This 5 Minute Rich Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect recipe for you! It’s quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. The frosting is made with cocoa powder and is thick, creamy, and has a slightly tangy flavor that comes from softened cream cheese, making it the perfect way to top any dessert!
When it comes to the perfect chocolate cream cheese frosting, there are a few things to look for. First, it has to be chocolatey enough. Second, it should be thick and creamy and sturdy enough to pipe. Finally, it should have a slight twist on the traditional taste! As a trained pastry chef, these were all important things to have for this recipe!
This chocolate cream cheese icing checks all the boxes and more! The chocolate flavor comes from cocoa powder, making it rich and decadent. The cream cheese not only adds a delicious tanginess to the frosting but also helps to thicken it up, which is perfect for piping. If you didnt leave your cream cheese out to soften, learn how to soften cream cheese quickly!
Because I love my regular cream cheese frosting recipe so much, I decided to give it a go at a chocolate version! Make sure to also try out my foolproof chocolate ganache frosting if you want something on the lighter side,
Most cream cheese frosting recipes have butter in them but if you don’t have any on hand you can make classic cream cheese frosting without butter.
Best of all, this chocolate cream cheese frosting with cocoa powder can be made in just 5 minutes! So next time you’re craving chocolate frosting or something rich and decadent to top your favorite cakes and cupcakes, try out this easy cream cheese frosting recipe!
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Made with just six simple ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store.
- The entire batch of frosting is made in just 5 minutes!
- Use it to frost cakes, cupcakes, or eat it with a spoon.
- The cream cheese adds a light tangy flavor that pairs well with the rich chocolate sweetness.
- Cream Cheese – At room temperature, cream cheese mixes easily with the rest of the ingredients to make a creamy base for the chocolate frosting.
- Unsalted Butter – Gives the frosting a smooth texture with a rich buttery flavor.
- Powdered Sugar – Finely milled sugar adds sweetness and helps thicken the frosting to the perfect consistency.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Adds rich chocolate flavor along with a deep brown color.
- Vanilla Extract – Adds a light fragrant vanilla flavor throughout the frosting.
- Milk – Helps thin out the frosting to the right consistency without sacrificing the creamy texture and flavor.
Pro tip- When making frosting, its important to get the consistency right. Learn how to thicken frosting quickly for the best results!
The best cocoa powder to use
Make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe so you don’t add any unnecessary sweetness to the icing. I like to use Hershey’s Cocoa Powder, or the one from Trader Joe’s. You can also use Hershey’s Dark Cocoa to make the flavor even deeper.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Prepare ingredients: Let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature for the best results. If you forgot to leave them out, there are definitely ways to soften butter quickly!
Whip butter and cream cheese: In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese and unsalted butter and mix on low-medium speed for 2-3 minutes until fully creamed together.
Add the dry ingredients: Stop and scrape down the mixer. Add in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and milk. Mix on low speed, working your way up to medium speed as the sugar mixes in. Mix for 2-3 mins more until fully mixed, light, and fluffy.
Frost and store: Use the frosting while it’s soft to frost desserts, or place it in a piping bag or container and store it in the fridge.
TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
- Making sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature is very important! This is what ensures a smooth and silky frosting. If the butter or cream cheese are too cold it won’t mix well and you will have lumps!
- You can microwave the cream cheese for 15 seconds to soften it.
- Use a piping bag and a star tip to decorate cupcakes.
- Keep the frosted desserts in the refrigerator so the frosting keeps it shape.
This frosting makes enough to frost 12-15 cupcakes or fill and frost a 2 layer 8″ cake.
STORAGE AND FREEZING
Once whipped together, the frosting can sit out at room temperature in a bowl for a few hours. After that, it’s best to store chocolate cream cheese frosting in the fridge in an airtight container.
For frosted cupcakes and cakes, it’s best to keep them refrigerated before so the frosting holds it’s shape. It will keep it’s shape after you take it out of the fridge, don’t worry!
To store chocolate cream cheese frosting in the fridge: Transfer the frosting to a piping bag or an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
To freeze chocolate cream cheese frosting: Transfer the frosting to a freezer-safe bag. Remove as much air as possible, then seal and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
Can I use reduced-fat cream cheese?
Yes, you can use reduced-fat or full-fat cream cheese in this chocolate frosting recipe though it may not have the same thick or creamy consistency.
Can this recipe be made dairy free?
Yes, you can use a vegan cream cheese like Kite Hill instead of regular cream cheese. You’ll also need to use dairy-free milk like almond or coconut and dairy-free butter. The texture will vary.
What is the best cocoa powder to use for frosting?
I recommend using a Dutch-processed cocoa powder for the best chocolate flavor.
Do I need to keep chocolate cream cheese frosting refrigerated?
If it’s just in a bowl it’s fine to keep it out at room temperature for a couple hours. If you are making it a couple days ahead, it needs to be refrigerated. Keep your frosted desserts in the fridge until serving time, it will make it easier to hold it’s shape after being served. Don’t worry though it won’t melt!
Why is my frosting runny?
Too much milk was added to the frosting. Add more cocoa powder or powdered sugar to thicken it up.
WAYS TO ENJOY
Chocolate cream cheese frosting is super versatile! It can be used to turn many desserts into a decadent treat. Try it out on these delicious chocolate cake and cupcake recipes!
- Chocolate Filled Cupcakes
- 6-Inch Chocolate Cake Recipe
- Chocolate Cake with Sprinkles
- Easy Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting with Cocoa Powder
- 8 oz cream cheese 1 block at room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tbsp milk
- In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the 1 block cream cheese and the 1/2 cup unsalted butter and mix on low- medium speed for 2-3 minutes until fully creamed.
- Stop and scrape down the mixer. Add in the 4 cups powdered sugar, the ½ cup cocoa powder, ½ tsp vanilla extract and ½ tbsp milk.
- Mix on low speed working your way up to medium speed as the sugar mixes in.
- Mix for 2-3 mins more until fully mixed, light, and fluffy.
- Use it to frost a cake or cupcakes!