Quick and Easy Chocolate Frosting

Peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 2 mins
Total: 7 mins
Servings: 12 to 16
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
103 Calories
5g Fat
16g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 103
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 26mg 1%
*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.)

There are few cakes that can't be improved by a generous spread of chocolate frosting. This recipe is for a delicious fudge-like chocolate frosting. It's easy to make when you're in a hurry, making it a great candidate for weeknight baking or the school bake sale. It's boiled for just one minute and made with five ingredients you probably already have on hand.

This frosting is perfect for a simple sheet cake, because it firms up nicely for easy slicing. It can also be drizzled over a Bundt cake or tube cake. If you'd like, you can double the recipe if you would like a thicker layer of frosting.


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup whole milk, or low-fat, or evaporated milk

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, and milk; bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips and vanilla.

  2. Beat frosting with an electric mixer until it begins to stiffen to a spreadable consistency. Don't overbeat or it will become too firm, like fudge. Pour it over the cake and spread it out quickly using an offset spatula or a butter knife.

  3. If the frosting hardens and becomes difficult to spread during the process of frosting the cake, don't sweat it. Just add a little hot water or dip your spatula or knife in hot water as you spread it over the cake.

How to Store Quick and Easy Chocolate Frosting

This frosting will harden to an almost fudge-like consistency in the refrigerator, but you can still store leftovers in there in a covered container for several days. Just bring the frosting to room temperature and once it feels softened a bit, add a little hot water to help make it a spreadable consistency. Use as desired.


  • Increase the vanilla extract to 1 1/2 teaspoons if you like.
  • Substitute the vanilla extract for chocolate or coconut extract instead.
  • Intensify the chocolate flavor by adding a tablespoon or two of brewed coffee.
  • Use vegan butter, vegan chips, and plant-based nondairy milk instead of regular butter and milk to make this entirely free of dairy.