This chocolate buttercream is light, fluffy, and decadent. The perfect match for chocolate cupcakes. Buttercream is pretty simple but there are definitely some tips and tricks that make an okay buttercream turn into one of the most delicious things you’ve ever tasted. I’ve shared with you how to make perfect vanilla buttercream and ever since I’ve had constant questions about how to make it chocolate flavored.
1 cup unsalted room temperature butter
5 cups or 625 grams of confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 a cup heavy cream or milk
1/2 tablespoon salt
3 cups of vanilla buttercream
How to make chocolate buttercream
To make the chocolate buttercream it starts off like vanilla buttercream. You’ll need one cup or 2 sticks of room-temperature butter. It’s very important that your butter is at room temperature, if it’s straight out of the fridge there is no way you’ll be able to cream it so just remove it about an hour or so before your ready to get started.
Place your butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl if you are using a hand mixer. Mix on medium speed first, before increasing it to high speed for about 5 minutes or until the butter is pale, and has almost doubled in volume. You’ll need to use a stand mixer or a hand mixer for this recipe. If you do try to make the chocolate buttercream by hand it’s almost impossible to get the light and fluffy texture as you would need to be whipping the butter for hours.
When your butter is incredibly light a fluffy it’s time for the sugar. You need to use icing sugar for this recipe, it is also known as powdered sugar or confectioners sugar depending on where you live in the world. They are all the same ingredient, just make sure you’re not using regular granulated sugar as this won’t work. You’ll need 5 cups or 625 grams which may seem like a lot but you will need this much.
Vanilla buttercream only needs 3 cups but as we’re adding cocoa powder to this recipe the extra sugar helps to balance out the sweetness and take away any bitter flavor from the cocoa powder. It’s easiest to add your sugar in thirds, so it incorporates faster and you don’t end up losing half of it outside the bowl. Mix on low speed first until it is mostly incorporated before turning the mixer up higher.
Now, add the half cup of cocoa powder, just regular unsweetened works best here. Mix the last of the sugar and cocoa powder at low speed until it is mostly incorporated. It should be extremely thick and not resemble much like buttercream but you still got another ingredient to add. Now, add about half a cup of milk or cream. You can use milk but cream works too. As the milk or cream is incorporated your buttercream should loosen up and start to look light and fluffy.
Add more milk if it’s still too thick but just a dash at a time. Give the bowl another scrap down to get all of the sugar and butter that has stuck to the sides and add a touch of vanilla essence, and mix it on medium speed for another few minutes. Even though this is chocolate buttercream the vanilla really deepens the chocolate flavor. You should be left with the softest, fluffiest, and delicious chocolate buttercream you’ve ever tasted. Perfect for piping over cupcakes or using to decorate a layer cake.
You might be wondering why not using real chocolate in this recipe. The simple reason for this is you tried both ways and you don’t get much of a difference using real chocolate. The cocoa powder carries so much flavor and this buttercream already has the perfect texture so there really is no need for real chocolate. If you disagree, try this recipe and let me know your thoughts afterward.