Chocolate Frosting

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Chocolate FrostingWhip up a quick and easy batch of homemade Chocolate Frosting that tastes like it’s straight from your favorite fancy bakery. Powdered sugar, rich cocoa powder, and warm vanilla combine to make a frosting that is light, fluffy, and oh so decadent in flavor. Use this recipe for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more!

Close up view of chocolate frosting in a white dish.

Chocolate Frosting

Make your desserts memorable with our homemade Chocolate Frosting recipe. So quick and easy to make, and the taste difference from this recipe to store bought is undeniable. Our chocolate frosting is light, fluffy, and the perfect amount of sweet and chocolatey. Perfect for specialty cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, the list goes on.

Use this decadent frosting to ice the perfect birthday cake for a loved one, or blow the other parents out of the water at the next school bake sale. Use this frosting alongside chocolate cake or a vanilla cake for a classic combination.

Get experimental with your cake flavors and try a strawberry cake with chocolate frosting and topped with fresh strawberries, great for a valentine’s day soiree or an anniversary. With this easy recipe, you’ll never opt for the canned frosting again.

How to Make Chocolate Frosting using Cocoa Powder

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add in 2 tablespoons of milk and the vanilla extract.
  3. Continue to slowly mix until the frosting is smooth and free of lumps. Add additional milk or powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency of your frosting. This recipe will cover a 9×9 inch cake or a standard batch of 24 cupcakes. Frost your favorite baked goods and enjoy!
Creamed butter in a bowl.
Powdered sugar mixed with cocoa in a bowl with vanilla and milk.
Powdered sugar and cocoa in a mesh sieve.
Chocolate frosting in a glass bowl.

Easy Chocolate Frosting Tips and Variations

  • For a thinner frosting, add more milk. For a thicker frosting, slowly add in more powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency. 
  • For piping or decorative use, you’ll want to chill your frosting for a few moments in the fridge so that it will stay stiff enough to keep the shape you’re wanting. 
  • For the best consistency, make sure your butter is softened to room temperature before mixing. 
  • Sifting the powdered sugar and cocoa powder does help but isn’t necessary if you don’t have a sifter readily available. The sifter helps reduce lumps that may form in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar giving the frosting a smoother texture.
  • A touch of salt will help balance the sweetness and bring out the richness of the cocoa powder.
  • A pinch of espresso powder will enhance the chocolate flavor in the frosting.
Large white dish filled with chocolate frosting.

Storage and Reheating

Storage: This Easy Chocolate Frosting will stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week when stored in an airtight container. When ready to use, simply bring to room temperature and lightly whip for a few seconds to get that light and fluffy texture once more.

Reheating: No heating or reheating for this recipe!

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White dish filled with frosting and a wooden spoon.

Chocolate Frosting (with Cocoa Powder)

4.4 from 5 votes
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Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 20 Servings


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder, and add in 2 tablespoons of milk and the vanilla extract. 
    2 ½ cups powdered sugar
    2 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    5 to 6 tablespoons milk
    ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Continue to mix until the frosting is smooth and free of lumps. Add additional milk to reach the desired consistency.
  • Use to frost an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch cake.
  • See post for storage options.

Suggested Equipment


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 ounce of chocolate frosting. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.


Serving: 1ounce | Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of Berly’s Kitchen and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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