Rich Chocolate Frosting

24 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Rich Chocolate Frosting is creamy, fudgy, and indulgent with only 5 ingredients and ready in just a few minutes! Incredibly EASY to make!

There’s nothing like the perfect topping to the perfect dessert, and just like this frosting, we’re perfecting our Chocolate Ganache, Homemade Marshmallows, and Easy Whipped Cream!

Chocolate Frosting

Rich Chocolate Frosting is fudgy, creamy, and insanely easy to make in only a few minutes with 5 ingredients. All you need is butter, cocoa, confectioners sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. This frosting recipe is richer than your average buttercream, with a stronger chocolate flavor, making it the perfect addition to chocolate cake or brownies.

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You can substitute the vanilla with other flavorings in this frosting, like peppermint or almond extract. This is a great recipe to make with homemade Cupcakes because it’s spreadable, and also perfect for piping. If you are decorating a cake or cupcakes, you can even make a double batch, because you can never have too much!

Chocolate Frosting steps of ingredients being mixed in

In order to make fluffy Rich Chocolate Frosting, bring your frosting to room temperature. Then put in the stand mixer, and beat on medium-high for 1-2 minutes. This will help incorporate some air into the frosting, giving it a fluffier texture.

Keep in mind that this is a really rich frosting, so you may not be able to get the same fluffy texture as you would from a regular buttercream or cream cheese frosting.

Easy Chocolate Buttercream

This is not a traditional buttercream, although there are some similarities. Both frosting recipes contain butter, so it’s easy to get confused. However, a typical buttercream frosting calls for softened butter that’s creamed together with powdered sugar (and sometimes egg whites), then with the other ingredients like cocoa or vanilla extract. It turns out light and fluffy, with a strong sweet butter taste.

This frosting recipe calls for cooking the cocoa powder and butter together first, which makes a frosting that turns out more fudgy and richer than a chocolate buttercream would be. Chocolate buttercream frosting would have a lighter texture than this chocolate frosting recipe.

More Easy Chocolate Dessert Recipes

Tips for Making Rich Chocolate Frosting:

  • You can add more milk to achieve a thinner texture with your frosting, but add very slowly so you don’t overshoot it.
  • This is the perfect frosting to use as a crumb layer before adding fondant to a layer cake.
  • Don’t substitute this homemade chocolate frosting with anything other than butter, because margarine has a lower fat content and the texture won’t turn out right.
  • If your frosting is coming out too sweet for your taste, add a dash of salt to balance the flavor.
  • Unsalted butter is recommended because you can control the flavor, but you can use salted if you’d prefer the salty flavor.
  • This chocolate frosting is a lot more indulgent then a normal chocolate buttercream frosting, which means it’s perfect to use for Brownies, along with the usual chocolate cake, yellow cake, layer cake, or cupcakes.
  • Use this frosting as a dip for strawberries, bananas, or graham crackers!

More Easy Frosting Recipes

Chocolate Frosting mixing and spreading collage

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I substitute for powdered sugar in frosting?

Instead of powdered sugar, substitute with 2 (14oz) cans of sweetened condensed milk. Mix the condensed milk in at the same point in the recipe you would have added the powdered sugar. This is a liquid, so wait to see if you need any added milk until the very end.

How do I make Dark Chocolate Frosting?

Substitute the cocoa powder for a dark chocolate cocoa powder to make dark chocolate frosting. If that’s too bitter for your taste, you can mix half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate cocoa powder.

How can I make Super Rich Chocolate Frosting?

If you want an even richer chocolate frosting, sub the milk with heavy cream or whipping cream.

What can I substitute for cocoa powder in Chocolate Frosting?

You can use baker’s chocolate instead of cocoa powder for this recipe, start with 4-6 oz of semisweet chocolate. You may need less milk, to compensate for the added moisture, just watch the texture and add accordingly.

How do you make Mexican Hot Chocolate Frosting?

Add a teaspoon of cinnamon to this chocolate frosting recipe for a Mexican-style chocolate. You can also add a dash of cayenne pepper.

What flavorings can be used for holiday dessert frostings?

Add peppermint extract to this chocolate frosting recipe, then crush peppermint candies on top of cupcakes for a holiday version. Or use orange extract, then after you’ve frosted the cupcakes, top with orange zest for chocolate orange cupcakes!

Chocolate Frosting being spread on chocolate cake

How to Store Rich Chocolate Frosting

  • Serve: Don’t leave the Rich Chocolate Frosting at room temperature for more than 4 hours.
  • Store: Rich Chocolate Frosting can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • Freezer: You could also store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. The day before you’re ready to use it, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bring it to room temperature before re-whipping again.
Chocolate Cake Slice on plate with fork

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Rich Chocolate Frosting

Rich Chocolate Frosting is creamy and indulgent, made with ONLY 5 ingredients and ready in just a few minutes! Incredibly EASY to make!
Yield 24 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and whisk in the cocoa powder then remove from the heat and let cool.
  • Add the cooled chocolate mix to your stand mixer and whip on medium speed adding the powdered sugar and milk, alternating them ⅓ at a time and finally add the vanilla in last.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more milk.



Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 365IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Photos used in a previous version of this post:

Rich Chocolate Frosting Collage
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Chocolate Buttercream

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Wow!,just wow,the most amazing chocolate buttercream I’ve ever had,my customers love it too,so glad I found your recipe.Thankyou so much.X ??

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I’ve been searching for a frosting that was this wonderful. Yours is fantastic!!!