Chocolate Frosting

One of the most popular recipes on Our Best Bites is this flour frosting.  Its velvety smooth texture combined with the not-so-sugary bite is perhaps the perfect thing on top of almost any cake or cupcake.  If you read through the comments you’ll see that one of the most commonly asked questions is “Where’s the chocolate version??!!”  Kate and I experimented a lot with adding chocolate to that recipe without much luck.  We came up with a lot of things that tasted amazing, but there were always slight problems with the consistency.  I knew I had seen similar recipes in chocolate before but I couldn’t seem to find one until one of you dear readers pointed me to a recipe on Sugar Plum.  Sure enough, it was just what I was in search of!  I adapted the recipe slightly by using plain ol’ salted butter and omitting added salt.  And then I added extra chocolate to get a richer color and flavor.  Everyone needs a “go-to” chocolate frosting and this is now mine!

The recipe starts by cooking flour, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder in a sauce pan until it thickens, much like the first step in the beloved white frosting.

You’ll strain the mixture so you don’t end up with icky flour lumps in your frosting, because who wants icky flour lumps in their frosting??

While that mixture is cooling off, melt some chocolate chips in the microwave.  I found this to be the key to having the frosting remain stable- the melted chocolate seems to bind it.

Then we whip real butter with our chilled chocolate mixture until it’s light and fluffy,

like so.  At this point it’s much like the results of just adding cocoa powder to the white frosting.

But the secret is adding in the melted chocolate.  Isn’t chocolate always the secret??

Whip that up and then give it a taste.  If you want a richer chocolate flavor just add more cocoa powder.  I added about 4 Tablespoons extra to get my frosting looking and tasting like this (I also found the color of the frosting darkened as it sat):

It pipes beautifully, and tastes amazing!  And just WAIT until I show you what I put it on- that post is coming up Friday- and trust me, you’ll go bananas!  (hee hee)




  1. I haven't tried this yet, but I'm sooo glad you posted it! I moved to Switzerland about 4 months ago, and the powdered sugar they have here is different than in the States–and anything you make with it has a disgusting –REALLY disgusting taste. I thought I'd have to forgo anything that required a frosting. And then you posted this-yahoo!
    Actually, I've been trying out a whole bunch of your recipes since I've moved here, since there are quite a few ingredients that I can't get here, so I've been trying new instead of old standby's.
    So Thanks!!!

    1. Reading your comment and being a Swiss, living in Switzerland, I can’t help it but laugh at this comment. I think you have just chosen the wrong type of powdered sugar. The one from Migros is rather ‘sandy’ whereas the one from Coop is super fine (flourlike or dustlike). Have a go with the one from Coop… and beat the hell out of it together with our butter. Our butter contains more fat (=better quality) than water, which makes it difficult to dissolve the sugar in it… hence the disgusting, sorry, sandy taste.

      Me on the contrary I can’t adapt every US recipie, as our tastebuds have different preferences…

  2. i'm SO excited to try this recipe out!!! have you come across a good white cake recipe yet? i still keep trying different recipes and i just can't find one i'm in love with…

    1. Try White Almond Sour Cream Wedding Cake:

      You can use vanilla instead of almond flavoring, but this is hands down the best white cake in terms of crumb, flavor, and texture. I suspect it is because you only use egg whites….Oh, and halving it works perfectly well (the original recipe makes a lot–like 60 cupcakes a lot!). Don’t bother with using any other flavors of cake mixes, they just don’t work as well or taste as good in my humble opinion. Hope you like it as much as I do! Oh, and only use Betty Crocker mix to start with. I have mixed results with other brands.

  3. Flour frosting, what a great idea! Personally, I love SWEET stuff, but I do know a lot of people who appreciate sweet treats that aren't overly sweet. I'll have to make cupcakes w/ this frosting for them. Thank you.

  4. Krista- I'm still on the hunt too, but I have a few bookmarked try. We'll see…

    Chaviva- I've never used gluten free flour but I would assume it would work fine. It still thickens, right? If so, then I wouldn't see why it wouldn't work.

  5. Hi! I've been following this blog for a while but have never commented. I wanted to tell you both thanks for all the great recipes and ideas…including this one! I will definitely have to give this a try. I like the idea of using flour rather than shortening (aka grease, aka fat) to make a thicker frosting. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This sounds really good and actually pretty easy:) It looks really pretty too. Can't wait to see what you put it on;)

  7. Hi
    This looks awesome. I have about 4 different chocolate frosting recipes I love and I am going to try this one out and add it to my repertoire! I was wondering what the yield is – it doesn't say in the recipe how many cups it makes or how many cupcakes it would frost. I am making 2 doz cupcakes and would love to know if one recipe is enough to pipe or if I should double the batch! Thanks. And I LOVE this site by the way I make one of your recipes ( sweet and savory) almost weekly!!


  8. I LOVE your blog!!! I have found some wonderful recipes on here that our family adores!
    My son just had his 4th birthday and I tried a buttercream recipe I hadn't tried before (where you do the sugar water then add to stiff peak egg whites and mix in the butter) it was SOOOO gross! I felt horrible I hadn't tried it before hand but was at least thankful we had ice cream! I completely forgot about your white frosting and I can't wait to try them both!!! Thank you SO much for sharing your yummy recipes! I tell people about this site all the time and I know they have enjoyed it too!!!

    1. Rachel…
      i’ve used the simple syrup, egg white, butter recipe with great success but it is time consuming… don’t give up! it looks curdled and gross and then after quite a while on the kitchenaid it comes together and is my go to most requested frosting… just don’t quit too soon lol

  9. Nice! I literally just bought cocoa powder for the first time EVER, so I have been looking for a good recipe for it. I loooove your white frosting, so I am sure I would like this.

  10. Oh my goodness, that looks great! I've never tried the white frosting, but I'm guessing it's pretty stellar! And as for chocolate frosting, well, with banana anything? Yes, please! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

  11. Again, yes, you've done it again! Oh, how I wish I could just dip my finger in your bowl for a little taste!

    Happy Day,
    Jasey @ Crazy Daisy

  12. This frosting looks DELICIOUUUUS!!

    I will definitely try this. I am a chocolate Lover and I am looking for THE CHOCOLATE FROSTING for my cakes. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a blessed evening.

  13. I'm excited to try this out! I've been on the lookout for a good chocolate frosting recipe because my daughter's third birthday is coming up. Thanks!

  14. I think the "flour frosting" is what my grandmother always used to frost red velvet cake. I think she called it a cooked frosting and it is the best frosting for red velvet!! It is one of my favorite frostings because it is not too sweet. Now, a chocolate version… WOW! I will have to make this!

  15. this looks fabulous and i must try it. and i hate to ask and reveal my ignorance – but – how do you 'strain' the cooked chocolate mixture?

  16. Okay – I always wonder this and now I'm really wondering. Usually I can replace magarine for butter (I'm lactose intolerant – butter doesn't even exist in my world) – will it cause problems with this recipe?

  17. Shron, it's just as it looks in the picture! Just put it in a fine mesh strainer and use a spoon to stir it around. The mixture will pass through and any lumps will stay in your strainer.

    Emily- thanks for sharing the recipe!

    jmommy- a world without butter??! I can't imagine! I actually think you could get away with margarine here. I don't think it would taste as good as butter, but I think structurally the frosting would turn out just fine.

  18. I was just literally today wanting to find a chocolate frosting that would hold up well on a cupcake. I am not kidding! I was coming to get an idea for more freezer meals and there it was!!! Thanks Ladies! I will be trying this tonight.

  19. I tried this recipe tonight with yellow cake cupcakes! Delicious! Thanks so much!! It turned out great! Also the first time I tried flour frostings!

  20. Sorry Krista, that's a typo. The original recipe called for unsalted butter and additional salt, but I omitted the salt because I used regular salted butter instead. So no need to add salt 🙂

    1. hello there 🙂
      I was just wondering, if I only have unsalted butter – how much salt am I supposed to add. I asked around and people told me 1/4 tsp salt for 1/2 unsalted butter is the right amount. Is it enough or too much salt for this recipe? It would mean 1/2 tsp salt for this recipe, right?

  21. Made this yesterday and it was great! I love how it isn't a sweet as the powdered sugar kinds. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  22. I had seen the white version of this frosting before and really wanted to try it but I have always been more of a fan of white/yellow cake with chocolate frosting so I was so happy to see this version… made it tonight and I love it! Thanks!

  23. Made this yesterday and it turned out like a dream! I wanted to just eat it with a spoon! I used it on cupcakes and had quite a few leftover. They sat on the counter overnight and the frosting was just as soft and lovely as the day before. Thanks!

  24. Yummy! Made it yesterday and it is the perfect compliment to a cupcake. It provides the perfect creamy sweetness you want. I used milk chocolate chips (all I had) and it turned out great.

  25. I'm making this today. My flour mixture is cooling now, but it's so much thicker than yours, I couldn't get it to go through the strainer, and I'm wondering if I've ruined it. Do you think I over cooked it? I pulled it off the stove the second it started to thicken, but it got thick so fast, any suggestions?

  26. Connie, my guess is that it will be just fine because once you beat it, it will thin out. If it were me, I'd probably give it a shot still, but I have no guarantee since I can't see what yours looks like!

  27. "[…] due to the fact that actual melted chocolate is also beaten in!). The recipe is from Our Best Bites. And guess what? There is a vanilla version […]"

    I just tried this and it was sooo delicious! I ran out of milk so I subbed in coffee creamer diluted with water (sounds a little gross, but it was the best I could do) and the frosting still turned out well. It has a wonderful consistency for piping and its DELICIOUS! =D I honestly can't wait to try to vanilla version. Love love love, Lisa@ lisa-is-hungry.

  28. Sara, this was amazing! I used this to frost your cream filled cupcakes in lieu of the ganache (sp?) and it was a big hit! Everyone thought they were bakery made :).

  29. Amazing Chocolate Frosting!!! I usually do make the white frosting with the cooked flour mixture and always wanted to try chocolate but didn't want to play around with it myself. So happy to have found this! Buttercream is too sweet for me so this one is perfect — not too sweet and creamy too.


  30. I am a terrible cook and a worse baker.. but with your great easy instructions my frosting came out perfect! and it was absolutely the most delicious I have ever tried!! I love cupcakes but I hate trying to make them because the frosting ALWAYS disappoints me no matter how many good reviews it has.. so I am happy I found your cute blog and it took me about 2 weeks to go for it worrying it would be another hearth break or too hard for my non-existent skills but I am never EVER even bothering buying chocolate frosted cupcakes anymore.. I can make the best thanks to you! 😀

  31. I love the consistency of this frosting! So fluffy! Thank you so much for sharing. I've been trying to find a fluffy strawberry frosting that uses fresh strawberries. Is there anyway to convert this recipe into a fresh strawberry frosting?

  32. Aaah…if I was to add maybe strawberry puree into that recipe, how would you suggest modifying it so the consistency wouldn't be too watery?

  33. You should be able to beat it right in at the very end. If you are adding something really juicy, I'd just strain part of the liquid out of it before adding so you have a more concentrated fruit mixture.

  34. Oh, I really screwed this up this morning for my husband's birthday. I'm not a huge chocolate fan, so I thought it was probably just my taste buds.

    I mixed-up the measurements for flour and sugar and created the most bitter frosting known to man. My husband has been sweet about it, but it is depressing to put so much effort into a special homemade birthday cake and then, foul it up with one tiny mistake!

    His family WAS NOT as sweet as he was, though. 🙁 They kept asking me what was wrong with it, and at that point, I didn't have any idea. A look over the recipe, after they left our home, revealed my problem.

    Please tell me the regular version is sweet? I loved the consistency of it, so I'm not willing to give up on it for the next go 'round.

  35. I'm a little confused Beth- what did you do wrong? You obviously made a mistake when making the recipe, right? This is chocolate frosting we're talking about- so yes, of course it's sweet! lol

  36. I mixed-up the measurements for flour and sugar. With the flour, I used the measurements for sugar, and visa versa. 🙁

  37. I made this frosting over the weekend, I don't have a stand mixer so I was using a hand mixer. I don't know if anyone else has had this happen but when i started mixing the butter to the mixture it got all wierd clumpy like the butter was in tiny balls or something. I was really worried that it wasn't going to turn out until I poured in the melted chocolate and BAM! Amazing Chocolate frosting! I wowed everyone with it!

  38. This frosting turned out so great! I made it to top some chocolate strawberry filled cupcakes. I used bittersweet ghiradelli chocolate chips. It piped beautifully. I think this will be my go to chocolate frosting.

  39. I would really like to make the cream filled cupcakes with this frosting for a baby shower in a few days. I'd love to make them the night before the event. Can I refrigerate them overnight?

  40. I tried making it for a second time to make sure it wasn't pure luck that it turned out perfect the first time, and I did kind of ruined it.. the consistency was still perfect but I added a little more cocoa powder and it killed the taste for me, my husband still loves it but I will use half of the cocoa it asks for next time just to be on the safe side.

  41. I'm so glad to have found your blog and a confectioner sugar free icing (can't stand the grittiness). I have a few questions for you! 1. I've made this twice now and both times it's actually quite liquid-y. Almost too soft to pipe. The butter I have here is very soft so that may be it. The second time I did it, I chilled the pudding mixture in the fridge until it was cold and that made my butter firm up – like I think another commenter experienced. Thinking about SMBC I figured making butter cold = bad so I microwaved the mixture to make it room temp. I was wondering if making the "pudding" a little thicker with more flour would help it hold better? What do you think? Mine doesn't look as fluffy or stiff like yours does in picture #5. I don't know if it's the wimpy hand-mixer I'm using. THANK YOU!

  42. megumi- if the end product is too soft then it's most likely that your butter is too soft. It should be a little colder than room temp. I wouldn't add more flour, if you need it to firm up the best way is to put the finished product in the fridge until it's stiffened up. I'm glad you like it!

  43. I've made the flour frosting a number of times now and get rave reviews. My good friend begged me to make chocolate cupcakes for a special day tomorrow so I tried the chocolate frosting and it is too liquidy/soft to pipe. I'm putting it in the fridge hoping it will stiffen up. It tastes great! My oldest already snuck a bit to put on his graham cracker so if it doesn't stiffen up, I guess my kids will have it for a snack this next week on their crackers and will be very happy!

  44. Hi, I've made this twice now. Both times delicious, however the second time I had trouble piping as the tip kept getting clogged with little lumps of chocolate. The chocolate had been melted thoroughly and allowed to cool at room temperature for about 30minutes. its as though when I poured it in the flour and butter mixture was too cooled and may have set some of the melted chocolate. Any ideas?

  45. I was looking for a frosting that didn't have too much icing sugar and stumbled upon your blog. I made it today for my butter cake and boy it's delicious. I plan to make it often now. But one thing i need to know is that for how long can I refrigerate it?

    my website is, will post this cake asap, God willing!

    please do lemme know
    thanks in advance,

  46. I was looking for a frosting that didn't have too much icing sugar and stumbled upon your blog. I made it today for my butter cake and boy it's delicious. I plan to make it often now. But one thing i need to know is that for how long can I refrigerate it?

    please do lemme know
    thanks in advance,

  47. I am planning to try this frosting this evening for my son's 22 birthday tomorrow. It looks perfect for cupcake, but not many comment for using it on a double layer cake, does it hold up between the two layers. And how should I store it when I am finished tonight, airtight or refrigerator??
    Thank you so much. I ask myself, "what did we do before the internet."

  48. Mary Jane- yes it works great on cake! I actually used it on the monkey cake we have on the site and it holds up really well. Are you frosting the cake tonight or just making the frosting? If you're frosting the cake, you can just keep it at room temp. If you're wanting to store the frosting you can refrigerate it. Tomorrow you'll need to let it come to room temp on its own and then beat it again to fluff it up. Should work great!

  49. The other day I made the candy corn cupcakes and learned how to do the frosting good. We had a BBQ tonight, and I decided to try just store-mix cupcakes with this chocolate frosting. I was told that they were the BEST cupcakes they had ever eaten. I took the advice and automatically added the extra 4 TBS cocoa. The frosting came out perfectly! Thanks!

