This fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting is the best chocolate frosting for cakes, cupcakes, or your favorite icing topped desserts!
Quick Overview: This recipe uses shortening, butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk and it makes enough for 24 cupcakes or a 2-layer cake!
The right frosting can make or break your favorite birthday cakes, homemade brownies or cupcakes! So it’s crucial to use the best chocolate buttercream frosting that you can!
This chocolate buttercream frosting recipe pairs perfectly with a marble cake, a yellow cake, vanilla cake, chocolate cakes, sheet cake, chocolate cupcakes or one of your favorite cakes or favorite recipes. Dessert recipes are full of opportunites to add icing too, so this is definitely a staple you’ll want to keep on hand!
Why you’ll love this chocolate frosting recipe
It uses everyday ingredients and will result in a delicious, creamy, chocolatey buttercream flavor and is a great recipe that’s perfect for beginner bakers and experienced bakers!
What is the difference between icing frosting and buttercream?
Frosting is made using ingredients such as butter to make it a thicker consistency. Icing can be much more thin, that’s wonderful on cookies. However, the two terms interchange quite a bit so sometimes you’ll hear them referred to as the same thing.
What are the three types of buttercream?
There are three types of buttercream:
- American Buttercream – the recipe provided below is considered an American buttercream. It uses a few simple ingredients to make a delicious creamy chocolate buttercream
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream – has a cooked, egg-whites base with sugar and vanilla added.
- Italian Meringue Buttercream – is similar to swiss meringue but is sweeter!
It takes just a few simple ingredients to make this fluffy frosting!
Make sure to scroll towards the bottom of this post to see the full list of ingredients/instructions all in one place!
- 1 cup vegetable shortening (solid)
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) softened salted butter (you can use unsalted butter but you may want to add a pinch of salt.)
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (for that chocolate flavor)
- 4 cups powdered sugar (sometimes called confectioner’s sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 tablespoons milk (you can use heavy cream if you like but remember it’s thicker than milk so it may take a little more than regular milk to thin it out.)
To make this homemade frosting, you’ll first cream the shortening and butter together. This is just the beginning of this butter chocolate cream goodness that will be the end result!
For best results, make sure to use room temperature butter as this could cause a different texture for your buttercream.
Add the cocoa powder and vanilla to the butter and shortening. Mix this together.
The cocoa is what makes the butter icing chocolate!
Next, on low speed, mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar.
Then, beat in 1-2 Tablespoons of milk to keep the frosting from getting too dry as you combine.
Once that is incorporated add the rest of the powdered sugar. Stir in a bit more milk until light and fluffy.
Look at how beautifully that easy chocolate buttercream frosting turned out! Now it’s ready for your favorite cake!
This frosting creates a beautiful texture for frosting a cake, almost giving it a whipped, look but a creamy, buttercream taste!
FAQ’s and Expert Tips
This could be because of a few things. It could be the type of sugar used. This is why using powdered sugar is ideal, instead of granulated sugar.
It could need mixed more! Whipping it more can result in a fluffier frosting!
This is usually due to the reason that the butter was cold when making the frosting. It is best to use room temperature butter.
If you do not have milk on hand, you can use heavy cream but do note that heavy cream is thicker and could require more, to thin it out than whole milk or other types of milk.
If you prefer a vanilla buttercream, simply leave out the unsweetened cocoa. This could require you to use more powdered sugar to get the consistency right — nothing that more powdered sugar would make it sweeter!
If you find that you have more frosting than you need, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks!
Did you know you can even freeze your frosting? You can! If it is frozen correctly (airtight, freeze-proof container) it can be frozen for up to 3 months! Let is thaw to room temperature and then whip before using.
Fluffy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 3/4 cup softened salted butter
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- First, over medium speed, cream the shortening and butter together. (You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer.)
- Next, add in the cocoa powder and vanilla. Mix together until evenly combined.
- On low speed, mix in 2 cups of the powdered sugar.
- Then, beat in 1-2 tablespoons of milk to keep the frosting from getting too dry as you combine.
- Once that is mixed together, add in the rest of the powdered sugar and stir in a bit more milk until the frosting is light and fluffy.