One of my friends described this chocolate buttercream perfectly: it’s the kind you have to put in the sink and cover with water so you don’t eat the whole bowl. I think she’s totally right, because time and time again I find myself eating this stuff by the spoonful. I’m a huge fan of all things chocolate, so it doesn’t surprise my that this is my favorite buttercream of all. Yes, those are strong words, but this is how I feel.
The funny thing is there isn’t anything fancy about the process of making this buttercream or the ingredients involved, but the end result is amazingly tasty! It’s a simple American buttercream with cocoa powder added. I always opt for Hershey’s natural unsweetened cocoa powder for this one, but any unsweetened cocoa powder will do just fine. One thing to note about this recipe is that as soon as you finish whipping it up, the color looks like a light brown at first, but then ends up looking darker as the cocoa powder starts to saturate it. The end result is something more like the medium brown below.
You can pair this chocolate buttercream with just about any cake flavor that goes well with chocolate. My all-time favorite cake combination is pairing this chocolate buttercream with this chocolate cake recipe. I am pretty biased because I’m a huge fan of all things chocolate, but trust me on this one – it’s perfect! But beware, whatever cake you top it with, you’re gonna want to eat the extra by the spoonful. Consider yourself warned!
Here’s a quick recipe video to show you the process before you read all about it below:
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Chocolate Buttercream Recipe
- 1 Cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 Cups (360g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 Cup (45g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 Tbsp whole milk, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the butter on medium-high speed until creamy and light in color, 4-5 minutes.
- Scrape down the bowl and paddle, then add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, salt, and vanilla extract. Cover the mixer with a clean kitchen towel (to prevent ingredients flying out of the bowl), then turn the mixer to low and mix until all ingredients start to come together.
- Remove the kitchen towel, scrape down the bowl and paddle, then continue mixing on low speed until uniform and smooth, 2-3 minutes.
- Frost 12-15 cupcakes with a piping bag
- Fill and crumb coat a three-layer 6-inch cake or two-layer 8-inch cake. To have enough for frosting and decorating as well, double the recipe.