  50. This is a keeper.

    The delicate chocolate flavor is superb and not overpowered by sugar. The silky texture is awesome; it melts in your mouth like a no other frosting I've ever made. While it does have a consistency that will accomplish simple piped borders and cupcake swirls, the finished product is not sturdy enough for much more. I believe I would dam layers with regular butter cream if I were to use this frosting for a filling. Still, I believe it's going to be my go-to chocolate frosting from this point on.

    I'd like to share a couple things I did to make the process easier for me.

    1. I sifted the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and powdered cocoa together several times until it was well combined, and no "chunks" of anything remained. Then, I set this mixture aside.

    2. I cooked the ( whole ) milk and sifted ingredients in a large frying pan, over a medium-high heat, and used a large whisk to constantly incorporate and scrape the sides and corners of the frying pan.

    3. The ( whole ) milk was warm before adding the sifted ingredients in three 1/3 cup increments. Then, I cooked the mixture on medium-low – removing it from the heat several times to check consistency – until it reached the "loose pudding" stage. I did not allow the mixture to "boil" as noted in the directions.

    The results of the changes noted above produced a completely flawless mixture without lumps. Thus, I had no need to strain the cooked mixture.

    Additionally, the cooked ingredients would not "pour" when it had cooled. So, I had to spoon the mixture into the creamed butter.

    From this point on, I followed the directions given, and was delightfully surprised by the results.

    This is definitely a keeper!

  51. I didn't realize there were two separate recipes for chocolate and white until *after* I started cooking the flour and milk together on the other recipe, at which point I ran back to my computer to see what I needed to add for chocolate and Oh NO! It's an entirely different process!

    I was making a double batch of the vanilla, so after reading this version I went ahead and made the vanilla as directed on the original. When it was finished, I added one cup of cooled, melted chocolate chips and 4 tablespoons cocoa powder. It came out perfect and tasted fabulous! Just thought you might want to know, since it seems much quicker than having to sift cocoa powder and cook it with the flour.

  52. I tried this in a pinch yesterday for a Christmas party… and the frosting came out like pudding! I don't know what in the world I did wrong. I ended up making a Trifle Bowl concoction with it.

    Any ideas?

  53. Just made some from-scratch funfetti cupcakes and was looking for a good frosting recipe – this was PERFECT!!! since the cupcakes were a bit on the sweeter side, i dialed down the sugar which came out with a great bittersweet chocolately flavor that totally complements my cupcakes. THANK YOU SO MUCH! 🙂 def my new favorite frosting recipe. delicious!

  54. Great recipe! I whisked the flour, sugar, and cocoa together really well before add the milk and boiling and didn't have any lumps that needed straining… worked for me anyway!

  55. Is there a peanut butter version? The pb frosting recipe I have is way too sweet and overpowers the pb flavor, and I LOVE the white/vanilla version of this and the chocolate one is a really good too, Not so overpowering as the powdered sugar frostings.

  56. I just made this frosting and it is seriously the best frosting I have ever eaten! I love your blog!!! I just found it about a week ago and have already tried 5 of the recipes. I love that you use real ingredients and that everything tastes so yummy! Thank you so much!

  57. This is, hands down, THE BEST FROSTING I have EVER had.
    The second best is the white version.

    For a bridal shower, I made cupcakes using your easy white cake recipe (and the chocolate version) with these frostings. Everyone LOVED them… I think everybody had at least two!

    And I just got your cookbook. I’m obsessed with this blog. 🙂

  58. This frosting is awesome! I have made it several times and love it but today I made it for my husbands birthday cake and made some changes that worked really well so I though I would share them with you. My husbands favorite cake is an ice cream cake and I have found that most frostings when frozen turn too hard and leave a fatty film in your mouth. I know it is the resolidifing of the butter so here is what I did; when cooking the chocolate flour mixture I let it cook a little longer than recommended till the consistency was a bit thicker, more like a custard. It took a bit longer to get through the mesh strainer, I actually used a rubber spatula and just pushed it through. Now here is the best part, I only used half the amount of butter! It still whipped up with a nice fluffy consistency and tasted great. I almost dont feel guilty that I ate more of his cake than he did. Thanks again for all your great recipes.

