buttercream that you can use on so many baked goodies and that is so super simple to whip up anytime.

Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I have spent many a birthday whipping up festive cakes and cupcakes for my little ones who insist on getting older year after year, much to my equal delight and dismay! Mamas out there, I’m sure you understand this bittersweet dilemma. They enter new stages and grow taller and more mature, which is a joy to witness, but at the same time, I just want them to be little forever. The struggle!

But celebrating them every year when their birthdays roll around will forever be a treat. And I’ll keep making them sweets for the celebrations — many of which will obviously include this delicious chocolate buttercream frosting that I could easily eat a whole bowl of — as long as they’ll let me.

Simply put, this frosting is impeccable! It’s creamy and chocolatey, but not too much. And it’s a fantastic texture for piling high on a big batch of cupcakes (if your spoon doesn’t steal too much of it away first). You know me — simple recipes that come together quickly and with a handful of ingredients are sort of my thing, and this one hits all the marks. I hope you enjoy celebrating your people with it as much as I do!

Does buttercream frosting need to be refrigerated?

Buttercream frosting with a small amount of milk or cream, like this recipe, is not perishable for short periods of time and can be left at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Other recipes, like French and Italian buttercream frostings that use eggs, should be refrigerated to maintain freshness.

How long does chocolate buttercream last?

Chocolate buttercream lasts in the fridge for about 1 week and in the freezer for 3 months kept in an airtight container. You can make it ahead and store it either way before frosting cake or cupcakes.

How much frosting do I need for a 9×13 cake? For 12 cupcakes?

This recipe is the perfect amount of frosting for 12 generously frosted cupcakes. You need about 3 to 4 cups of frosting for a 9×13-inch cake.

Should I refrigerate cupcakes with buttercream frosting?

You can store iced cupcakes in an airtight container (careful not to smash the frosting) at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for 3 months.


The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 min
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x


This decadent chocolate buttercream frosting is the best topped high on cupcakes! It’s super simple to make and tastes incredible on all your favorite sweets (or straight off the spoon — I won’t judge!).



  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (I like dutch-processed)
  • 2.5 to 3 cups powdered sugar


  1. Add the butter and cream to the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on medium speed with the whisk attachment, until the butter and cream combine.
  2. Increase the speed to high and mix for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides a time or two.
  3. Add the vanilla, cocoa, and 2.5 cups of the powdered sugar.
  4. Mix on low until combined, then increase speed to medium, and whip for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. The consistency of the icing is important if you are going to pile it high on a cupcake. It should be a medium consistency. If you mix the batch of icing with a metal teaspoon (the kind you use for dinner) the spoon should stand up straight in the middle of the bowl when it is stuck in the icing. So, you should be able to stir it with a spoon by hand, but it should also be sturdy enough to hold the spoon up.
  6. If the icing is too thick, add a little cream. If it needs to be a little thicker, add a 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, and whip to combine until it’s sturdy enough.
  7. Place in an icing bag, and pipe onto cake or cupcakes with tip 2A.


  • This recipe is for 12 heavily frosted cupcakes.
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: no bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: frosting, icing, chocolate, cupcakes, cake, chocolate buttercream

This post was originally published in 2012, and has been updated and rephotographed in October 2019.

This lovely chocolate buttercream frosting recipe is the perfect topping to and baked goody or cake, and it couldn’t be easier to whip up!

Subscribers get access to Dinner Made Easy meal plans, exclusive recipes, giveaways, and behind-the-scenes updates​! Sign up for my newsletter or get a new recipe every day.

Subscribe Now
38 Recipes for Busy Moms
5 Responses
  1. I hope that your plants are all nice and cozy and didn’t freeze. This is such a fun time, I love the spring, not so much the spring in Idaho, it’s not too “springy”. Good luck with your chicks, i hope to someday have a bunch of chickens in my back yard eating the bugs out of my garden 🙂 Love your blog. Keep up the hard work!! thanks for the recipes, i love a good tried and true recipe.

  2. Rob and Marseille

    what?! no peanut butter cupcake recipe?! No cookies & cream recipe?! just as well, since I can’t eat them right now.

    1. I feel so honored you are so observant! The Cookies and cream wasn’t up to par and I didn’t get any pictures of the PB… I’ll do that sometime though. How is the no sugar going by the way? That baby is worth it, but it’s so hard!

  3. Rob and Marseille

    No sugar is going ok, as long as I don’t make any special desserts. I made an orange cake for a RS thing & it smelled so good I almost cried. but I refrained from eating it.

Leave a Reply

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

Dinner Ideas for Busy Moms