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Favorite Chocolate Frosting

by on April 15, 2010 · 2 comments

Updated!  I have a NEW favorite chocolate frosting and I am posting it here for safekeeping.  The old version (below) is good, but requires actual chocolate.  This one is a cocoa based frosting, but the addition of heavy cream and a little sour cream makes it better. Here it is on a special chocolate cake.

Favorite Frosting

New Favorite Chocolate Frosting

8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons of sour cream, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sift or aerate before using
3/4 cup natural style cocoa powder
1 tiny pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 to 6 tablespoons of heavy cream plus more as needed.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter, sour cream sugar, cocoa, salt and 2 tablespoons of the cream as well as you can, then beat with a hand-held mixer until pasty and thick. Continue adding remaining cream until you get a nice, smooth, spreading consistency. Spread over the cake and chill.


Favorite Chocolate Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If I have unsweetened chocolate in the house, this is the frosting I use. It's pretty easy to make, but be sure your butter is soft (though not melted) and not too cool, and that your milk is room temperature, otherwise the cold milk and butter may cause the melted chocolate to clump a little. Also, chocolate chips can be substituted for the semisweet chocolate, but I get a much tastier, creamier frosting when I use actual semisweet or bittersweet chocolate as opposed to chips.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted or salted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar (3 1/2 cups unsifted) or about 1 pound
  • 1/4 cup milk plus more if needed — can use buttermilk or half & half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Pinch or two of salt if using unsalted butter
  1. Melt both chocolates in microwave or double boiler and set aside to cool for about 30 minutes. Beat the butter until creamy. Stir in the cocoa power, about a cup of the powdered sugar, and the cooled melted chocolate. Scrape sides of bowl and beat well. Add remaining powdered sugar, then add milk, vanilla and salt, beating and scraping until you get the consistency you like
Make sure ingredients aren't too cool.

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Published on April 15, 2010

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer April 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Hi. I’m going to make Shirley Corriher’s Magnificent Moist Golden Cake for Easter (decorated with yellow peeps to look like a sunflower.) And want to frost it with chocolate frosting. Do you think this recipe would be a good choice for that? I am going to make either 2 or 3 nine inch layers… Would I need to double the recipe?

Anna April 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Hi Jennifer, this is a great frosting for that cake! I hope you like it. Email me and let me know, because this is one of my favorites. It makes a lot of frosting and you *should* have enough for that size cake.

Just remember to keep you ingredients at room temperature. If you had cool butter to the chocolate mixture, the chocolate might lump up a little bit.

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