Fluffy, Creamy, Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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Creamy, Not-Too-Sweet, Absolutely Perfect Fluffy Chocolate Frosting is truly the best chocolate frosting I’ve ever tasted.

Given the chance, I could have done some serious damage to the bowl without even slathering it on the cake. This is everything I wanted in chocolate buttercream frosting.

Whipped Chocolate Frosting

We are smack in the middle of “birthday season” in our house these days. (We have birthdays in September, October, November, and December.) As you might guess, this adds up to plenty of cake, which means buttercream frosting.

My middle boy turned 9 this weekend and requested his favorite Gluten Free White Cake with lots of “fluffy” chocolate icing.

The Whipped Chocolate Frosting Secret

I played with a couple of different ideas for the frosting before I realized that the flavor I wanted was only going to happen with melted chocolate.

So I ditched the cocoa powder and reached for the good stuff. (I should have remembered that from the chocolate ice cream recipes this summer. Real chocolate makes everything better!)

Not that frostings made with cocoa powder aren’t delicious, but they simply weren’t resulting in the ultimate creamy and fluffy frosting that I imagined.

The melted chocolate chips in this homemade frosting recipe add both flavor and texture. The richness of the chocolate coupled with the creaminess of the butter all pulled together by just a hint of vanilla? Pure heaven. 

How To Make Chocolate Frosting

How To Make Chocolate Frosting

I love when I discover something that’s as easy as it is tasty. This simple homemade buttercream fits the bill on all counts. It’s an excellent staple for all kinds of cupcakes, cakes, cookies or anywhere you’d use buttercream.

If you really want simple, spread a thick layer on top of the super easy Crazy Cake. You’ll have a rich, chocolatey, satisfying, and crowd-pleasing dessert with zero fuss or hard-to-find ingredients.

No one who’s ever tasted this in all its dreamy perfection would judge you for grabbing a spoon and eating it straight from the bowl. Believe me.

This is such an easy frosting, you might wind up grinning every bit as big as I did when you taste it for the first time.

This is going to be my go-to chocolate frosting for years to come. 

Fluffy Chocolate Frosting

Homemade Frosting

A sturdy mixing bowl is your best friend for baking and preparing frosting is no different. You’ll want a bowl with sides tall enough to keep your frosting ingredients contained as your mixer whips them to creamy chocolatey perfection.

Use a sturdy, well-powered hand mixer to beat the butter and incorporate the powdered sugar. This helps ensure no powdered sugar lumps ruin the smooth, fluffy texture of your chocolate buttercream. If you’re using a stand mixer, either the flat beater or the wire whip attachment will work just fine.

I recommend a strong, flexible spatula for your scraping needs. You’ll want to get every last drop of that delicious icing out of the bowl and onto your cake. A good flat spatula is also excellent for evenly spreading the finished frosting across your cake.

If you’re feeling fancy, you can also scoop this chocolate buttercream into your pastry bag and go to town decorating your cake or batch of cupcakes. This is especially fun for decorating birthday cakes and other special occasion desserts.

Homemade Chocolate Frosting

Storing Buttercream Frosting

I’ll be honest. I rarely have any leftovers of this magnificent fluffy chocolate frosting because it’s just that tasty. But if you end up making a little too much than your cake needs–or you want to make an extra-large batch to have on hand for the next time your sweet tooth strikes–it’s incredibly easy to store.

Place your frosting in an airtight sealed container and keep in the fridge for up to a week. Place the container on the counter for an hour or so to bring it back to room temperature before using it to top a cake. You may also want to re-whip the frosting to maintain that lovely airy quality I love.

If you’re looking for a light and fruity version of fluffy buttercream, check out my Fresh Blueberry Frosting recipe and my Fresh Strawberry Frosting recipe. 

Crazy Cake

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl and microwave them for 90 seconds, at 50% power, stir and microwave again for 30 seconds at 50% power. Stir until smooth. (The chocolate can also be melted in a glass bowl over a simmering pan of water on the stove. Use whichever method works for you, just melt it slowly, until the chocolate is smooth.)
  2. Let cool to almost room temperature, do not skip the cooling step.
  3. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and beat again. Scrape the sides with a spatula and add the remaining powdered sugar. Continue beating for about a minute, scraping the sides as needed, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the vanilla and the cooled chocolate and beat on high for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides as necessary, until the frosting is creamy, smooth, and very fluffy. Spread across the cake of your choice, or just grab a spoon.

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Fluffy Chocolate Frosting

Fluffy, Creamy, Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

4.85 from 140 votes
The melted chocolate chips in this homemade frosting recipe add both flavor and texture. The richness of the chocolate coupled with the creaminess of the butter all pulled together by just a hint of vanilla? Pure heaven.
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 2 mins
Total Time: 7 mins
Servings: 2 ½ – 3 cups

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl and microwave them for 90 seconds, at 50% power, stir and microwave again for 30 seconds at 50% power. Stir until smooth. Let cool to almost room temperature, do not skip the cooling step. (The chocolate can also be melted in a glass bowl over a simmering pan of water on the stove. Use whichever method works for you, just melt it slowly, until the chocolate is smooth.)
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and beat again. Scrape the sides and add the remaining powdered sugar. Continue beating for about a minute, scraping the sides as needed, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and the cooled chocolate and beat on high for about 2 minutes, scraping the sides as necessary, until the frosting is creamy, smooth, and very fluffy. Spread across the cake of your choice, or just grab a spoon. Enjoy!

