This homemade chocolate frosting recipe is the perfect finishing touch for cakes and cupcakes! It’s a rich chocolate buttercream that’s easy to whip up whenever you need it.

chocolate frosting in a white bowl

Is there anything better chocolate frosting? Okay, well, maybe it’s tied with cream cheese frosting when it comes to the best flavor for frosting—they’re both my personal favorites. This chocolate buttercream is decadent and rich, and perfect for pairing with my recipe for chocolate cake from scratch. Who needs canned frosting when it’s this easy to make your own chocolate frosting at home?! I bet you even have all the ingredients on hand already!

Easy Chocolate Frosting Recipe

This chocolate frosting recipe is unique in that it calls for melted butter instead of softened butter. Most buttercream recipes have you beat softened butter until it’s fluffy, then whip in the rest of the ingredients. You might wonder how it works to use melted butter instead, but trust me: it does! And it makes life a little bit easier because you don’t have to remember to take out the butter ahead of time so it can soften up.

If you’re making a 9-inch layer cake, like my Easy Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe, this chocolate frosting recipe makes just enough to frost between the layers, along the sides, and over the top. Of course, if you like a lot of frosting on your cake, you can double the recipe, or if you plan on putting custard, jam, or another filling between the layers or making one of those trendy “naked cakes” without frosting on the sides, you can cut the recipe in half.


See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Butter
  • Cocoa powder – Make sure you use natural unsweetened or Dutch process cocoa powder—not hot cocoa mix, which is sweetened!
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk – Any type of milk you have on hand is fine for chocolate frosting.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

How to Make Chocolate Frosting From Scratch

1. Melt the Butter

Place the butter in a saucepan or a microwave-safe bowl and melt it. (I prefer using a saucepan set over medium-low heat because butter always seems to spatter in my microwave!)

2. Add Remaining Ingredients

Pour the butter into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cocoa powder, then beat in the powdered sugar and milk, alternating between the two. Add additional milk if needed to get your desired consistency, then stir in the vanilla extract.

3. Use It!

If you’re piping this frosting, you can put it in the fridge so it firms up a bit. Use your chocolate frosting for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more!

chocolate frosting whisked in a white bowl

How to Store Chocolate Frosting

Transfer the frosting to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to a week, or freeze it for up to 3 months. If you freeze it, let it thaw in the refrigerator before using. 


What is the difference between chocolate icing and chocolate frosting?

A lot of people use “icing” and “frosting” interchangeably, but icing is thinner and more like a glaze, while frosting is thicker.

What can I use this chocolate frosting for?

It works for cupcakes, cakes, cookies, whatever you like! Try it with my Chocolate Cupcakes or Copycat Portillo’s Chocolate Cake.

Can you freeze chocolate frosting?

Absolutely! It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just make sure you freeze it in an airtight container or freezer bag. Let it thaw in the refrigerator, then set it on the countertop for a bit so it’s spreadable when you’re ready to use it.

More Recipes for Chocolate Lovers

Homemade Chocolate Frosting

This homemade chocolate frosting recipe is the perfect finishing touch for cakes and cupcakes! It’s a rich chocolate buttercream that’s easy to whip up whenever you need it.
4.84 from 6 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • Melt butter. Stir in cocoa and salt. Alternately, add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
  • Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.


Calories: 1726kcal | Carbohydrates: 418g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 639mg | Potassium: 1485mg | Fiber: 26g | Sugar: 362g | Vitamin A: 132IU | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 10mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.


  1. My first time making homemade chocolate frosting and it came out great. I am very please. Thank you 😊

    1. Shyanne - ATM Team says:

      We’re so glad it turned out well for you, Cathy!

  2. Brianna Gayle Griffin says:

    4 stars
    It tastes great except its a little grainy. But overall delicious

    1. Kasey Schwartz says:

      Try mixing a little longer or adding a touch of milk.

      1. Laura Leet says:

        5 stars
        This frosting came out perfect for my husband’s birthday cake! Great find, thank you so much.

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