Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I am normally not a frosting person. I will eat the cake around the frosting of just about any cake. But I will make an exception for a good chocolate frosting. And this is one good chocolate buttercream frosting!

I think the chocolate in the frosting cuts the sweetness, so it’s just a light, rich, and tasty topping for any cake or cupcake.

Want to know my secret for getting an extra light, rich, and tasty chocolate frosting? Well, it’s two things: whipping cream and espresso powder.

The whipping cream makes the frosting a little bit lighter and fluffier. The espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor without adding a strong espresso flavor.

Oh, I forgot the best part. It takes just minutes to whip up! Like my favorite 7 minute buttercream frosting, this frosting recipe doesn’t take a whole lot longer than that which makes it the perfect frosting recipe to whip up when you are in a pinch!

How to Make It

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I don’t normally make recommendations on what types of ingredients to use in a recipe. A lot of times it doesn’t make that much of a difference. But when you are making a buttercream frosting, there are so few ingredients and they almost all play a huge part in the final taste and texture.

First, use a high quality dutch process, unsweetened cocoa powder. This is where your frosting will get all it’s flavor so make sure you like the flavor!

Second, use a high fat butter. Do not use margarine, please!

Lastly, use a confectioners sugar that only contains sugar and corn starch. There are some brands of powdered/confectioners/icing sugar that contain other ingredients that can really disrupt the flavor and texture of any icing or frosting.

Now that you have good quality ingredients, you can start making your icing!

First, cream together the butter and whipping cream. Whip the butter and cream until it’s light, fluffy, and almost white in color instead of yellow. This could take 1-2 minutes.

Next, sift the sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt into the butter mixture. This isn’t totally necessary if you are short on time, but it will help make the frosting much smoother.

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Finally, whip the butter, cream, sugar, and cocoa powder until it’s light a fluffy. For the first few seconds it may seem a bit dry, but keep whipping away and it will eventually come together as a nice, creamy frosting!

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Now all that’s left is to smother you cake, cupcake, or whatever (no judgement if you just eat this with a spoon) with this delicious frosting!

It’s the perfect topping for just about any time of cake! I especially love it on top of my favorite chocolate cupcake for that 1-2 chocolate punch!


Total Time: 10 minutes

Makes: enough to frost 1 cake or 24 cupcakes


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

  • 1 lb (about 4 cups) confectioners sugar

  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed, unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and whipping cream until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes.

  2. Sift confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt into the butter mixture. Whip together until light and creamy.

  3. Transfer to a piping bag or spread directly onto cake or cupcake.