Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Total Time:
25 min
Prep:
25 min

Yield:
about 4 cups
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup egg whites (4 to 5 extra-large eggs), at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 1/2 teaspoons water
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum, optional
Directions

Chop the chocolates and place them in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan simmering water. Stir until melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

Mix the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Place the bowl of egg whites over the pan of simmering water and heat the egg whites until they are warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Return the bowl to the electric mixer and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes, or until the meringue is cool and holds a stiff peak.

Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and rum, if using, and mix for 1 minute or until the chocolate is completely blended in. If the buttercream seems very soft, allow it to cool, and beat it again.


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4.6 71
Absolutamente delicioso, I have made it several times and everybody including myself loves it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best Buttercream recipe ever!! It holds up very well, lovely texture and taste heavenly!! I followed exactly step by step, and it turned out great. I made it for a 75 serving size, 2 tiers cake. Everybody thought it was chocolate mouse!! Ha! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is delicious! Thanks Ina, I'm always confident cooking your recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great frosting item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tasted really good, but I did something wrong with this recipe. I added the butter tablespoon at a time, but the butter began to separate from the egg white during whipping. Then icing began to "weep" but, could still pipe it on to cupcakes. I'm not sure if I rushed adding the butter, or because it was really humid the egg whites were affected. I loved the flavor, very much like a classic French buttercream minus the egg yolk and cooked sugar. I'll try making it again and keep my fingers crossed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ina, you are my go to. Whenever I need a really good recipe you never disappoint. This recipe is awesome. It is light and full of flavor. I will use this in the future every time I need something spectacularly wonderful. Thank-you for providing me with many family favorites. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best icing ever but i would only add half of whats listed for the flavorings item not reviewed by moderator and published
Came out nice and fluffy. I omitted the espresso powder, and added more vanilla extract, and some chambord liquor to give it a hint of raspberry. I frosted a supermoist chocolate cake. This makes a LOT. I will be using leftovers for another cake. Yum. item not reviewed by moderator and published
First time I've made frosting and it went great! Delicious and got rave reviews. I halved the recipe and still had more than enough for a 9x13 cake (almost twice as much. Ina's recipes always go over so well for me item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely delicious frosting but the others are correct that 1/2 of the recipe is plenty for a 9 inch layer cake. I didn't have any bittersweet chocolate so I just used semisweet and I thought it was just fine. Also, I just melted my chocolate chips in the microwave and it turned out perfectly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
the best frosting for me..yummy!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I cut the recipe in half and still had plenty to work with. I did not care for the taste, it was easy to pick out butter taste, and chocolate taste, they weren't cohesive and it was not sweet (I prefer a sweeter milk chocolate flavor. I added 2.5 cups of powdered sugar to make it somewhat closer to real buttercream icing. That made it a whole lot easier to pipe with an extra large star tip and have it stay stiff. The kids didn't like it, but the adults thought it was okay. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yummy! I cut the recipe in half and had plenty to frost a two layer 9 inch cake very generously and still had some left over. Not a problem as it was hard to keep the family out of the bowl while I was mixing. For Rachel, I had the same confusion you did. I mixed the egg whites, sugar, etc. just until combined and the heated the mixture as directed. I think this helps to dissolve the sugar so there is not a grainy texture. After the egg white mixture was warm, I beat it to make the meringue. Be sure you use good chocolate as that gives the frosting all its wonderful flavor. This is definitely a keeper! item not reviewed by moderator and published
this recipe was perfect! I used 1/3 of the recipe, and easily frosted a 9x13 cake, and had about 1/2 cup left over. IT wasn't too sweet, but had real flavor. This was easy to make and definitely my new go-to frosting recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
hey guys, i had a question..i was wanting to make this recipe but im a little confused on the instructions...in the instructions where it says to mix the egg white mixture then put over a double boiler, does it mean to make a meringue first, then put over the heat, or just plain egg whites over the heat, then make the meringue? i was a little unclear on that...help please!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I could have eaten the whole thing by myself. Electra item not reviewed by moderator and published
The best chocolate buttercream I've found! item not reviewed by moderator and published
OMG! This is to die for. You can never go wrong with one of Ina's recipes. I needed a good Chocolate Buttercream and saw hers. Knew hers was the one and sure enough it is. Anyone that says it is not good is out of their mind or should stay out of the kitchen. Easy to make and comes out fantastic. Not a cheap recipe to make but worth every penny. item not reviewed by moderator and published
THIS IS THE BEST FROSTING ON PLANET EARTH! it might be better than ganache but when making it when adding the butter to egg whites it looked curdled but i added the chocolate that is only bittersweet and others it came together im eleven years old and if i can make it you can item not reviewed by moderator and published
