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Light chocolate buttercream recipe

Light chocolate buttercream recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cake decorating
  • Icing
  • Buttercream icing
  • Chocolate buttercream

Just four simple ingredients in this chocolate buttercream icing, which is lighter than most other chocolate buttercream recipes. This is perfect for sponge cake, as it is nice and light.

34 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 550g icing sugar
  • 85g butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 30g unsweetened cocoa powder

MethodPrep:10min ›Ready in:10min

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth with electric mixer. Slowly beat in icing sugar 5 tablespoons at a time. Add milk. Beat in cocoa. Refrigerate until ready to use.

How to ice cupcakes

Watch our How to ice cupcakes video to see how to dress them up or down for any occasion!

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(40)

Reviews in English (37)

omg well made a lovely cake for my sons birthday tomorrow and found this recipe for icing and thought the measurements odd but carried on and had to half the ingredients as it seemed a lot of icing sugar and had to add water and more milk and butter and ended up with too much drippy icing , so very disappointed and would not recommend it its wasted my time and money quantities are wrong dont know who put this recipe up very angry mom in staffs.grrrr any new bakers DONT BOTHER .-05 May 2014

Needs a lot mor butter. Wouldn't bind together at all-15 Sep 2013

Think the quantities are wrong! only added about half of the icing sugar and it turned to breadcrumbs, had to add loads more milk to bring it back, tasted nice with the extra milk though-20 Jun 2013

The BEST Chocolate Cake

The BEST Chocolate Cake topped with a Rich and Creamy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting! The perfect cake for parties, birthdays or just because! This is the ONLY chocolate cake recipe you will ever need!

This is my all time favorite Homemade Chocolate Cake recipe. Super moist, chocolatey and soft this is my go to dessert for parties, birthdays or just because. The cake is perfectly moist and is topped with a rich chocolate buttercream. Perfect for chocolate lovers! This moist chocolate cake recipe turns out perfect ever time and is incredibly easy to make. You will never need another Chocolate Cake recipe after you make this one!

How to make chocolate buttercream using melted chocolate

Beat butter and powdered sugar together on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium, and beat until well-combined, about 2-3 minutes.

Mix in chocolate and milk until completely incorporated. Mix in vanilla until well-combined.

How to Make the BEST Chocolate Buttercream

Get your butter out of the fridge at least 2 hours before you need to use it.

We need room temperature butter here or it won&rsquot cream with the sugar. If you forget you can use the microwave on very low power or cut your butter into small cubes to let it come to room temp a lot faster.

Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer beat your butter on medium speed for about 5 minutes.

We need it to about double in volume and become incredibly light and pale.

Add the powdered sugar a third at a time, waiting until its fully incorporated before adding the next amount.

Add the cocoa powder and mix until combined.

The buttercream will be very clumpy and dry here, don&rsquot worry just mix until combined.

Add the milk slowly with the machine running until you have the consistency you would like.

Thicker buttercream works better for piping and thinner buttercream is best for layering on cakes.

Flavour the buttercream with 1 tsp of Vanilla Essence.

You wont have a strong vanilla flavour, this is mainly used to help bring out more of the chocolate flavour.

Add the Chocolate Buttercream to a piping bag and it&rsquos ready to use!

I often get asked with this recipe why there isn&rsquot any chocolate in it, just cocoa powder. The answer to that is using actual chocolate doesn&rsquot really have many benefits in this recipe.

Using Chocolate in recipes is usually for texture from the cocoa butter but because this is buttercream there is already texture from the butter.

So save yourself some time and money and just use the best quality cocoa powder because that&rsquos all you need to make the most perfect Chocolate Buttercream.

Common Questions about this Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

How many cupcakes will this chocolate buttercream cover?

This will make enough for about 15-18 cupcakes depending on how high you pipe the buttercream. It will be enough to layer an 8&Prime or 20cm cake.

How long will this Chocolate Buttercream last?

The chocolate buttercream will keep at room temperature for three days, the fridge for one week or the freezer for three months. If you do store it in the fridge or freezer before you use it let it come up to room temperature and beat it in your stand mixer or with a hand mixer for a few minutes.

Equipment needed for this Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer

The butter needs to be whipped for this recipe. It will take about 5 minutes on medium to high speed so you wont be able to do this by hand.

Measuring Cups or Digital Scale

To measure the ingredients for this recipe measuring cups or a digital scale can be used. I have given the amounts for both as different people have different preferences.

Piping Bag and Piping Tip

To use this buttercream on cupcakes it&rsquos easiest to use a piping bag and piping tip. I have used a Wilton 2D piping tip here, it&rsquos my favorite!

Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate buttercream frosting is one of my FAVORITE kinds of frosting, especially when it’s whipped! Although I’m usually not crazy over frostings like some people, I’m a sucker for that buttery, creamy, fluffy, chocolatey buttercream!

I mean just look at the ingredients of this recipe: Real Butter. Cream. Powdered Sugar. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. Real Vanilla Extract. Sweet mother of all things Holy! This stuff is good!

If you’re looking for an easy, chocolatey and downright delicious old fashioned chocolate buttercream frosting them let me introduce you to this recipe right HURRR! It’s my go-to recipe for crowd-pleasing chocolate buttercream frosting and it’s…well…amazing!!

This Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting pairs up GREAT with my homemade yellow cake recipe! Check it out!

(I used a slightly different chocolate buttercream frosting recipe on this cake but after making it again with this whipped frosting OMG! I prefer whipped)

To make the frosting that I had in the yellow cake video, (pictured above) just omit the heavy cream and follow this mixing method otherwise all other measurements are the same. In a large bowl cream the butter, add powdered sugar and mix until creamy. Mix in cocoa powder. Add in melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Mix until creamy. Stir in a pinch of salt. Done!

This whipped chocolate buttercream frosting packs in two kinds of chocolate for that true chocolatey flavor unsweetened cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate chips! The texture of this easy chocolate buttercream frosting is light, airy and fluffy, perfect for frosting soft layered cakes and cupcakes. I could seriously eat this stuff by the spoonful!

Don’t be tempted to use milk chocolate chips, dark or semi-sweet works just great and keeps the frosting from becoming too sweet.

Tips to making PERFECT Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (or any buttercream frosting)

1.) Let butter soften at room temperature. Do not microwave or you may risk melting the butter. Melted butter will make for a super-thin frosting and then you’ll have to overcompensate with more powder sugar, etc. Making the frosting way to sweet and weird tasting. To speed up the butter softening process you can cut into smaller pieces. I just take a stick out of the fridge in the morning and let it sit until I’m ready to bake. By then it’s super soft, but still, hold a shape which is what you want. If it’s a last-minute frosting and I don’t have 30 minutes to an hour to wait for the butter to soften, I’ll cheat and throw the butter in the microwave for just a few seconds while watching it like a hawk to make sure none of it is melted and then let it sit for about 15 minutes to completely soften.

2.) Cream that butter well. The first step and important one is making sure you cream that softened butter really well!! This prepares it for all those yummy ingredients!

3.) Sift any dry ingredients. In this recipe, the only dry ingredients we use are powdered sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder. Sifting gets rid of any lumps and makes it all powdery light. Perfect for frosting!!

4.) Thin or Thicken carefully. If you feel the frosting is a bit too thick for your liking, thin it out gradually with tiny DROPS of milk or heavy cream (yes a little liquid goes A LONG way in frostings). If it’s too thin, let it sit for a bit FIRST since frostings become firmer as they sit. If it’s still too thin, add the powdered sugar a little at a time. I’m not a fan of this really since it changes the way the frosting will taste. Melting the butter, even a tiny bit, usually causes thinner frostings.


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You sure can! This frosting can be made up to four days in advance. Simply prepare it as directed and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before you want to use it, let it sit out on the counter for a bit to help bring it up to room temperature. When it is ready, fluff it up by stirring it with a fork or whisk and start frosting!

If you want to make this way ahead of time, you can freeze it in a freezer safe container for up to three months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then bring it to room temperature on the counter. Beat it again, with a hand mixer or stand mixer, before frosting your favorite treats.

How It&rsquos Made

Make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature.

Start by beating the butter for three full minutes with an electric mixer on high speed. This will incorporate lots of air into the frosting to make it nice and light.

Mix in the cocoa powder, starting on low speed, until completely incorporated.

Mix in the powdered sugar in multiple additions, then mix in vanilla extract and salt.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes or cake.


I wish I could shout this one out to the world! Using semi-cold butter is key to ensuring your chocolate buttercream actually holds well and doesn’t fall from your spatula or off your cake. I recommend taking the butter out of your fridge about 30 minutes prior to making your buttercream. The butter should still be cold to the touch, but you’ll be able to make a slight imprint with your finger.

If the butter still feels too cold, just cut it into cubes and add to your mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.

We’re going to let the mixer soften the butter for us, without the butter getting too warm. It’s when the butter is too warm that it creates major problems for our chocolate buttercream.

Run the mixer at medium speed for about two minutes to beat the butter. You’ll notice it gets lighter in color and looks fluffy and smooth. This is perfect. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl and mix again for another 30 to 60 seconds.

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: