Recipe: Easy Chocolate Frosting

Recipes from The Kitchn

Whipped chocolate icing from a can is a delicious basic - smooth and glossy and spread thick on yellow cake or homemade graham crackers. Who doesn't love chocolate frosting?

But chocolate frosting from those Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines cans is loaded with preservatives and strange fats and chemicals, and for all their convenience they really can't compare to homemade chocolate frosting.

This recipe does involve a little cooking, but it's still a snap, and it gives a rich, decadent fudge frosting that holds teeth marks when you bite into it. Good for cakes, cupcakes, or swiping straight from the bowl.

Easy Chocolate Frosting

Makes enough for 1 9-inch layer cake or 24 cupcakes

1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the butter in the microwave, then whisk in the cocoa powder. Add the milk and vanilla, and whisk until frothy. Make sure the cocoa powder has completely dissolved. In a stand mixer with a beater attachment, with a hand mixer, or by hand with a whisk (and a strong arm!), work the powdered sugar into the liquids a little at a time until fully incorporated. The frosting should be thick but spreadable. If runny, add more powdered sugar; if too stiff, work in a teaspoon of milk.

Use immediately, or let in cool in the fridge, then whip again until fluffy. This will keep for several days the fridge, but make sure it's tightly covered. It will dry out and form a thin crust when exposed to air.

This recipe has been updated. Originally published February 2007.

(Image credits: Kelli Foster)

Per serving, based on 2 servings. (% daily value)
25.1 g (38.6%)
15.8 g (79%)
0.9 g
124.5 g (41.5%)
2.7 g (10.8%)
117.7 g
2.8 g (5.6%)
64.1 mg (21.4%)
20.5 mg (0.9%)