Tutorial Tuesday: How to Make Perfect Chocolate Buttercream

As a follow up from our popular How to Make Simple Buttercream tutorial / recipe we thought we’d offer up our tips on whipping up an amazingly decadent chocolate buttercream! This frosting is perfect for mouth watering dark truffle cakes and milk chocolate fudge cakes. You can even use our tips to make an amazingly smooth white chocolate buttercream; perfect with delicious fruity fillings and preserves inside layer cakes.

How to make perfect chocolate buttercream

Our first tip for creating super smooth chocolate frosting is… add melted chocolate! The best thing about adding melted chocolate is that it really helps minimise air bubbles. The second is that by mixing a simple buttercream recipe / method with tempered chocolate is that it becomes a sort of hybrid buttercream-ganache; or ‘butternache’. This makes it perfect for crumb coating cakes.

Perfect Chocolate ButtercreamPerfect Chocolate Buttercream

Perfect chocolate buttercream recipe!

To make enough to fill and ganache/buttercream a 10″ cake of three layers and a 6″ cake of three layers you’d need around 900g of our super smooth chocolate buttercream. This equates to… (NOTE: To make enough to generously frost around 24 cupcakes you’d need around two thirds of the recipe below. Simply multiply the amount per ingredient below by 2 and then divide by 3 e.g. 750g butter x 2 = 1500 / 3 = 500g)

As we stated in our Simple Buttercream tutorial use this recipe as a jumping off point to help whip up frosting perfect for you and how you work. If you haven’t read our initial tutorial about whipping up buttercream you probably should!

750g butter
400g chocolate callets / buttons (the best are by Callebaut)
400g icing / confectioner’s sugar
12 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream

Step one: Cut up your butter into small cubes. We use a serrated knife to do this as the serrated edge causes less suction than a straight edge one. This means you shouldn’t be fighting desperately with getting the butter off your knife; a hazardous thing to do at best!

Step two: In a stand up mixer (we recommend a KitchenAid Artisan 4.8 Litre / 5 Quart Mixer) cream your butter using the flat beater on medium speed.

Step three: As the butter is creaming add in the icing sugar a bit at a time.

Step four: In a glass bowl melt up your chocolate callets in either a bain marie (the bowl in a saucepan of hot water) or a microwave (check and stir every 30 seconds to avoid burning).

Step five: Remove from heat once melted and stir until the chocolate has half cooled. Pour your melted chocolate into your mixer bowl with the buttercream and mix.

Step six: Add in the tablespoons of cocoa powder four at a time. Mix. Test your frosting once every 4 tablespoons has been incorporated.

Step four: Mix your frosting at full speed at 30 second intervals; checking each time.

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream

Remember to test, taste and analyse your buttercream as you make it and change the recipe slightly if need be. You need to develop a sort of sixth sense or intuition when it comes to whipping up things like buttercreams and fillings. With our recipe and the advice we offered on our initial How to Make Simple Buttercream post you should be on your way to making perfect and delicious frosting! Buttercream can be a trial and error thing, but with experience you’ll end up with wonderful frosting every time!

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    • Juniper Cakery says:

      Hi Jasvinder,

      Thank you for your comment. You should use the type of chocolate you’d like your buttercream to be e.g. if you need dark chocolate buttercream then use dark chocolate in the recipe.

  1. Ann says:

    Hi I love the sound of this chocolate buttercream!! Really want to use it for a cake I’m doing which is a 2 layer sheet cake 35cmx27cm, what would you recommend measurement wise to fill (not to much) and crumb coat it?
    Thank you :-)

    • Juniper Cakery says:

      Hi there Ann,

      We find that trial and error is the best way to learn and familiarise yourself with a recipe. We couldn’t possibly advise as everyone has their own personal taste when it comes to cake. Some love cake filled with thick buttercream per person whilst some like barely any at all (both thickness and thinness also vary per person… 1cm may be a lot to one person and not enough to another). It also really is best to experiment yourself to find out your perfect balance. We hope this helps!

      • Ann says:

        Hi firstly thank you for replying :-)
        I understand about trial and error but thought if ask anyway :-) so if I do make to much of this buttercream and can’t quite eat it all with a spoon (joke) can I freeze it?or is it ok for a couple of days in the fridge?many thanks

  2. Paula says:

    Hello, I’m so excited to have found your website and try your delicious recipes. There are so many of them. The tutorial are so informative that I feel confident that I can DO it!! Today I’m going to do the brownie heart shaped chocolate cupcakes for my four children for Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Thank you for sharing these lovely recipes.

  3. Sarwat says:

    Which brand of icing sugar did u use? mine has turned gritty.. although i had sifted the icing sugar before incorporating it into the butter. waiting for your valuable response.

    • Juniper Cakery says:

      Hi there, We use both Whitworth and Tate & Lyle icing sugars. A lot of brands add anti-caking ingredients or cornstarch to their sugar so it is worth testing out a few brands until you find the one you like best!

  4. NJC says:

    Hi, really want to try your recipe on my next cake project I’m doing next week. I’ve got chocolate questions for you, can I use standard chocolate chips in this recipe or does it have to be chocolate with high coco content? I get bit unsure working with chocolate in this way so I’ve never tried before, though it be better to ask you rather than be to scared to try :-)

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