You know how sometimes you just need a really rich frosting to satisfy your sweet craving? This chocolate frosting recipe makes the most decadent dark chocolate buttercream – you will love it!
Not only does it taste like a chocolate lover’s dream, it also pipes beautifully and has a sheen that makes it look irresistible, too. It’s a great go-to for decorating a cake for just that special someone.
This frosting is pretty much just chocolate and butter – which means that it’s fairly basic to make and you will probably have all the needed ingredients on hand, but it does take a little time since you have to melt and cool your chocolate chips (for about an hour) prior to mixing them into the frosting.
You will also need to plan ahead and set out your butter so that it can soften. Not too soft, though – if you joined me on Facebook while I made this frosting LIVE (yes, live!!) you got to experience the unfortunate, yet common experience of working with a frosting that is too soft – which will happen if your butter is too soft. It had taken me longer than I anticipated to get everything together for the live demo and my butter sat out a tad too long. HOWEVER, even with soft frosting, I still ended up with a beautiful cake! There’s always a fix, so don’t give up even if you meet disaster like I did.
Watch this video working with the Buttercream:
You can see me face to face with drippy frosting by clicking over here to the Girl. Inspired. Facebook page.
How to Fix Frosting that is Too Soft
How did we turn this mess around? Well – the rosettes on the top of the cake were fine. A little softer than I’d like, but they still looked pretty. The sides of the cake were especially drippy, so I just took my little spatula and smoothed all the way around the side of the cake. I put the cake into the fridge to harden up. I put the rest of the runny frosting back into the mixing bowl and put that in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Then, I re-beat the frosting smooth, refilled the piping bag, and used the same tip (1M) to pipe a border around the top and bottom edges of the cake. I think it turned out great!
- 1 lb. (16 oz.) Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
- 1.5 cups (3 sticks) salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder whisked into 1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. boiling water, let cool before adding
- Fill bottom pan of double boiler with water and bring to a simmer. Place 1 pound of chocolate chips in the top pan of the double boiler and heat over the simmering water. Stir with a silicone spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove top pan from heat and place on a towel or hot pad to cool. Cool for approximately one hour, stirring occasionally.
- Set out butter to soften approximately 20-30 minutes ahead of mixing up frosting. The softened butter should indent just slightly when pressed with your finger, but should not completely cave under your finger. If butter becomes too soft before using, you can place it back into the refrigerator to firm up. Do not soften butter in the microwave.
- Whisk together cocoa powder and hot water until the cocoa powder melts into the water. Allow to cool slightly before using.
- In a mixing bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat on high until pale and fluffy.
- Add melted and cooled chocolate chips and mix on low until smooth.
- Add cocoa powder/water mixture to the frosting and beat until smooth and fluffy.
Yields: approximately 5 cups
Dark Chocolate Buttercream
- 1 pound semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 5 tbsp boiling water
- 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1.5 cups salted butter softened
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Cool completely (approximately 1 hour).
- Whisk cocoa powder into boiling water until cocoa powder is dissolved. Cool 5 minutes.
- Beat together butter, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar on high until pale and fluffy.
- Add melted and cooled chocolate chips into butter mixture and beat on low speed until smooth.
- Add in cocoa powder mixture with the other ingredients and beat until smooth and fluffy.
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Comments & Reviews
Great recipe and beautiful cake! Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs and blessings, Cindy
I just made this icing. So good! But I doubled the recipe because I was making a tiered cake and wanted to make sure I had plenty. Will this icing freeze well?
This looks delicious but how to you get 16 oz of chips? Packages are 12 oz. Thank you
I typically use the big bag of Costco chips. Just measure out 16 oz. or 1 pound. You can use any type of semi-sweet chocolate.
Can’t wait to try this. I like that there is only 1/2 cup icing sugar. Would you say this is far less sweeter than a traditional American buttercream?
It’s more rich chocolate than sticky sweet. I’m a dark chocolate girl and I looooove this recipe.
Donna Carr says
Hi, I just wanted to say how much I love this recipe! This will definitely be my go to from now on. I did use coffee
instead of water. It was great.
Pipes beautifully and held well. Mine was not very dark in color; might have been my organic cocoa. Deep chocolate flavor with a hint of bitterness. Not at all too sweet. This recipe is a keeper! Thanks!