To Try: King Arthur Flour’s Super-Simple Chocolate Frosting


A great chocolate frosting should taste intensely of chocolate, be easy to put together, spread smoothly over a tender cake without tearing it, and hold its shape when piped through a pastry bag. This frosting has all of those characteristics. We made it with both natural and Dutch-process cocoa, and the natural cocoa was the hands-down winner for flavor.

Our guarantee: This frosting will have deep chocolate flavor, hold its shape enough to be piped, and be simple to put together.

Hands-on time: 25 mins.
Total time: 40 mins.
Yield: 4 1/2 cups, enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes, or fill/frost an 8″ or 9″ layer cake
Published: 01/01/2010
 1 3/4 cups unsweetened baking cocoa
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional, for enhanced chocolate flavor
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Tips from our bakers

  • To make the frosting stiffer, add 1 more cup of sifted confectioners’ sugar.
  • Never frost a warm cake: the frosting will sink in, or the cake will tear.
  • Chilling or freezing cakes or layers for 30 to 45 minutes before frosting will make the job go much easier. See our online class cake decorating class for pointers.


1) Sift or sieve the cocoa, 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar and espresso powder, if you’re using it, into a bowl.

2) Bring the cream to a simmer on the stove or in the microwave, and whisk into the cocoa mixture.

3) At first the mixture will look grainy; continue whisking for a minute.

4) You’ll see the lumps disappear as the sugar dissolves and the cocoa hydrates. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

5) Place the butter, salt, and 2 cups sifted or sieved confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl.

6) Beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

7) With the mixer running on low speed, add the cocoa mixture a spoonful at a time until it’s all incorporated. Scrape the bowl, then beat at medium speed for one minute more. Use to frost cake as needed.

Yield: 4 1/2 cups, enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes, or fill/frost an 8″ or 9″ layer cake.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1/30 recipe (35g) Servings Per Batch: about 30 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160 Calories from Fat: 90 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 15mg Total Carbohydrate: 17g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 14g Protein: 1g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.

Published in: on April 26, 2015 at 5:55 am  Leave a Comment  

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