Chocolate Buttercream






Sometimes people tell me they don’t like frosting, that they really like the cake better. I’ve never understood this. I mean, what is cake if not a vehicle for frosting? Why would someone choose plain cake, without the accompanying combination of butter or shortening and powdered sugar and flavorings?

Because I prefer opposites in baking–in that yellow or white cake is, to my palate, most pleasing when paired with chocolate frosting–I believe this chocolate buttercream to be an excellent companion for yellow, white, or almond cakes or cupcakes. Chocolate fans will enjoy it with chocolate cake, too. This recipe yields more than enough for 24 cupcakes.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a large bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa powder; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter for about one minute. Add salt and beat for another 30 seconds.

Add powdered sugar and cocoa and beat on low speed to incorporate as much sugar into the butter as you can.  I cover my mixing bowl with a kitchen towel during this step to prevent a sugar storm.

Add three tablespoons milk and two teaspoons vanilla extract; beat for three minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and add the final teaspoon vanilla extract, then beat for another minute.


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