Good consistency, easy to pipe onto cupcakes. Flavor seemed like chocolate colored butter. Will search for another chocolate frosting recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm not a big fan of chocolate frosting, but since this was for someone else, I thought I'd splurge with this recipe. It wasn't the chocolate flavor I didn't like, it was the amount of butter. It was just like eating cocoa-flavored butter on the cake. Everyone in the family thought so. It's just not like the frosting we're used to. It was a waste of frosting too, with all the leftovers and nobody wanted to keep it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used this for a Hungarian Dobos torte cake I made and it is a fantastic recipe for that! I made 2 cakes and each cake had 5 (thin) layers. With this recipe I was able to frost both cakes and had still about 2 cups worth leftover. Fantastic taste and I like how dreamy smooth it is to work with, holds up well on layered cake, and after I refrigerated the cakes, the frosting sets up beautifully! Love it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Amazing!!! I just made this at midnight...yes, midnight and it worked like a charm. Not very difficult at all. I would have preferred to use powdered sugar, my batch came out a little grainy but this is so extremely LIGHT!!! I added 1 cup of powdered sugar to the very end to tighten my batch up and make it a wee bit sweeter but I will definitely use this recipe again and again. It was plenty enough for a 3 layer 10" round. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made a one-third batch of this frosting exactly as specified omitting only the rum today. In the past I have found rum too sharp a taste in frostings. One third batch was ample frosting for a 9X13 inch vanilla bean cake. I would say a half batch would amply frost a double layer cake. A full batch would frost a large tiered wedding cake (as Ina does in the full recipe). I really like this frosting. It is very light and melts on the tongue. I usually make "fudge" type chocolate frostings and this one is an interesting change of pace. I happened to have 8 oz. of a very good Irish butter left over in my fridge from some special holiday baking. I decided to use it with this recipe since the recipe contains so much butter. It is certainly a good recipe to showcase good butter. The frosting has a lovely texture and is not too sweet. I plan to try it sometime with a very delicate white cupcake recipe that I make, I think this delicate frosting would compliment a small/light cupcake. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm not a chocolate person, but this? I could eat this stuff like pudding! It is the most delicious, light, fluffy, silky buttercream imaginable. superb. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a hit with my family! I did not use the rum and only a strong coffee and it turned out so well. I am wondering how much better it would be with the espresso? I also have to freeze half for future use. A lot is made! It is a little tricky to make the first time but gets easier each time you make it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't like chocolate but this recipe sounds amazing. Any ideas on how to make it a vanilla frosting instead? **Forced to enter a rating. DISREGARD!** item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is the best frosting I've ever made! It's so good and doesn't feel too rich. It melts in my mouth! (with 1.5# of butter,well... ;P) Recipe is too much for just one cake but I just made several cakes! 8) It goes well with Beatty's chocolate cake from Ina's recipe,also! I love Ina and her wonderful hubby,Jeffrey! 8)Thanks so much again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was good but it made so much for a 2 layer cake, so if you make it, make it for a larger cake. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used this for a large 3-layer cake, and it was the perfect amount; had some frosting left over. I think the recipe is perfect. I almost didn't add the espresso because I didn't want a mocha flavor. Glad I followed the recipe, its perfect as-is, just tastes like a rich chocolate frosting. And yes, it does melt in your mouth. How could it not with a pound and a half of butter in it? =) item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe makes A LOT of frosting - if you're baking a regular size cake I would say make 1/3rd of the recipe...I used the coffee that the recipe called for, but the coffee taste overpowered the frosting and I think I'll leave it out next time - other than that, this frosting was very light and fluffy and I recommend it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I LOVE chocolate, and this frosting is VERY chocolately. I followed the recipe exactly, but next time, I think I may use milk choc instead. Very creamy, and yes it does melt in your mouth! LOVED it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this frosting thinking it was going to be hard. It was actually very easy and it was very "light" considering there was 1 1/2 pounds of butter in it! I actually don't like frosting and I think I may have been converted into a frosting liker. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have never made a butter cream frosting before, and although I felt like this recipe was a little more advance for someone like me (an amateur, for sure) I still successfully made this frosting and it was DELICIOUS! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made this icing to ice a chocolate cake I made for my step-daughter's graduation party. It did make alot of icing. I made a 2-layer round cake and I had enough icing to ice another cake. This was the BEST chocolate icing I have ever had, and not too hard to make. I made a vanilla icing that was similar to this and I had to use a thermometer and cook the sugar and water for a long time. My kids loved the icing so much that they were eating it out of the bowl with a spoon. This will be my icing from now on. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is an excellent frosting and easier than Julia Childs buttercream frosting recipe. It has and excellent chocolate flavor. The texture isn't as smooth as a cooked buttercream but still way better than store bought and worth the effort. I have been experimenting with buttercream frosting recipes and this recipe is one that I will recommend and make again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
