Easy Chocolate Buttercream Icing

Chocolate Buttercream Icing recipe

 The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
353 Calories
24g Fat
34g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 353
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 15g 73%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 31g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 130mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You have made chocolate cake or buns and now all you need to do is make the icing. But which icing to choose is always a dilemma, so why not opt for this super easy chocolate buttercream? This recipe creates a luxuriously silky topping, made from real dark chocolate. The dark chocolate provides the rich, decadent flavor, as well as enhances the silky texture. Ideal for when you are creating a sinfully delicious dessert.

If dark chocolate is too overpowering a flavor for you, or the cake is for children, you may want to look at the options below the recipe for alternatives. 


  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 6 ounces confectioners' sugar (or icing sugar)

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (at least 55 percent cocoa solids)

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1 dash pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chocolate Buttercream Icing
     The Spruce
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces and place with the icing sugar into a large bowl. Cream together with either an electric hand whisk or in a stand mixer, until light and fluffy.

    Chocolate Buttercream Icing
     The Spruce
  3. Meanwhile, break the chocolate into small pieces. Place the chocolate pieces in a bowl over a pan of simmering water to melt. It is important that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the boiling water or the heat will be too intense and could cause the chocolate to become grainy; if this happens, it cannot be undone.

    Chocolate Buttercream Icing
     The Spruce
  4. Once the chocolate is melted, stir with a wooden (never metal) spoon and place to one side.

    Chocolate Buttercream Icing
     The Spruce
  5. Add the milk and vanilla extract to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, and mix thoroughly using a spoon or a hand whisk to create a smooth, silky cream.

    Chocolate Buttercream Icing
     The Spruce
  6. Finally, carefully add the melted chocolate and beat furiously until the cream becomes light, silky and shiny. 

    Chocolate Buttercream Icing
     The Spruce
  7. The cream can be used immediately on cold cakes or buns (do not put on to warm cakes or it will melt). 

    Chocolate Buttercream Icing
     The Spruce


  • If using later, the cream will harden. Beat again to soften the cream when you are ready to use.
  • The finished cream also freezes well.

Recipe Variations

  • For a real grown-up chocolate icing, use a 70% plus cocoa solid chocolate.
  • Intense dark chocolate can be too bitter for children so use a less strong one instead. If using milk chocolate be careful when melting as this type of chocolate is less stable than the darker.
  • For colored icing, omit the chocolate and use a gel coloring. Gels work better in this recipe as they will not change the consistency of the cream. They are very powerful in color art by adding small amounts and increase the drops until you have the color you prefer.