FLUFFY CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
Recipe, photo & words by joshisbaking.
The fluffiest chocolate buttercream in town, perfect for frosting your next batch of cupcakes or topping a delicious chocolate snacking cake. Grab your chocolate bar and some butter, friends—let’s whip up a batch of this indulgent buttercream
Some Materials You’ll Need
- Stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
- Measuring cups and spoons
What is American Buttercream? How is it different from Italian, Swiss and French?
There are four main types of buttercream you’ve probably heard of: American, Italian, Swiss, and French. The recipe here is American buttercream and is the sweetest of the bunch. It also happens to be the most different in terms of ingredients, as it’s the only one that uses powdered (confectioners) sugar. The other three use methods with eggs and granulated sugar.
American buttercream is arguably the easiest method: essentially just beating together room temperature butter and powdered sugar. Italian meringue involves making a sugar syrup that is then whipped into egg whites until cooled, ending with beating in your butter.
Swiss meringue has you whisking your egg whites and sugar over a double boiler on the stove until the sugar is melted, whipping into peaks, and then beating your butter. Lastly is french meringue, which is very similar to Italian in starting with a sugar syrup, but it is whipped with egg yolks instead of whites (before then beating in the butter—it’s very rich).
For this chocolate buttercream, I wanted to take out the fuss of having you deal with a candy thermometer, heating egg whites, or making a syrup. It also utilizes melted chocolate, as opposed to cocoa powder, leaving you with an incredibly silky frosting.
How to Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Using the above images and below as rough visual cues for each step of the process should look. Here’s how to make this super fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting!
- Melt your chocolate in 30 second increments in a heat-safe bowl in the microwave and let cool so it’s a slightly warm, but not hot. You can start the next steps as it cools.
- Beat your butter on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until fluffy, scraping down the bowl after. With the mixer on low, gradually beat in your sifted powdered sugar a 1/2 cup at a time until incorporated, and then beat in your vanilla extract.
- Pour in your melted chocolate, mixing on low until generally incorporated, then beating on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
- Add in a tablespoon of heavy whipping cream, beating on high for 1 minute more. If you want it to be thinner (more spreadable), add in heavy whipping cream by the tablespoon until desired consistency.
The Perfect Chocolate for this Fluffy Buttercream Frosting
What I love about them is that not only is their chocolate delish, all of their products are: fairtrade, gluten-free, non-GMO, and kosher. A majority of them are vegan too! They also donate 10% of their profits to global organizations making a positive impact on species and habitats around the world.
- 6 oz. milk chocolate (from two ESC bars), 48% cocoa (170g)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (226g)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (~475g)
- 1–2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- Roughly chop up your chocolate and melt in a heat-safe bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each (heat until almost completely melted and there are a few chunks left—let the residual heat do the rest while you stir). Let it cool down a bit so it’s slightly warm, but not hot (too hot and it’ll mess with the butter, too cold and it’ll seize up). You can start the next steps as it cools.
- Beat your butter on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl. With the mixer on low, gradually add in your sifted powdered sugar (about 1/2 cup at a time) until fully incorporated. Then add in your vanilla extract and beat on medium-high for another 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl again.
- Pour in your melted chocolate and mix on low until generally incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium-high, beating for 2-3 minutes until fluffy (scrape down the bowl halfway through to make sure everything gets evenly mixed).
- Add in a tablespoon of heavy cream and beat on high for one more minute (if you want it thinner or more spreadable, add an extra tablespoon or two of heavy whipping cream until desired consistency).
This should give you plenty to top a dozen cupcakes or 8-9 inch square cake! Even a 9×13 inch sheet cake, it just might be a thinner layer.
- STORING: Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To use, let it come to room temperature and then beat with a mixer until back to regular consistency. If using same-day, leave it at room temperature and cover bowl with plastic wrap (making sure the plastic wrap is touching the buttercream to avoid excess air pockets or it’ll dry out).
- When you get to the last stage of whipping on high speed—whip until its the consistency (aka fluffiness) that you’re after! If you need to thin it back out, just add in some heavy whipping cream by the tablespoon.
- Make sure your butter is truly room temperature and avoid heating in the microwave prior to using to speed things up. It’d be better to err on the side of colder than risk melting.
See more tips on Josh’s blog HERE. Enjoy!