Easy Chocolate icing recipe

Easy Chocolate Frosting Recipe

This easy Chocolate Icing Recipe is the best Icing for any type of cake, but especially birthday cakes! It’s simple to mix together, buttery, sweet, and so creamy!

My children have come to inherit my taste for dark chocolates, and they too demand cakes topped with this decadent frosting for birthdays. I am partial to milk chocolates myself, but I’ll admit I’ve had my share of dark ones too. I can’t help but think that if I were to make a dark version of this frosting, it would probably be just as good. 

But then again, I might get a little carried away, go overboard with the cocoa powder, and end up with something that resembles brownies instead of a rich, creamy frosting. Either way, this frosting is simply divine, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Chocolate Icing or Chocolate Frosting Basics

It’s a chocolate Icing recipe or chocolate frosting recipe because it uses melted butter, which is then mixed with powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and some liquid (milky).

Before starting, check whether you’re making whipped cream or chocolate frosting by measuring out the ingredients. You may need to add a bit more liquid for either one depending on the type of Icing you’re making.

How to Make Frosting

You don’t need special equipment to make this recipe; use everyday kitchen items. It’s easy, and you can do it! All you need is some good ingredients.

  • Mix butter and chocolate until smooth in a large bowl.
  • Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar or confectioners sugar
  • Gradually add milk until the chocolate frosting has reached desired thickness.
  • Whip cream until it’s thick, fluffy, and smooth, for 1-2 minutes.

Want more chocolate in your life but don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake? These delicious recipes include chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake extreme, chocolate cobbler, and chocolate chip cookie bars.

You are the master of your frosting domain

Over and over again, people comment on this recipe saying it’s either way too thick or too thin to use. But here’s the thing: not everybody uses the same measuring cup for cocoa powder or powdered sugar. So all the frosting recipes you make from this recipe will be slightly different and you will need to adjust them accordingly.

  • If your frosted chocolate cake is too thick, gradually add in milk until you reach the desired thickness.
  • If your chocolate frosting isn’t thick enough, add some more powdered sug­ar gradually until you reach the desired thickness.
  • If you want to frost a whole layer of a two-layer (or multi-layered) sponge or angel food cakes, cut them into slices first so they’re easier to handle. Then, if the frosted layers hold their shapes, but aren’t too difficult to spread, they’re good enough for most people. For best results, use an offset spatula.
  • To pipeable chocolate frostings that don’t melt when piped, you need to use frostings that are slightly thicker than typical frostings. These disposable piping bags are great because they’re easy to clean after using. And this 1M Wilton frosting tip is the one most people use to create beautiful peaks of frost on cakes.

Do I really have to sift the powdered icing sugar and cocoa powder?

I’m sorry, but no. You do not need a sifter to make this frosting. However, if you have one around, feel free to use it. And yes, corn starch does work wonders. Just remember to mix your dry ingredients before adding any liquid.

This Frosting is too sweet!

When you see five cups of powdered icing sugar, you might want to think twice before using it, but don’t worry—it won’t taste terrible. It will probably even turn out better than if you used regular icing sugar. And because this recipe makes so much, there will be plenty for left overs or for making another batch.

If the icing is too sweet, add some salted butter or unsalted butter instead. You may be able to cut down on the powdered sugar by one cup without cutting back on the liquid ingredients.

Can I use Salted Butter?

Yes! I do prefer to utilize salted butter for all my dessert recipes and baked goods. I realize, I realize, sacrilegious! Unsalted or saltated butter is perfectly acceptable to make interchangeable in this recipe.

Can I make this ahead?

It’s absolutely fine to use this recipe as written. However, if you’re going to use it to top a birthday chocolate cupcake, you’ll need to let it come to room temperature for three to four hours before whipping it up again.

So, there you go, my friend. I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Why not try out another one? You can find them all right here. Enjoy your day!


  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 cups powdered sugar or confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk


  • Whip cream cheese and shortening together until smooth in medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Add confectioners sugar and beat until creamy. 
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  • Fold in sour cream and then add the remaining ingredients except for chocolate chips and mix well. 
  • Drop a spoonful of batter onto the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting. 
  • Frost cooled cakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. 
  • Top with chopped chocolate chips. Makes about 2 dozen.