Creamy Chocolate Frosting

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This creamy chocolate frosting is so easy to make and tastes oh-so-good smothered on top of your favorite chocolate cake, cupcake, or brownie slice.

creamy chocolate frosting on a brownie slice.

This melt-in-your-mouth creamy chocolate frosting recipe is three of my favorite things: delicious, budget-friendly, and family-approved. Now, we are going to make this delectable buttercream frosting from scratch. But to make the cake… if you are short on time then use whatever chocolate cake or brownie recipe you like and then the icing is a cinch. I highly recommend my big batch brownies though!

Now, let’s answer the most important question. Is this better than store-bought frosting? Heck yes! What differentiates this buttercream frosting recipe from the store-bought kind is, of course, that irresistible chocolate flavor. This homemade chocolate frosting is absolutely exploding with chocolate. It’s buttery, smooth, and causes everyone who tastes it to do a double-take. This is because by looking at it, you are expecting it to be store-bought canned icing but OH NO, none of that plastic, preservative-filled flavor here. This is the real deal my pretties!

ingredients for creamy chocolate frosting

 Recipe Ingredients

  • Milk
  • Cocoa powder (dutch process, regular or unsweetened cocoa powder, the choice is yours).
  • Softened butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar

How To Make Homemade Creamy Chocolate Frosting Step by Step

place butter and sugar in mixing bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, place the butter and powdered sugar.

Tip: How to make this chocolate buttercream frosting thicker and richer

Now, if you want this to be even richer and more decadent, you can use dutch process cocoa and you’ll end up with a dark chocolate frosting rather than a milk chocolate one. Either way, you’re pretty much set and don’t have to deal with melted chocolate (bonus)!

add in the cocoa and milk

Add the cocoa and just a bit of milk.

Lost your tablespoon in the abyss of your drawer?  

I don’t like to search for a tablespoon when I cook most of the time so I just use the cap of the milk jug and eyeball it. Two tablespoons? I figure about three caps full will do the trick. Feel free to use a tablespoon and be more accurate if you like. I’m setting a bad example but sometimes y’all need a bad example!

mix this up with beaters

Mix all of that up using a stand mixer until creamy. Now, this is gonna be really thick. At first, it will be lumpy but stick with it and it’ll get all smooth like this, although still very thick.

add more milk and sugar

Add the remainder of your milk and confectioners sugar.

mix up the chocolate frosting well

Mix that up well.

Add vanilla and mix again, until it’s all smooth, silky, and chocolaty.

Dip a spoon (or a finger, I won’t tell) to taste your sweet chocolate buttercream frosting.

Enjoy licking those electric mixer beaters too!

frosting the chocolate cake

Frost your cake with this silky smooth bit of chocolate buttercream heaven.

Creamy chocolate frosting on brownie slices in pan.

Dig in!  Can’t wait to sink my teeth into that chocolate cake with creamy chocolate frosting! YUM!


In an airtight container, this chocolate buttercream frosting recipe will last up to one week in the fridge and up to three months in the freezer. When you take it out of the freezer, thaw it in the refrigerator, and then beat it on medium speed for a few seconds to make it nice and fluffy again.

Recipe Notes

  • Remember to ensure your butter has been softened at room temperature before attempting this recipe because it will make your easy chocolate frosting infinitely better!
  • This recipe makes enough to frost about 12 chocolate cupcakes, as well as a standard one-layer cake or brownie slice. Just make sure your cake is cooled before adding the buttercream frosting.
  • You can use either unsalted or salted butter. If you opt for unsalted butter, have a taste, as you might want to add a pinch of salt while the buttercream frosting is mixing to enhance the chocolate flavor.

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between frosting and icing?

It’s all about consistency. Icing is thinner than frosting and is typically used as a glaze. Meanwhile, buttercream frosting uses butter to make it thicker and fluffier. You can top a cake with either icing or frosting, depending on your desired effect.

Why is my frosting not creamy?

If you find your buttercream frosting is too thick, add one to tablespoons of milk at a time until it reaches a smoother consistency. Alternatively, if your frosting is too thin, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time until it becomes thicker and creamier.

You may also like these other frosting recipes:

Red Velvet Cupcakes and Cream Cheese Frosting

Seven Minute Frosting Foolproof recipe

Rolo Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting

Peanut Butter Cake (From Scratch!) with PB Cream Cheese Frosting

Yellow Cake with Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Icing

creamy chocolate frosting

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

This creamy chocolate frosting recipe is so easy to make and tastes delicious spread on top of cakes and brownies.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate
Servings: 12
Calories: 341kcal


  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter one stick, softened
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • In a large mixing bowl, place butter, 1 cup of sugar, cocoa powder, and two tablespoons of milk.
    3 cups confectioner's sugar, 2/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup butter, 6 tbsp milk
  • Beat until mixed well and no longer lumpy. It will be thick. Add all remaining ingredients and beat the buttercream mixture until smooth and creamy.
    1 tsp vanilla extract


Calories: 341kcal
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  1. This frosting is delicious! I put in on yellow cake. Just like my Grandmother used to love. Can’t go wrong with that combo!

  2. There is noting so sweet and tasty as cream chocolate frosting. This, almost 77-year old great grandmother wants to know where you were when she was married at age 19-years old? Smile. Fast forward to Aug 28, 2021, today I taught my sixteen year old grandson (youngest grandchild) how to make his first batch[ever] of homemade apple jelly. Next time, he wants to learn how to make brownies and cookies. Promise, we will also make Creamy Chocolate Frosting for the cookies.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!! We’re expecting and I was craving cupcakes with canned frosting, and my husband didn’t like all that artificial stuff in the ingredients list so he got me a box of confectioners sugar to make my own instead. I was a little disappointed but I found your recipe and I’m so happy! It’s like the canned stuff but BETTER! I find homemade buttercream frosting a little heavy and overpowering most of the time.

    I added a few more tablespoons of cocoa to make it more dark chocolate. Soooo good.

    It was soft for the first couple of days but now it’s hardened up like canned frosting. I like the versatility!

  4. My husband says he likes canned frosting as well but I despise the stuff. Too artificial. Does this come out really sweet? Also, would this make enough to fill and frost an 8″ 2 layer cake? Thanks

    1. Yeah, they love it but I’ve found the older I get the more sensitive I am to that, I don’t know, plasticy type taste, if that makes sense. This is perhaps slightly less sweet than that because I think they have to sweeten it more to add to the flavor but I can almost guarantee you that if he loves the canned stuff he will do flips and summersaults over this. To ice a two layer cake I’d double the recipe but having said that, my grandmother would have been able to ice it with one. I tend to be a bit more generous to make sure it looks pretty 🙂

  5. Does this icing get dry enough on top for easy transport? That’s what I like about the store bought icings.

  6. Ms. Christy,
    Thank you thank you thank you for this amazing recipe. I finally mastered the perfect yellow homemade cake and now I have the perfect chocolate icing. I am so grateful !!! The icing looks store bought but tastes oh so much better!!! ❤❤❤❤The consistency is perfect. This recipe so easy and no fail. I truly can’t thank you enough. So excited!!! Wishing you and your family health, happiness and love!!!

    1. Celestine, that just made my week!!! I am so glad to hear that you like the icing and it comes out perfect for you every time!!! I pray that you and your family are blessed with health, happiness and love as well!!

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