Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This is such an easy chocolate buttercream frosting recipe! Made with both chocolate chips & cocoa powder, this chocolate buttercream has the best of both worlds. It’s a rich chocolate frosting that’s perfect for piping onto cakes, cupcakes and more!

Collage of Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is a classic that can be used in so many ways. I have a couple versions I want to share with you, but the first is this Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. There’s no doubt that the classic chocolate buttercream made with cocoa powder is wonderful, but there’s absolutely something to be said for adding melted chocolate. It makes the best chocolate buttercream frosting!

This frosting is absolutely perfect because it uses both cocoa powder and melted chocolate chips (you could also use something like Ghirardelli chocolate). It gives the buttercream a rich chocolate flavor like no other. The majority of the flavor comes from the melted chocolate, but the cocoa gives it that little bump to take it over the top. It’s like eating soft chocolate fudge and it’s totally addicting!


To make this Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, you’ll start by melting the chocolate chips. I melt them in the microwave, but you could also melt them over the stove. For the microwave, heat them for about 10 seconds at a time, stirring well between each interval so that the heat is evenly distributed and the chocolate melts evenly.

close up of Chocolate Buttercream Frosting on cupcakeFudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting on mixer paddle

Set the melted chocolate aside to cool a bit while you move on.

Next up is the butter. The recipe calls for unsalted butter, which gives you more control over the amount of salt added to the buttercream frosting. A buttercream that is too salty is no good.

Beat the butter until it’s smooth, then add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined and smooth. You could use regular cocoa or even a dark cocoa. It simply depends on the flavor and color you’d like to have.

Add half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth, then add the melted and cooled chocolate. Stir until well combined.

Once the chocolate had been added, add the salt and 3-4 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and mix until well combined.

Finally, add the remainder of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth. You can add additional heavy cream, as needed, to get the right buttercream frosting consistency. You might want something a little more stiff if you’re going to be piping it onto cupcakes or using it with my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, or you might want it a little softer. Your call, but you’ll control that by adding more or less cream to the mixture.

This Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is the perfect easy chocolate buttercream frosting recipe made with both chocolate chips and cocoa powder!Chocolate Buttercream Frosting in glass jar


The ways you can use this Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting are pretty much unlimited, but here are some things that I love to use it with:

Homemade Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
Best Moist Chocolate Cake
Raspberry Chocolate Cake
Moist Vanilla Cupcakes
Moist Vanilla Layer Cake
Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake Cake

Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting with chocolate sprinkles

More frostings you might enjoy:

Cream Cheese Frosting
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting on cupcake

Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American


An easy chocolate buttercream frosting recipe! Made with chocolate chips & cocoa powder, this buttercream is perfect for piping onto cakes & cupcakes!


12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips*
1 1/4 cups (280g) unsalted butter, room temperature*
3 tbsp (22g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder*
5 cups (575g) powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
58 tbsp (75-120ml) heavy whipping cream


1. Add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl. Heat in 10 second increments, stirring well between each increment, until the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.
2. Add the butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
3. Add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined.
4. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
5. Add the cooled melted chocolate and mix until well combined.
6. Add the salt and 4 tablespoons of the heavy whipping cream and mix until well combined.
7. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
8. Add additional heavy whipping cream as needed to get the right consistency of frosting. If you’d like to use this frosting on cupcakes, check out my tutorial for frosting cupcakes. If you’d like to use it to frost a cake, check out my tutorial for frosting a perfectly smooth cake with buttercream.


1. You could also use something like a Ghirardelli chocolate baking bar. Both would work very well.
2. Salted butter would also work fine, just be sure to leave out the additional salt.
3. Feel free to use regular or dark cocoa powder, depending on your preference.

To make the frosting ahead: You can make this buttercream frosting 2-3 days ahead and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature before using, as it’ll be very thick when cold. This can also be made and frozen for 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge, then bring to room temperature and give it a good stir before using.

This recipe makes enough buttercream frosting to frost about 16 cupcakes. To frost a 2 or 3 layer 8 inch cake, you’ll want to double the recipe.

Keywords: chocolate buttercream frosting, chocolate fudge frosting, chocolate buttercream, chocolate frosting, chocolate buttercream frosting recipe, how to make chocolate frosting

Fudgy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting on mixer paddle, in jar and on cupcake

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Recipe rating

  1. Amed Kapenda

    I love this recipe. I can’t wait to try it out this weekend. The video is so clear and straight to the point. Thanks for sharing. 

  2. Alexandra

    Hi, im in the UK and using double cream instead of hwc. Should i whip the double cream first before adding or just pour as is? (Im not sure if your heavy whipping cream comes ready whipped or as a heavy cream)

  3. Amanda Goins

    How would I alter this recipe to make it crust up for the smooth cake like in your tutorial? P.S. I love you and your website! 

    1. Lindsay

      This frosting works just as well as my vanilla buttercream with that tutorial. You don’t really need to do anything differently.

  4. Viviana Moran

    I notice that you use half shortening for your vanilla buttercream, but not for this chocolate butter cream, is there a reason for that?

    1. Lindsay

      I tend to use the shortening in my vanilla buttercream to help cut down on having an overly buttery flavor and for stability. The melted chocolate in this buttercream helps with stability and you don’t notice too strong of a butter taste, so I used all butter. You could do it either way though. If you were to have a concern about heat, you would probably still want to use shortening since the chocolate in the frosting could melt just like butter.

  5. Rachael

    FINALLY! I’m so glad to have found this recipe. Any thoughts on combining it with a lemon cake base? My hubby’s birthday is a few weeks away and he LOVES lemon cake with chocolate frosting.

  6. Jennifer

    I tried this recipe for the first time tonight, and it’s a winner! The consistency is perfect for piping into cupcakes, and it is delicious!! I may have licked the beaters after I was done… ????

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12