WHile I love chocolate I think this one may be a bit strong for my taste. I did add the coffee as the recipe called for so maybe that accentuated the chocolate flavor...either way it was a bit too much for my liking. I mixed semi-sweet and german chocolate since that's one of my favorites. Like others have said, this makes a TON of frosting so I hope to freeze the leftovers. I kept double checking the measurements, sure the amount of butter was incorrect...I've never used that much in a recipe before! All in all I'm not sure I'll make this one again - it's good but I don't think it's fabulous and the time involved along with the amount of butter might make me seek another recipe item not reviewed by moderator and published
The absolute best frosting ever if you like a lite and whipped type of frosting. Plenty of rich chocolate flavor but melts in your mouth. I cut the recipe in third and it covered my 9" layer cake perfectly. The frosting spreads so well you will convince yourself that you are a master cake decorator,and those who try it will agree! item not reviewed by moderator and published
WOW-WEEEEE!!! This frosting is THE best buttercream frosting I have ever had/tried!! I am NEVER going to try another. Granted, you break out in a sweat just making it but it is TOTALLY worth it!! I only put in half the coffee. And it makes a ton! If you are nervous to try this for the first time for a dinner party or event, don't be. They are going to go crazy for it! It's work to make ... but totally worth it! Thank you Ina. My hips will thank you later ;) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for a cake to take to work. I love chocolate but not bitter sweet. I used milk chocolate and followed the recipe the rest of the way. It was a hit. I will use it again and again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed the recipe almost to a "T'. I left out the espresso and the rum. To all who ask, YES! You do use the bittersweet & the chips. You get a block of Bittersweet from the store (I used a Belgian Bittersweet block). It cut up quite easily with a heavy serrated knife. I followed the rest of the recipe. It is time consuming, but it seems that all the best frosting recipes are this way. I made Red Velvet Cupcakes for V-day and that silky frosting is just the same. A lot of mixing, but worth the results. I vowed to make that frosting every single time I made a cake...and now I have this one too. It's just amazingly wonderful. also...butter makes the world go around. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was very excited about making this icing. I had been looking for a chocolate buttercream recipe. Not only was it involved to make but i was not impressed with the outcome. The coffee flavor was way to strong and in my opinion and it was not sweet enough and way to much butter, i felt like i was eating a stick of butter with espresso. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have never made chocolate frosting before. It was more work than I thought it would be, but it was so worth the effort. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I initially thought that the frosting didn't taste as chocolaty as I expected, only to realize that because the recipe printed in the same format at it appears on the site (with the bittersweet chocolate apart from the other ingredients) that I'd left out the bittersweet chocolate altogether. Unfortunately, I discovered this after I'd already frosted the cakes... However, I would never detract stars from a recipe based on a technical issue and the fact that I missed an ingredient in reading the recipe , so that said... Five stars! This is a wonderfully creamy frosting! I left out the rum and only added half the espresso recommended, and even with half the chocolate accidentally missing it tasted great! (You have to admire the resilience of a recipe that can be missing half of a major ingredient and still turn out well!) This makes a ton of frosting - I completely frosted two, 8-inch, 3-layer cakes (using the frosting as filling and on the top and sides), and I still had about a cup of frosting left over! Unbaked meringue can be frozen, so possibly this could be too - however, I'll probably just refrigerate this. I might try bringing it to room temperature and re-beating it again later in the week just to see how it holds up (and maybe to frost a half-batch of cupcakes I might make to finish it off! Highly recommended! item not reviewed by moderator and published
1 1/2 pound of butter, you may as well just put the butter on the cake. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for the first time for my husband's birthday on Christmas Eve and it was a BIG HIT! I loved how it had a wonderful creamy chocolate flavor and not overly sweet or grainy like other frostings are. I left out the rum when I made the frosting, but it was still SO GOOD! I will always use this recipe for frosting! item not reviewed by moderator and published
After reading the comments from others, I knew for sure I didn't need 4 cups of frosting so I cut the recipe in half - it worked very well. I not only thought this was the best chocolate buttercream frosting I have ever tasted, I thoroughly enjoyed making it. Ina, how about a similar recipe for a vanilla buttercream! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was a lifesaver when I botched a different buttercream frosting recipe. I saw the Barefoot Contessa episode where Ina makes this frosting just a few days ago, and so I felt confident that I could make it. It worked like a charm and the flavor was outstanding! I will also note that it makes a ton of frosting, but the recipe also cuts into 1/3s very easily. I just made 1/3 of the recipe, which was more than enough to frost the yule log that I made. A keeper for sure!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I usually like whipped toppings for cake because FROSTING is too heavy, but Ina's recipe is so yummy and light. This is a keeper! By the way, I did mix chocolates since thats what I had in my pantry but used the correct amount of weight as in the recipe ( 12 oz and 1 lb), turned out great. Thx Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Do you use both bittersweet chocolate and semi sweet chocolates? I am planning to make this recipe at Christmas time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Greetings~ I plan to make a buttermilk chocolate cake topped with this buttercream chocolate frosting for Thanksgiving. I just need to know if I use both the bittersweet and semisweet chocolates combined in the recips. Sounds absolutely yummy. Replys greatly appreciated. