top of page

Chocolate Buttercream (American Style)

A simple chocolate buttercream that is smooth, not overly sweet, and beginner friendly. This chocolate frosting is what I consider to be light in chocolate (if using regular cocoa powder) which I love. It's perfect for a vanilla cake, or any cake for that matter. But this recipe specifically reminds me of the classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Such a perfect combination that remains untouchable. I made a quick video tutorial showing how I make this frosting but there are some tips that you should know along the way...

Whisk or Paddle Attachment? Always a paddle attachment. The whisk incorporates larger pockets of air. This makes it much harder to get a smooth finish when decorating a cake.

Why the salt? Not only does it cut the sweetness, but it brings out the flavors of chocolate and vanilla.

Do I need the shortening? Of course not, you can add butter instead, however shortening also cuts the sweetness down, and makes for flufflier and heat stable frosting.

Milk or Cream? I always prefer cream, just as the word states it makes a creamier frosting that tends to hold up a little bit better. I rarely use regular milk at all when baking.

Now that we've got those out the way, let's get to it.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


1 Stick (4 oz) unsalted butter - room temperature

1/2 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 C powdered sugar

1/3 C of whole milk of cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 C vegetable shortening (optional)

1 pinch of salt


1. In a large mixing bowl cream room temperature butter for 3 minutes until soft and fluffy.

2. In the same bowl, sift cocoa powder and powdered sug