  59. I’m not really a “semi-sweet chocolate” fan. Have you ever tried it with milk chocolate? Does that make it too sweet?

    1. Never tried it Angela, but you have to remember- you’re using semi sweet chocolate AND adding it to sugar. So it’s not “semi-sweet” flavored. Does that make sense? I personally think milk would be way too sweet, but you might like it 🙂

  60. I made this with a couple of alterations (used dark choc. cocoa powder and a combo of milk and PB chips) and it was soooo good! Not as stiff as it appears in the photos here, but I did stick it in the fridge and it was good to go. The taste/texture/meltiness of it reminds me of the centers of Lindt truffles, which I LOVE. Thank you for a new frosting recipe to add to my book!

  61. Very very yummy! I had a ton left over, so I popped in in the freezer. I’ll report back when I know if it froze well.

  62. I have to comment on this…this frosting is seriously the BEST frosting I’ve ever had!!! It is also a hit with my entire extended family. My husband, who does NOT like frosting, especially chocolate, LOVES this frosting!

    Thanks so much ladies, you came through again!! The white version of this is also delicious!

    When I made this it was hot in my kitchen and it wasn’t coming out very fluffy, so I popped it in the fridge and waited patiently, whipped it again and ta-da!! BEST FROSTING EVER!!!

  63. Ok, so I made this recipe exactly how it said BUT I didnt have real butter so made it with sticks of margarine and of course it did not get thick even after beating for about 10 minutes so I added confectioners sugar about a cup ( I just added a little at a time until I had a desired consistency) and added a couple of more Tbls of unsweetened cocoa and it turned out great, very silky, piped wonderfully and tasted amazing (of course just a little sweeter than the original recipe)if you want me to send a pic email at ake572@gmail.ocm

  64. Just made this for my daughter’s birthday cake. It is the best frosting I’ve ever made and I’ve made a lot. Thanks for this version! Next time I think I’m going to try adding Nuttella instead of the melted chocolate. Didn’t want to mess around with this for such an important day. It was perfect and easy to frost her large cat cut-out cake.

    1. I made this the other day and it was soooo good!! I topped it on black bean cupcakes and it was the perfect compliment! Lisa B, I was wondering how Nutella would work in this recipe, too! I worried that it may not firm up as well, because it originally isn’t solid. Maybe you can let us know how it turned out!

  65. This frosting is amazing. My fiance really doesn’t like powdered sugar-based frostings so I’ve been looking for alternatives. While a swiss meringue buttercream is delicious, it’s quite involved; this is so much easier! And it’s so chocolatey. This is going to be my go-to frosting recipe from now on. Thank you so much!

  66. Sooooo good! Can’t wait to try it. I’ve been looking for the perfect frosting without Crisco! Sara, will this recipe be enough to frost 2 9×2 cakes? how about the white frosting recipe? Thank you so much.

  67. I really like to try this, but as always with american recipes I’m struggling with the “cups”. Being from Belgium, I’m used to the metric system. 🙁
    But we’ll see, making this frosting tomorrow! wish me luck!

    1. I realize it’s been a week, but I figured I’d post the metric equivalents really quick – 512 g sugar, 15g cocoa, 236ml milk, 227g butter, and about 200g chocolate. (I don’t know if these are exact, but they’re the best I could find.) I hope it turned out well! 🙂

  68. This frosting was amazing! My family loved it, not too sweet, very chocolatey, and super fluffy!! Yum, thanks for posting 🙂

  69. This recipe is perfection. I followed instructions and had the best frosting- a French friend who prides herself on baking actually asked for the recipe. Incidentally, I tried it with strawberries and it works just fine. Not as pipable, but still very tasty.

  70. I’ve made the vanilla flour frosting and love it, so I’m excited to try this chocolate version. However, I have a no-milk participant in the consumption party, so I’m wondering about subbing in either rice milk or coconut milk. I’m new to baking/cooking with those milks. thoughts? advice??

