Best Ever Dark Chocolate Frosting!
A few weeks ago I got an email from Katy G. saying she’d found the best dark chocolate frosting ever in the new Martha Stewart cupcake book. She’d reduced the butter slightly since the original recipe used 4 ½ sticks, but even with the reduced amount of butter, the frosting was fabulous.
Because of Katy’s rave review, I went to Costco and bought the book. It’s my third or fourth cupcake book and definitely my new favorite because while it does have some cute decorating ideas, it’s more about good recipes and good flavor combos than just cuteness.
These cupcakes were made with Martha’s chocolate chip cupcake “cake” recipe and a reduced fat butter version of her dark chocolate frosting. They were incredible, and I hope you give the recipe a try. I’ve linked to the originals. In addition, I have typed up the reduced butter version suggested by Katy.
Chocolate Chip Cupcakes –the excellent “cake” component of the cupcake.
Chocolate Frosting (too much butter version…try if you dare)
If you’re interested in the measurements from the book, it calls for 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons each of boiling water and Dutch process cocoa powder, only 3/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar, 4 1/2 sticks (18 oz /504 grams) unsalted butter, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 pounds (24 oz) of dark chocolate. It’s basically 1 1/2 times the recipe I linked to on the Martha Stewart site. I’ve since made the recipe using Martha’s version and it is great. Katy’s version is below, but her changes make it pretty different from the original version.
Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Icing
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (228 grms)
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (240 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. Set aside and let cool.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Beat in vanilla (if using)
- Beat in the cocoa mixture. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.
I also made the frosting from the book recipe the other day and it was very runny – I even added all the confectioner’s sugar I had left (probably an extra cup) and it was still runny. I ended up dipping the cupcakes in it because it was so unspreadable. And I agree, way too much butter. I think I’ll try the reduced butter recipe next time, thanks!
Thanks for the feedback. As noted above, I reduced the amount of butter because a friend of mine said she liked it with less butter. Now wanting to second guess Martha Stewart, I just linked to the original recipe. It sounds like Martha’s recipe is a bit too decadent. Here is the reduced butter version for next time ;). I’m going to go ahead and share it above as well.
Dark Chocolate Frosting.
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
2 sticks (8 oz) butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.
I made these last night and loved the cake part the frosting was WAY too runny. I think you need about 1 cup of conf. sugar at least!? and it was SOO much butter. It was yummy (after letting it harden in the fridge for awhile) but the amt of butter was just way too decadent..the cake is a keeper though!
Thanks for the info- I’m making peanut butter creme-filled cupcakes for my daughter’s b-day tonight & thought that I might try Martha’s icing, but I didn’t want to have a disaster on my hands. I might just use my tried-and-true chocolate frosting recipe from the Ghiradelli’s cocoa can- much more predictable ingredient proportions. Have you tried that choc.frosting?
Everyone loves it- I’ve offered to just make a bowl of that for my stitching (eating!) group and hold the cupcakes to spare the calories!
Mary, funny that you asked. On Martha’s website it calls for 1/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar and in the book all the ingredients are the same but it calls for 3/4. Sifted confectioners sugar doesn’t weigh that much so it’s really not a huge difference in the scheme of things and they may have adjusted it slightly for the book. I think you should start with 1/4 cup and just add more if you feel it’s not sweet enough.
Consider the recipe a guide and use the proportions of ingredients that work before you. Katy cut the butter in half and I played around with it by adding cream and fluffing it up with a hand mixer. If you make it as written and make it properly (butter temp, sifted sugar), you should get a really thick and smooth icing. And yes, it’s a heart attack on cupcake if you pile it on. I think it’s the kind of icing you use sparingly.
Hey- the chocolate frosting recipe- is it really only 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar? How does it “frosting-ize”? Just by volume of butter & chocolate (heart attack on plate…er..cupcake)?
One more “must try” recipe from your blog!!! I’ll have to stick to my list. First up; the chocolate brownie scones.
I like this.
Yum, those cupcakes look perfect and delicious!
The frosting looks so luscious and rich!
I don’t have a single Martha Stewart book and really need to get some! Crazy people (read-Kevin) who don’t like frosting!
That looks lick the spoon delicious! Yum!
Those look so yummy! I’m going to have to put those cupcakes on my list to try!