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Easy Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Icing

Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.

Easy Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Icing

Easy Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Icing

So yesterday I made my Extreme Chocolate Chip Chocolate Pudding Cake because I was super craving some chocolate cake, and had been for at least a week.

But I couldn't make cake with also making the icing! I've never been a big fan of prepackaged icings. I feel like they are way too sweet, and just have a fake, chemical kind of flavor.

It's hard to detect if you're used to it, until you have made it yourself. Then no other icing can compare. And it's so easy that there's no reason why you shouldn't try it yourself.

For vanilla buttercream, simply eliminate the cocoa powder. For almond buttercream, use almond extract instead of vanilla extract in your mixture.

For a fruit flavored buttercream, like apple, lemon, lime, or orange, substitute the fresh fruit juice from the fruit for the milk in my recipe. And for peanut butter buttercream, substitute your peanut butter for the butter in my recipe.

This is such an easy homemade buttercream icing, that you can make it your own with just a few substitutions.

Let's get started!!

Cook Time

Prep timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

Makes about 4 cups of chocolate icing


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Add your butter to a large bowl.
  2. Pull out your hand mixer because you'l not be able to do this by hand alone.
  3. Beat your butter for 3-4 minutes until light and creamy.
  4. Now add in your cocoa powder.
  5. Because I added in so much powder, I wanted to help it all mix in with a little liquid.
  6. Add in your milk and then your vanilla.
  7. It's not going to look like it will all mix in, but it will.
  8. Now it's time for your powdered sugar. I'm always hesitant that I'm going to be able to add another 5 cups of powder or so into my mixture, but it always work out just fine.
  9. One cup to one half cup at a time, add your powdered sugar and then mix together with your hand mixer.
  10. You can see pictures to the right of how the texture of the icing changed after I added in one, two, three, and four cups of powdered sugar.
  11. You can use your icing right away if you choose as there are no raw ingredients in it.
  12. However, it's even better if you load it into a plastic storage bag and refrigerate it first. You have to give your cupcakes (or cake) time to cook anyway don't you?
  13. From a plastic storage bag, it was going to be easier to pipe my icing onto my cupcakes later.
  14. If I'm only going to be icing one cupcake at a time, I just spoon it out with a small spoon onto that one cupcake from the bag.
  15. Yummy! Yummy! Enjoy!
Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Icing

Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Icing

Step One: Add your butter to a large bowl

Step One: Add your butter to a large bowl

Step Three: Beat your butter for several minutes to get it nice and creamy

Step Three: Beat your butter for several minutes to get it nice and creamy

Substitutions for New Flavors

Unless a measurement is give, assume the measurements should be the same when substituting ingredients.

Icing FlavorIngredientSubstitution


cocoa powder




1 1/2 cups strawberry puree


vanilla extract

almond extract


vanilla extract

peppermint extract

Peanut Butter


peanut butter



lemon juice



lime juice



orange juice



apple juice

White Chocolate

cocoa powder

6oz white chocolate

Mint Chocolate

vanilla extract

peppermint extract (keep cocoa powder)


vanilla extract

rum extract

The Sign of Good Food

The Sign of Good Food

Personal Review

I only have one warning. As you are mixing your ingredients, know that cocoa powder tends to fluff and go everywhere when you mix it.

If you don't have a problem with chocolate powder all over you and the counter, go for it! lol Otherwise, you may want to mix slowly and cover your mixing bowl when mixing.

Scroll to Continue

Okay, maybe I have more than one suggestion!

If while making your frosting, it gets too thick for you, simply add in a little bit more milk, one teaspoon at a time until you get your desired consistency.

However, if your frosting becomes too thin, and mine was a tad on the thin side, just add in a small amount of powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time until it's the right thickness for piping.

Finally, this frosting is incredibly addicting. Be very careful in how you use it! lol You might just eat the whole batch on the couch and have to go back and make some more.

Quick Poll

© 2014 Victoria Van Ness


Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on January 29, 2014:

Lol I'm not a caffeine drinker at all, but eating one cupcake with icing didn't affect me at all. :)

I'm not even a cupcake eater and these were amazing. I've been asked to make another batch for the Super Bowl. I'll have to let you know how it works out!

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on January 29, 2014:

I noticed too that you put quite a lot of chocolate powder :-) It must be really good! I suppose to not stay up all night as Faith mentionned, we have to eat those ones with moderation ;-)

Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on January 29, 2014:

You know, I only intended to put one cup of cocoa in, but added more accidentally. It turned it great though!

You're going to love them!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on January 29, 2014:

Just noticed the 1 1/2 cups of cocoa, now that is serious chocolate there, may keep one up at night! Wow!

Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on January 29, 2014:

Oh, yeah. You have to try them! They are amazing! I'm not a chocolate person, but I've been having dreams about them. Lol

Thanks for the comment!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on January 29, 2014:

Wow sounds like some serious chocolate; what every woman dreams of.

Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on January 29, 2014:

Thank you for your comments!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on January 29, 2014:

Love buttercream icing for sure! Thank you for sharing your recipes.

Up and more and sharing.


Faith Reaper

Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on January 28, 2014:

lol Billy, every meal I make from here on out will have chocolate in the title then! lol But when I make my Avocado Macaroni and Cheese tonight, it's going to be weird with chocolate in it. :)

RTalloni, it was truly delicious. That's why I warned you about it's addictive characteristic! :) I hope you enjoy it with your own ingredients!

RTalloni on January 28, 2014:

Okay, now I want cake with chocolate icing…or maybe just icing! :)

Due to a cow milk allergy coconut oil will have to replace the butter, but experience tells me it will be yum.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 28, 2014:

Keep putting chocolate in the title of your articles and I'll keep reading them. :) I hope you are having a great day.

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