  71. I have been looking for a great chocolate frosting recipe. The only thing is that am making a wedding cake and covering it in fondant so I won’t be able to refridgerated it. Since this recipe calls fir milk, will it be safe to be kept out overnight? Thanks

  72. The first time I made this, I kind of drizzled the melted chocolate in and when it hit the whipping blade, it flung it to the sides of the bowl, making the choclate get hard, thus leaving lots of little bits of un-mixed chocolate in the frosting. I used it to frost cupcakes, and while fine for cupcakes, it would not work for a nice cake.

    The second time I made this, I shut off the mixer, lifted the blade, and then carefully added the melted chocolate to the bowl, and then very softly mixed in the melted chocolate. It worked perfectly this time! It went great on cake I made. I did use a total of 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, which I added all to the initial mix to cook. I did not add the extra cocoa at the end. Not very sweet, but the triple chocolate fudge cake with caramel toffee chip filling was sweet enough that the two melded perfectly together.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  73. Thank you for sharing this frosting recipe, it is the most delicious cupcake frosting I have ever had, now when I have the hard buttercream from the professional cupcake shop, it just doesn’t measure up to this one. BTW – I was lazy and didn’t bother straining out the lumps and didn’t end up with any in the end, must be the beating of all the ingredients together. How long does this stay good for since can’t be refrigerated? Thanks again.

    1. You’ll definitely want to store the frosting in the fridge, it just needs to be brought to room temp and re-whipped before using.

  74. I made a white chocolate version of this, and apparently it was delicious. (I’m not a huge white chocolate fan, so I can’t corroborate the story!)

    I modified half the original recipe and it did 9 cupcakes piped high. I made the version below and got enough for close to 15 lol My first batch was quite runny (and not enough anyway), so I refridgerated it while I made the second part, and then whipped the two together and it was perfect! So if it’s a bit runny, just stick it in the fridge for a wee bit!

    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    4-6T all-purpose flour
    4T white chocolate drinking mix (I used italian style)
    3/4 cup of milk
    3/4 cup soft butter
    130g of white chocolate, melted

    I made it as per Sara’s recipe. The only thing you might need to play around with is the flour – as cocoa powder absorbs moisture, I found the addition of a little extra flour to be helpful to get the sugar/flour/drinking chocolate/milk mix to the correct “pudding” stage – if it wasn’t thickening up, I simply took it off the heat, whisked in another Tbs of flour very quickly to ensure there were no lumps and then put it back on the heat to cook the flour.

    You can also add a bit more white chocolate drinking mix to taste once it’s all combined.

  75. Could you use this recipe under fondant? Does it harden up slightly or stay quite soft? Im making a cake covered in fondant but need that middle layer between the cake and fondant layer, this recipe sounds amazing but not sure if right consistency?! 🙂
    Please email response if can 🙂

    1. I don’t use fondant so I can’t tell ya for sure, but it does set up pretty well so I would assume it would work?

  76. I made this – it was delicious, although slightly ‘unstable’ 🙁 Could I add meringue powder to stiffen it up at all?
    Also, how long can I keep any unused frosting for in the fridge please?
    Thanks 🙂

    1. I’m not sure about the meringue powder, I’ve never had a problem with it being unstable- you’d just have to experiment. And you’ll have to play the frige by ear too, at least a few days.

  77. This frosting is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!! Thank you SO much for sharing! I’ve never been a frosting fan due to it being too sweet and overpowering, so I went on the hunt for a “light and fluffy” frosting recipe and found your blog. This came out not only delicious but BEAUTIFUL! I was afraid I cooked the cocoa/flour mixture a bit too long, as it was more a pudding-y texture when I took it off the heat (but no lumps!) but it turned out great. I used it atop the “chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes” recipe on and it is just what they needed because (as you can imagine) they are sweet enough by themselves. Thanks again!

  78. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just made a teddy bear ballerina cake for my daughter’s birthday and used this frosting for the brown bear. I was so nervous about messing anything up because I’m a relative beginner at cake decorating but my goodness, this frosting was absolutely PERFECT for piping! And of course, it tastes delicious! You girls are the best; you are my go-to site and cookbook for pretty much everything. 🙂

  79. My frosting was delicious but wasn’t stable. Does the butter need to be colder? My frosting was never fluffly but more like a mousse. I want to remake but of course want to make sure i’m not missing something. When I refidgerated my cake the frosting did harded up but as soon as it came to room temp it was moussie (i jus made that word up) (my butter was room temp and I did feel like my stove mixture was closer to a pudding consisentcy than thin pudding). Help!

