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
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.