Classic Chocolate Frosting Recipe

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This fast, fudge-like frosting is so fantastic. It even makes cakes from a box mix taste like homemade!
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + cooling
MAKES:24 servings
Quick Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + cooling
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 1-2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 tablespoon) equals 90 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 32 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, trace protein.


  1. In a saucepan, combine confectioners' sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla. Cool until mixture is thickened, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a bowl, cream butter. Gradually beat in chocolate mixture until blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.
Editor's Note: This recipe makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes or the top of a 13-inch x 9-inch cake. Recipe can be easily doubled.
Originally published as Classic Chocolate Frosting in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2006, p106

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Reviewed Feb. 25, 2016

"Made a great light chocolate buttercream frosting! This is the same basic frosting my mom frequently used. Milk can be adjusted to be thick enough for piping frosting onto cake. Recommend adding milk slowly. As a volunteer food editor with Taste of Home I enjoy using recipes that use classic ingredients with great results."

Reviewed Oct. 30, 2015

"I love this frosting. This frosting is fabulous! When I finished with the recipe (made exactly as written) it was runny and I thought I had failed. I needed to use the frosting right then so I placed the frosting in the fridge and made another frosting. The next morning, the frosting was perfect thickness for spreading and the taste was wonderful. I will make this over and over, however, I will make it a day ahead.

I might suggest on this recipe you state, needs to be made ahead.
Pamela Brandt, Arcadia, Oklahoma"

Reviewed Apr. 6, 2015

"I used this recipe for an angel food cake. It was really quick and good."

Reviewed Feb. 17, 2009

"this is one of the best tasting chocolate frostings I have ever tasted."

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