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Homemade chocolate frosting is a delicious way to top cakes and cupcakes. This chocolate frosting is so easy to make, you will never bother with store-bought frosting again!

Overhead view of homemade chocolate frosting in a glass bowl with a gold spoon balanced on the edge, holding a dollop of frosting

When you run a dessert website, frosting is a pretty important component of your life.

Sure, I make an awful lot of cheesecake and candy and things that don’t necessarily use frosting. 

But when I’m making a cake, you know frosting is sure to come up.

I’ve shared my favorite Homemade Buttercream Frosting recipe before and it is always a crowd favorite. But sometimes you just need a chocolate frosting recipe, ya know?

This Homemade Chocolate Frosting is a quick and easy go-to for getting your chocolate frosting fix. It’s so easy, your kid could make it! 

Ingredients for homemade chocolate frosting arranged in bowls on a marble counter


Cocoa powder is a bit finicky and doesn’t always love to combine easily with other ingredients. It really blends well into warm liquids, though.

So this frosting is made with melted butter! 

That’s right, MELTED butter. 

To make this Homemade Chocolate Frosting, melt ½ cup of butter and stir in the cocoa powder. 

Alternate adding in the powdered sugar and milk, beating the frosting to your desired consistency. If you decide the frosting needs to be a bit thinner, just add a bit more milk 1 teaspoon at a time.

Finish the frosting off with a bit of vanilla and you’re ready to top your cake or cupcakes!

I like to make my frosting right in the same pot I melt the butter in. I don’t even bother with dirtying a bowl! 

Sometimes I don’t even bother pulling out my electric mixer and just beat the daylights out of the frosting by hand. That’s not very often, though – it’s quite the arm workout. 

Overhead view of an offset spatula frosting a layer of Hershey's Chocolate Cake with homemade chocolate frosting


Better question: What ISN’T good with chocolate frosting?

Really, though – you could pair your Homemade Chocolate Frosting with just about anything.

Pile it on top of a chocolate cake (either the Best Chocolate Cake or Hershey’s Chocolate Cake), on top of Peanut Butter Cake, or on cupcakes made with Doctored Cake Mix

Pipe it onto Easy Strawberry Cupcakes for a chocolate-covered strawberry type of vibe. It would even be delicious on Banana Cupcakes.

You could even sandwich it between your favorite cookies for a cookie sandwich. Try it with my favorite chocolate chip cookies or Easy Sugar Cookies.

Or skip all of those ideas altogether and just dig into it with a graham cracker. I won’t judge you if you do. 

Overhead view of homemade chocolate frosting in a glass mixing bowl on a marble counter


Even though you can generally leave a cake or cupcakes topped with chocolate frosting out at room temperature overnight, I typically recommend storing your frosting in the refrigerator if you need to store it longer than that.

Homemade Chocolate Frosting will stay good in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To use, allow the frosting to come to room temperature for about an hour, then give it a good stir before using.

Close up of homemade chocolate frosting in a glass bowl on a marble counter


If you want to store your chocolate frosting for longer than a few days, turn to your freezer!

Pop the frosting into an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.

To use your frozen frosting, place the container in the refrigerator overnight so the frosting can thaw. About an hour before you’re ready to use it, bring out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.

Stir it well to make sure the consistency is where you want it and you’re good to go! 

Homemade chocolate frosting in a glass mixing bowl on a marble counter
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Homemade Chocolate Frosting

By: Jamie
4.50 from 223 ratings
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 12
Homemade chocolate frosting is a delicious way to top cakes and cupcakes. This chocolate frosting is so easy to make, you will never bother with store-bought frosting again!


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Melt butter. Stir in cocoa powder. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to desired consistency for spreading.
  • If needed, add additional milk 1 teaspoon at a time. Stir in vanilla before spreading or piping onto cake or cupcakes.


If you ran out of powdered sugar, learn how to make powdered sugar to save yourself a trip to the store.
Makes 2 cups.
Via Hershey’s


Calories: 200kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 5mg, Potassium: 86mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 30g, Vitamin A: 247IU, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. lorraine says:

    4 stars
    simple recipe. frosting was smooth. i had to use margarine. maybe a 5 star if i would have used real butter. will definitely make again.

  2. Cindy says:

    Delicious frosting, as good as any I’ve ever made. And super easy. This will be a regular go-to. If you like lots of frosting on your cakes, you may want to increase quantities.

    1. Jamie says:

      I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for leaving your feedback in the form of a comment. You can also rate the recipe using the stars in the recipe card. Happy Baking!

  3. Maria says:

    Can I leave out the coco powder for just a vanilla frosting?

  4. Theresa says:

    Is there a frosting recipe that isn’t so sweet?

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Theresa – I’ve found most frostings to be pretty much the same level of sweetness. The exception is cream cheese frosting, which is usually more tangy and a bit less sweet. This is my go-to cream cheese frosting recipe:
      Hope this helps! Happy baking –

  5. lindiwe says:

    hy im going to try this reicipe i know my famaily going
    love it.

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Happy baking!

  6. Laura says:

    Can I use this as fondant “glue”?

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Laura – I have never tried this myself so I can’t say for sure. If you give it a try, I’d love to know how it worked. Happy baking!

  7. Kaoru says:

    Thank you for this recipe. I made it for my daughters’ birthday cupcakes. Even my husband who doesn’t like chocolate loved this frosting.

    1. Jamie says:

      So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Kaoru. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback.

    2. Eva says:

      I’m going to make this frosting for my grandpa and dad! I will leave feedback after I try it out!

    3. Jamie says:

      I hope you enjoyed it, Eva!

  8. Jenefer says:

    This is good

    1. Jamie says:

      Glad you like the recipe!

  9. Mari says:

    Turned out great buy I got a lot more than 2 cups. This made SO much frosting.

  10. Heather says:

    Wonderful chocolate frosting!!! Thank you!!!