Notes

This was plenty of frosting for a half-sheet cake. It should be the right amount of frosting for a double layer 8-9″ round cake or 18-20 cupcakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 1813kcal · Carbohydrates: 167g · Protein: 6g · Fat: 126g · Saturated Fat: 78g · Cholesterol: 249mg · Sodium: 822mg · Potassium: 537mg · Fiber: 7g · Sugar: 150g · Vitamin A: 2880IU · Calcium: 83mg · Iron: 5.7mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 10/20/14 – recipe notes and photos updated 3/2/22}

Perfectly fluffy whipped chocolate frosting

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. EILEEN says

    I DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH COCOA POWDER TO MAKE FROSTING SO I SEARCHED THE WEB LOOKING FOR IDEAS AND WITH LUCK, I LANDED ON YOURS. BEST FROSTING I HAVE EVER MADE. THIS WILL BE MY FAVORITE FROM NOW ON. MADE A DOUBLE BATCH FOR 2 – 8” PANS AND 12 MINI CHOCOLATE MINT CAKES. 2 BATCHES COVERED THEM ALL. I DID EAT MY FAIR SHARE BEFORE FROSTING! THANK YOU. (SORRY FOR THE CAPS, CRAZY KEY PAD)5 stars

  2. Katie says

    Wow!!! I’m not usually a fan of super sweet frostings so was looking for something with less sugar, more butter, and real dark chocolate. I made this with 72 percent chocolate (I used a little more than a cup) and used a bit less sugar than called for (probably 1 3/4 cup). It tasted a bit like malted milk balls/Whoppers to me somehow, just delicious, easily spreadable, and I thought it was a very generous amount for my husband’s two-layer birthday cake. He loved it. I’d recommend this to anyone, especially those who are not usually big fans of buttercream frosting.5 stars

  3. Ngazo says

    This recipe is awesome! I always thought normal chocolate buttercream was way too sweet, but this one changed the game. I even went out to buy a hand mixer for this recipe. Thank you so much, this butter cream is so yummy and easy to work with.
    I do have one question, though. Do you have a vanilla version?

  4. Dhel says

    Hi Mary, is your real chocolate buttercream frosting is okay in warm weather place? I live in the Caribbean so the weak here a bit hot. Would love to use your frosting recipe.
    Thanks

  5. Weber Kathleen says

    Went together really easily as I followed the instructions faithfully..just needed a touch more flavor..maybe a tablespoon of cocoa powder.Or a teaspoon or two of instant coffee? I used regular salted butter and 70% cocoa chips. Will definitely try this again.I am watching what I eat very closely, so if I eat something decadent I want those bites to be excellent. Thanks4 stars

  6. Janet says

    This frosting is just what I was looking for. Not too sweet, light and fluffy!! This will be my go to frosting from now on!! Thank you!!!5 stars

  7. Michelle says

    This worked brilliantly. Had run out of cocoa powder and found this recipe, thankfully. I halved it (actually, a little less than half) for one 9″ round cake, and even with off-kilter measurements, it was still amazing. (Had also run out of vanilla so subbed with Godiva chocolate liqueur. Ohhh, myyyy.) :o) Thank you for posting this recipe. It saved the day!5 stars

  8. June Stockton says

    Would love to make this but how many grams of chocolate chips is a cup please. I’m using block chocolate.5 stars

  9. Jen says

    So good! I had to mix half milk chocolate and half semi sweet chips but it turned out great. I also added just a teaspoon of Dutch cocoa powder to the powdered sugar since I used the milk chocolate.5 stars

  10. Mindy White says

    I think this would be delish with a peanut butter cake. I am using dark chocolate chips. Do you think this would be ok?5 stars

  11. Diane says

    This frosting is so creamy, light, and chocolatey. The chocolate flavor shines, and the frosting is not too sweet. The best part is the creamy texture – I could eat a bowl of this plain. I will never make another chocolate frosting. Yum!5 stars

  12. Lisa Lindstrom says

    This frosting is the bomb, it came out so good!! I was looking for an easy chocolate buttercream and this recipe did not disappoint. I did not make any changes, no need to. The amount was perfect for frosting my box made yellow bundt cake.5 stars

  13. Estelle says

    I thought your frosting was very tasty but I don’t understand why my frosting didn’t stay soft. It became hard and literally came off of cake when cutting it =(
    It did melt in our mouth however and everybody still enjoyed it!
    The only thing I did different to give it a more smooth consistency was add two TBSPs of half-and-half and mixed two teaspoons of cocoa powder with 1 TBSP of powdered sugar for a little extra depth in flavor.
    FYI – I did allow my chocolate to cool. What went wrong ??!!
    As the frosting had a nice flavor . . . I rated it as three stars – otherwise I would have rated it five stars if it turned out soft and whippy.3 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Even straight from the fridge, this frosting should’ve stayed fairly soft. I’ve never had it separate from the cake. (I actually just made a cake with this frosting again last weekend too.) Did you refrigerate or freeze the cake? I kind of doubt that a couple of tablespoons total of additional dry ingredients (cocoa powder and sugar) made that big a difference. Did you change anything else? It honestly sounds like something might have been measured incorrectly. Was it soft and fluffy when you first made it? Or more difficult to spread? Typically it’s soft and fluffy and stays that way, unless I tuck the cake in the fridge. But even then, it’s like most frostings and simply becomes a little more firm, but still melts in your mouth and certainly sticks to the cake.

  14. Sim says

    Hi Mary, I just made this frosting and piped it onto cupcakes, they look delicious. Can I leave the frosted cupcakes stored at room temperature for a couple of days? Thank you so much.5 stars