This chocolate whipped cream frosting is a perfect fuss-free buttercream to use on all your cakes, cupcakes, and sandwich cookies. It comes together in under 10 minutes and only has 5 ingredients- butter, cocoa powder, salt, powdered sugar, and heavy cream. It's light, fluffy, fudgy, and a total crowd-pleaser.
Calling all chocolate lovers! Say hello to chocolate whipped cream frosting. This frosting is essentially a whipped chocolate buttercream. Unlike stabilized whipped cream, its structure comes from butter, not gelatin. It's whipped for a light and airy texture but holds its shape and is stable enough to frost a cake without deflating.
Because of Dutch-processed cocoa powder, the chocolate flavor is deep and rich. American buttercream is known too be super sweet, but this recipe has the perfect level of sweetness. It's not cloying and allows the cocoa flavor to shine through.
The texture is light, fluffy, and downright dreamy. It's like a cloud of creamy goodness that melts in your mouth. It's smooth, velvety, and just perfect.
This frosting takes less than 10 minutes to make with only 5 ingredients! You can use it in so many ways, from spreading on vanilla cake or strawberry cake, to piping on chocolate cupcakes or vanilla cupcakes, to sneaking spoonfuls straight from the bowl.
Need more frosting recipes? Check these out next: small batch cream cheese frosting, brown sugar buttercream, lavender frosting, and Swiss meringue buttercream.
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and the full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Unsalted butter- This gives us the most control over the amount of salt in the frosting. Make sure it's softened so it's easy to mix. The butter should be cool to the touch but easy to dent with your finger with gentle pressure. If the butter is too warm and melty, your frosting will get greasy.
- Dutch-processed cocoa powder- This kind of cocoa powder is treated with an alkalizing agent which reduces the acidity, creating a cocoa powder with a deep, super rich flavor and color.
- Salt- A pinch of salt rounds of the flavor profile and keeps the frosting from being too sweet. You can use any kind of salt as long as it's finely ground.
- Powdered sugar- Powdered sugar (also called icing sugar) adds structure and sweetness to the frosting. You don't need to worry about sifting it!
- Heavy cream- Add a little heavy cream or milk to adjust the thickness to your liking. The cream doesn't have to be at room temperature, just use it straight from the fridge.
- Dutch-processed cocoa powder: Natural cocoa powder (also called unsweetened cocoa powder) works too, but the color and flavor won't be as deep.
- Heavy cream: Milk can be used instead. Dairy free or nut milks can be substituted for it too.
Helpful Equipment and Tools
You'll a 5-quart stand mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment. I don't recommend using an electric hand mixer for this recipe because you won't be able to get the same fluffy whipped texture.
Step by Step Instructions
Here's how to make chocolate whipped cream frosting! Before you start, make sure your butter is softened and at room temperature.
STEP 1: Cream the butter. First, add the softened butter to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the wire whip. Then, beat on high about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed between each step.
STEP 2: Add the cocoa powder. Next, add the cocoa powder and salt to the bowl. Start mixing with the speed on low and gradually increase to medium high until the cocoa is well incorporated. The mixture will be thick.
STEP 3: Mix in the powdered sugar. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, mixing on low to prevent a cloud of sugar from forming. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. The mixture will look sandy at first (as pictured above) but become smooth as you keep mixing.
STEP 4: Add the cream. Once the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and gradually pour in the cream until the desired consistency is reached. At this point you can switch to the paddle attachment to smooth out the frosting or leave it as is for a light and fluffy texture.
- Use high quality ingredients. I tested this recipe with high quality butter and average grocery store butter, and the high quality butter made a HUGE difference in the taste! The yellower the butter, the better!
- Don't overmix. You want to whisk the butter just until it's creamy, lightened in color, and aerated. If you mix too much, the butter will curdle.
- Gradually add the sugar. Adding the powdered sugar a little at a time and mixing it in on low will keep it from flying everywhere.
- Customize the consistency. If the buttercream is too thick, add a small amount of milk or cream, one teaspoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar gradually until it thickens up.
Additions and Variations
Feel free to customize the flavor of the frosting to your liking. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Vanilla extract- A splash of vanilla adds a touch of warmth and enhances the overall flavor profile. It complements the chocolate beautifully, adding a hint of sweetness and depth.
- Espresso or coffee- For my coffee lovers, substitute espresso or strong brewed coffee for the heavy cream. This adds a subtle mocha flavor that intensifies the chocolate. You can use a little espresso powder too.
- Liqueurs or extracts- Consider adding a splash of liqueur like rum, hazelnut liqueur, or orange liqueur to infuse the frosting with different flavors. You can also extracts like almond or peppermint for a unique twist.
How to Use Whipped Frosting
Whipped frostings are super versatile and can be used in so many ways! Here are a few ideas for you:
- Frosting cakes and cupcakes- The most common use of whipped frosting is, of course, to frost cakes and cupcakes. Spread it generously over the top and sides of a cake, creating a smooth and creamy layer of deliciousness. For cupcakes, swirl the frosting on top using a piping bag and piping tip.
- Layered cake filling- This buttercream can also be used as a cake filling. Spread a generous amount between each layer of cake before coating it in whatever frosting you like.
- Use as a dip- Serve the frosting in a bowl as a dip for fresh fruit like strawberries, banana slices, or apple wedges. It also pairs well with other treats like cookies, pretzels, or graham crackers.
- Topping for pies and desserts- To add a special touch to your pies or other desserts, dollop a generous amount of frosting on top. It adds a lovely contrast in texture and flavor, turning a simple dessert into a showstopper.
- Layered parfaits- Make a parfait by alternating whipped frosting with layers of cake, cookies, or fruit in glasses or jars.
Storage and Freezing
Store whipped chocolate frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before storing, place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the frosting to prevent it from forming a crust. Make sure to give it a good mix before using it again.
You can freeze buttercream for up to 2 months! Freeze it wrapped in plastic or in a freezer safe container. Before you use it, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and stir well. Note that the texture might change slightly after it's frozen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some recipes are! And I totally understand the disappointment when the whipped cream doesn't hold it's shape, deflates, and melts off your baked goods. Many whipped cream frostings are stabilized with cream cheese, gelatin, cornstarch, or even chocolate pudding mix. This particular recipe is technically buttercream, meaning that its structure comes from butter.
One batch makes about 4 cups of frosting. This is enough to frost about 2 dozen cupcakes, a 6-inch cake with 3 layers, or an 8-inch cake with 2 layers. You can scale the recipe to your liking!
Maybe! You can try using non-dairy milk and vegan "buttery sticks". Look for ones with minimal salt and adjust the frosting to taste. I haven't tested it dairy free, so let me know how it goes!
More Frostings and Fillings to Try
Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting
- 1 5-quart stand mixer with the wire whip attachment
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- ⅔ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup heavy cream or milk
- Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whip. Beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes until creamy and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.1 cup unsalted butter
- Mix in the cocoa powder and salt on low. Once incorporated, increase the speed to medium until creamy.⅔ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder, ¼ teaspoon salt
- With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar. Once it's added completely, mix on medium high until thick and creamy.1 pound powdered sugar
- With the mixer running, slowly stream in the heavy cream until the desired consistency is reached.⅔ cup heavy cream
Tastes so good!