2nd July 2013 // 20 Comments

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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  • Reply Ruth@cupcakesisters 12th July 2013 at 5:51 pm

    This is great! Similar to what I do, but with different quantities so I will definitely give this a try, thank you! I’m so glad I’ve found your blog, your cakes and photos are amazing. :)

    • Reply Juniper Cakery 13th July 2013 at 12:27 am

      Hi Ruth,

      Thanks for your kind comments! We hope this recipe helps.

  • Reply jasvinder 25th September 2013 at 11:40 am

    Hello i was wondering if you used dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

    • Reply Juniper Cakery 26th September 2013 at 7:42 am

      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.

  • Reply Miss Tiph 12th October 2013 at 9:32 am

    I’m just discovering your website and this chocolate buttercream looks incredible. I really want to try it :)

    • Reply Juniper Cakery 12th October 2013 at 10:47 am

      Hi Miss Tiph,

      This buttercream is quite addictive so be warned!

  • Reply Ann 22nd October 2013 at 11:04 am

    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 :-)

    • Reply Juniper Cakery 22nd October 2013 at 1:49 pm

      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!

      • Reply Ann 23rd October 2013 at 6:12 am

        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

  • Reply Karis 11th November 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Would this recipe work using a hand held mixer?

  • Reply Niaga - Car Decals 2nd February 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Wow, that is pretty cool cake.. Really perfect chocolate buttercream.

  • Reply Paula 13th February 2014 at 2:57 pm

    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.

    • Reply Juniper Cakery 17th February 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Hi Paula,
      We’re happy that you’ve found our blog useful and hopefully inspirational. We hope you indeed enjoyed whipping up the brownie cupcakes!

  • Reply Sarwat 28th May 2014 at 5:33 am

    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.

    • Reply Juniper Cakery 28th May 2014 at 10:51 am

      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!

  • Reply NJC 29th September 2014 at 2:01 pm

    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 :-)

    • Reply Juniper Cakery 1st October 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Hi there NJC,

      Thanks for your comment! We highly recommend Callebaut’s Belgian Callets for whipping up super smooth chocolate buttercream (the pack for the dark chocolate callets/buttons look like this… http://www.chocolatetradingco.com/buy/callebaut-dark-chocolate-chips-53?gclid=CMm4svLpi8ECFUjHtAodL2sARg). You can, however, use standard chocolate chips. With higher coco content it all depends on if you’d like a darker chocolate or not. Another thing we’d recommend is that baking chocolate is best avoided as it is specifically made to be added into batters. We hope you have fun with this how-to!

  • Reply Jamieanne 27th March 2016 at 5:55 am

    Hello!! I made some impromptu chocolate cupcakes this morning for a surprise guest we had over for Easter. I wasn’t sure what I was going to frost them with, so checked out my saved favorites on Foodgawker and found this recipe; it looked perfect. I whipped it up in no time (halved the recipe for 12 cupcakes), and it tastes delicious (it’s so dreamy with chocolate cake!)!! It’s the perfect texture, is so smooth, and tastes almost like pure chocolate ganache! Perfect! I made little nests out of the frosting and nestled in some candy-coated chocolate Easter eggs. Loved by everyone! Thank you so much for the recipe! :)

    Here’s a link to my photo of a few of the cupcakes with the frosting and Easter eggs I posted on Instagram –> https://www.instagram.com/p/BDb5SArti_o/ :) :)

  • Reply Julia 7th July 2017 at 7:46 pm

    This is the perfect silky smooth buttercream! I mean, WOW!!! All my usual attempts at buttercream are filled with air pockets and sickly sweet. This has such a smooth chocolate creamy texture and the taste is much more refined. I’ve never made ganache of any kind and I feel like I don’t have to try now I’ve found this recipe! Thank you so much! I just hope it holds under fondant otherwise I may just have to add a bit more icing sugar! (My son hates jam and vanilla so will only eat chocolate sponges which means I have to fondant ice a chocolate cake for his superhero birthday theme!)

  • Reply A Guide to Choosing the Right Frosting - RecipeChatter 8th January 2019 at 11:42 pm

    […] you’re at it, take a look at these other frosting recipes from bloggers around the web: The Perfect Chocolate Buttercream by Juniper Cakery Lemon Coconut Whipped Cream by The Talking Kitchen Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing from […]

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