This Fluffy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting takes only 5 minutes to make and is perfect for cupcakes, cakes, or icing your favorite desserts. It is made with cocoa powder and has a deliciously decadent chocolate flavor that everyone will love. Plus, it’s easy to make, and easy to store!

Chocolate buttercream swirled in a bowl with two spoons inside.

One recipe that every home baker should have on hand is a recipe for a classic easy chocolate buttercream frosting. As a trained pastry chef, this decadent topping is used to round out the finishing touches on homemade cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. It can also be used as a filling for cakes or sandwiched between two cookies!

I always use this recipe to frost my 6 inch chocolate cake, a chocolate cake with sprinkles, or my favorite chocolate filled cupcakes. You can also use it to frost over cookie dough cupcakes! I make this recipe with cocoa powder so theres no need to have to melt chocolate. You can really make this whole recipe in 5 minutes!

Buttercream frosting is a type of icing made from butter, sugar, and milk. The texture is light, fluffy, and creamy. You can make it in a variety of different flavors like strawberry or raspberry buttercream for a berry flavor, or espresso buttercream for a bold coffee flavor.

This recipe is for a classic chocolate icing that is rich, delicious, and full of chocolatey goodness! If you want a lighter chocolate frosting try this whipped chocolate frosting– It only has 3 ingredients!


Ingredients for chocolate buttercream frosting.
  • Unsalted Butter – Used as the base of the frosting, butter adds a dense thick texture and rich buttery flavor. Learn how to soften butter quickly if you forgot to leave out your butter.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Gives this classic frosting its rich dark chocolate flavor.
  • Powdered Sugar – Sweetens the frosting while allowing it to blend in with the rest of the ingredients smoothly.
  • Brewed Coffee – Although optional, coffee helps bring out the rich flavor of chocolate.
  • Milk or Heavy Cream – A touch of milk or heavy cream helps thin out the frosting to the perfect consistency while keeping it rich and creamy.


I love to use just a bit of coffee in chocolate frostings and desserts because it amps up the chocolate flavor. It is optional to add, and you can use a decaf version if you dont want to add additional caffeine to the recipe. But I think its worth it!

Best cocoa powder to use

Use any unsweetened cocoa powder here so you don’t add any unnecessary sweetness. My go to’s are always Hershey’s or from Trader Joes. You can also use the Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder to give this recipe and even deeper taste.

How to make chocolate frosting from scratch

  • Combine the butter and cocoa powder: To start the base of this frosting, add the butter and unsweetened cocoa powder to the large bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a bowl for use with an electric hand mixer. Mix on medium speed for one minute until the butter and chocolate are fully incorporated.
  • Add in the sugar: To the butter and chocolate mixture, add in the powdered sugar and mix on medium speed until combined, about another minute
  • Mix in the wet ingredients: If you’re using coffee, add it to the mixer now along with the heavy cream at one tablespoon. Mix on high speed for 2 minutes or until a thick whipped texture is formed. If you’d like a thinner frosting, add heavy cream one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Store in the fridge.
Chocolate and butter mixture in a stainless steel mixer bowl.


This recipe makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes or to fill and frost a 2 layer 9″ round cake, or a 9×13″ sheet cake.

Decorating with buttercream

For cupcakes– I love to use piping bags and a star tip to frost cupcakes.

For cakes– I use an offset spatula to help fill and frost my cakes. Then decorate with sprinkles, or flowers, or leave it as a naked cake for a rustic look!

For cookies– Slather this frosting in between chocolate brownie cookies with a spoon for a double chocolate treat!


  • You can use milk instead of cream for this recipe.
  • Starting out with room temperature ingredients is important for this recipe as it will help the buttercream come together smoothly.
  • Mix on high speed for a good two minutes so that the frosting is whipped and fluffy and all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • You can make this recipe in a stand mixer or by using an electric hand mixer.
  • If the frosting is too thick, you can add in a tablespoon of heavy cream at a time until a desired spreadable consistency is reached.


Storing: To store buttercream frosting, place it in an airtight container. Leave it on the counter if you are using it the within 1 day. If you want to make it a few days in advance, put it in the fridge. Take it out an hour before you want to use it so that it isn’t too hard to pipe or frost.

Freezing: To freeze buttercream frosting, place it in a freezer-safe bag or container and store it in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to use, let the frosting thaw overnight in the fridge. Once defrosted, add it back into a bowl and whip until fluffy.

A chocolate cake with sprinkles on a wooden serving piece.

Chocolate Frosting FAQ

What is the difference between buttercream and frosting? Buttercream is a type of frosting that is made from butter, sugar, and milk. Frosting is a generic term used to describe any icing or glaze that is applied to cakes or cupcakes.

Can I make this recipe without coffee? Yes! If you do not want to use coffee, simply leave it out of the recipe. The frosting will still be delicious and chocolatey.

How do I make my chocolate buttercream fluffy? To make your chocolate buttercream fluffy, mix it on high speed for two minutes. This will help to whip the ingredients together and create a light and fluffy texture. You’ll also want to make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.

Why is my frosting runny? Too much liquid! If your frosting is too thin add 1/3 cup powdered sugar at a time and mix.

Why is my frosting so thick? Theres not enough liquid. Add 1 tbsp of cream at a time to loosen it up. Mix until combined.

Can turn a vanilla frosting into a chocolate frosting?

Yes! Add 1/3 cup of cocoa powder to the vanilla frosting, then add 1-2 tsp milk to thin it out. Voila! Chocolate frosting!


Chocolate frosting pairs perfectly well with your favorite cakes and cupcakes! Try these delicious recipes with a decadent spread.

More Frosting Recipes

Chocolate buttercream swirled in a bowl with two spoons inside.
5 stars (2 ratings)

5 Minute Fluffy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This Fluffy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting takes only 5 minutes to make and is perfect for cupcakes, cakes, or icing your favorite desserts. It is made with cocoa powder and has a deliciously decadent chocolate flavor that everyone will love. Plus, it's easy to make, and easy to store!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (227g)
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder, (65g)
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar, (340 g)
  • 1 tsp brewed coffee, (optional)
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream, or more if needed


  • In the bowl of a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add in the 1 cup butter, and ⅔ cup cocoa powder and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
  • Add in the 3 cups of confectioners sugar and mix on medium speed until combined, about another minute
  • Add in the coffee if using, and the heavy cream starting with 1 tbsp at a time. Mix on medium- high speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add the other tablespoon of heavy cream if you want the frosting thinner.


  • If the frosting is too thick, add more cream 1 tbsp at a time, if the frosting is too runny add 1/3 cup confectioners at a time.
  • This frosting recipe makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes or fill and frost a 2 layer 9″ cake.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 268kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 79mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 491IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg
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