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was by far the best chocolate frosting I have ever made. I'll never make anything else. Thanks Ina. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best frosting ever. its so smooth it just melts in your mouth-not grainy like most other frostings. i have made this twice now-and the second time i didnt realize that the butter i was using was salted until after it was all mixed in. it was a little too salty, but still good. so if salted is all you have on hand-deffinately do not add the 3/4 tsp. this recipe might take a little longer than other buttercreams...but its soooo worth it!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm using this recipe for my graduation project at my high school but I can't use rum in the recipe. I know it's optional but does it really taste as good without it? Or would anyone recommend using rum extract? Quick feedback would be most appreciated! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used this on a wedding cake with poured chocolate fudge over the top. Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. I even used a raspberry filling and this chocolate icing blended well. The taste is not real sweet and just the right amount of chocolate. This was so creamy it melted in your mouth. Excellent!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this frosting several times and just love it! Now I'm wondering if it will work without the chocolate. I want to make a delicious, rich frosting that can be dyed pink for a theme party. This is exactly the texture I want, but will it work without the chocolate? item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is an excellent recipe. Tastes very chocolate-y. I only used 1 t. espresso powder, as others had noted excessive coffee flavor. It turned out REALLY well. My only problem with the recipe is that it does not accurately state how much frosting it makes. It makes WAY more than 4 cups. I had enough left over after frosting a 9" layer cake to frost another 9" cake. Luckily, I saw on chowhound.com that you can freeze buttercream, thaw and re-beat it. So, I froze the other half. item not reviewed by moderator and published
so i made the mistake of reading the ingredients too fast and forgot to dilute the espresso with water. it tasted a little too much of the coffee, but besides that, it was fun to make, easier than it sounded and i think it holds the decorations well. i've always had trouble finding a buttercream that holds my decorations well. usually they melt after a few hours. i think this one will hold but i delivered the cake to my in-laws. will definitely put on cupcakes and see if my swirls hold next time item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe has put an end to my search for great frosting. I maked it to take to friends for dinner and everyone LOVED it! It is perfect! So smooth and creamy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used this frosting on some cupcakes (see Ina's "Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing" recipe, also on this site), and everyone at the party loved the cupcakes. Instant espresso powder wasn't available in my town, so I substituted instant coffee instead and felt that this worked well. The frosting was light like a meringue or a mousse and rich without being too sweet. This will be my standard chocolate buttercream frosting from now on. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the first recipe from Ina Garten that I have not had to modify at all. The frosting is excellent! The flavor is perfect, not too strong, and the texture is very creamy. I highly recommend this recipe! It may seem a little labor-intensive, but if you follow the directions, you'll be just fine! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The recipe was easy to follow and turned out great. I did have to put it in the fridge to chill as the recipe warned and re-whip but otherwise no problems. I will however use less espresso, I like a little to enhance the chocolate but there was a bit to much. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this frosting to cover a Paula Deen banana cake recipe I made to use up my overripe bananas. I must say I like the frosting better than I like the cake (and the cake is good)! But, wow! I still have LOTS of frosting left over. This recipe could easily be cut in half and there would still be plenty to frost two 9" layer cakes. I've tried bittersweet chocolate in the past and it was just too "bitter" for my taste. This time, I substituted dark Belgian chocolate instead, and the frosting came out great. Now I'm going to look for a chocolate eclair recipe to try to use up some of my leftover frosting. My neighbors don't know it yet, but they're going to be getting some baked goods in the morning! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was the smoothest chocolate frosting that I've ever made. I definitely recommend it for anyone interested in learning to make REAL buttercream frosting. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tested this recipe on a cake I made for my cake-decorating class and brought in some extra frosting. My instructor tried it and LOVED it. She and my other classmates all wanted the recipe. It's worth making, especially for a special occasion. The frosting, when refrigerated tastes a lot like chocolate truffles! item not reviewed by moderator and published
"It's like ice cream, but doesn't mealt!" said my husband We, both, absolutely loved it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a little more work than I'm use to but the results were amazing! I definitely recommend adding the rum. There were so many layers to the flavor it just melted in your mouth! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Worth every step! Great flavor, terrific texture... just delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
DELICIOUS. item not reviewed by moderator and published
once again Ina has given up a "fool proof" recipe. Easy to make, with simple directions..no way you can mess this up! This one is a keeper! Thanks Ina, keep them coming.....I meant the Anniversaries!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Sounds like a fantastic recipe and I like looks of consistency. What is your recommendation when using egg whites? Does warming them meet health recommendations of not using raw eggs? item not reviewed by moderator and published

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