Recipe: Easy Chocolate Frosting

updated Jan 21, 2020
Easy Chocolate Frosting
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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

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?

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

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 yields a rich, decadent fudge frosting that holds teeth marks when you bite into it. It’s good for cakes, cupcakes, or swiping straight from the bowl. (No one will judge.)

Easy Chocolate Frosting

Makes enough for 24 cupcakes

Nutritional Info


  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/4 cup

    whole milk

  • 2 cups

    powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract


  1. Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add the cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Add the milk and vanilla, and whisk until frothy. Make sure the cocoa powder has completely dissolved. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, with an electric hand mixer, or by hand with a whisk (and a strong arm!), beat the powdered sugar into the the cocoa mixture 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.

Recipe Notes

Storage: This will keep for several days the refrigerator if tightly covered, as it will dry out and form a thin crust when exposed to air. Beat again until fluffy.