    1. Hmm, I’m honestly not sure! The pudding mixture is probably better if it’s a little thicker, so I don’t think it’s that. You might just have to keep experimenting!

  80. I want to make this for my son’s birthday cake. I am wondering what brand of chocolate chips you use? I find some brands really harden up more than others and am scared it will affect the outcome

      1. Thanks so much for the fast response, and for all your amazing recipes! I’m excited to try this, the flour frosting rocked my world (in the best of ways) when I discovered it, and I’m sure this will do the same.

  81. Haven’t tried the chocolate version yet, but the vanilla one was very nice. I didn’t have to worry about lumps because I put the whisk attachment on my mixer and blended the flour and milk in a small bowl until smooth before heating it. I also don’t particularly like things made with white sauce so I was very hesitant to try it. I didn’t want to risk tasting raw flour in my frosting, so I cooked it until it was quite thick. Thicker than pudding as the recipe suggests. I let it cool (get cold) in the refrigerator while I mixed butter and sugar. When I combined the flour mixture with the sugar mixture, it never even went through the “ugly” stage. It didn’t even take 5 minutes. Made it twice, once was a double batch and it turned out great both times. Oh, I made too many cupcakes so I put them in a covered container in the frig for a couple of days. The frosting was hard while it was cold, but once it reached room temp, it was exactly as before. No seperating at all. I even prefered the cold texture. VERY firm and smooth, but I’m weird that way. I’ll be trying the chocolate version tomorrow!

  82. I’ve tried the white version twice and just tried the chocolate this weekend. My frosting never gets stiff, I’m thinking I need to cook it to a thicker pudding. When I pipe it on cupcakes it kinda spreads like it hasn’t set up. Any ideas?

  83. I found the first time that when I let it come to a boil it gets too thick and there’s no hope of straining it so better to take it off the heat as soon as it gets to a thin pudding stage. I also found like a previous poster that if you make sure your dry ingredients are mixed well and you add your milk slowly while whisking it, you won’t end up with any clumps to strain out. The mixture needs to become cool before you can blend it with the butter. Mine was warm and didn’t set up right but after putting it all back in the fridge for 20 minutes it whipped right up. So delicious!

  84. Dear Sara,

    Silly question from Hong Kong. Once the cupcakes are frosted with your chocolate frosting, how long can they last in a fridge? Will the texture gets funny if the frosted cupcakes stay in the fridge 3 or maximum 5 days? Sorry for asking so many questions and thanks for your time:)

    1. I don’t usually make cupcakes more than 1-2 days ahead of time. They won’t go “bad” but they certainly won’t be as good.

  85. This frosting was delicious. I was a little skeptical about the amount of butter but it all worked out in the end. The only modification I made was to cook the flour and cocoa mixture until it was VERY thick. I cooked it for a lot longer because I could still taste the flour. I was whisking the whole time so I wouldn’t have to strain it after and I didn’t. It was amazing on an orange sponge cake!

  86. This chocolate frosting is the best same as the white frosting. It’s more than perfect. I’ve made the chocolate frosting today and the white frosting yesterday but my only concern is it’s not that stiff for piping. Mine turned out literally like a whipped cream not that similar to the pictures so I was wondering where I probable went wrong. Do you have any tips on how to make it more stiff for piping? Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  87. Could you please post a link to the original recipe? I can’t find it on the Sugarplum website. But the only reason I want that is because I really need to know how much salt to add if I don’t use salted butter. I never keep salted butter in my house, but when I made the white frosting with unsalted butter, I thought it needed a little salt. I’m not good at adding anything “to taste.” Thanks.

  88. Hi
    I think this is the best frosting recipe I have ever tried. I would also like to convert this into various flavours such as mocha, caramel, etc. Any thoughts and advice on that.
    Many thanks

    1. For caramel, try palm sugar (also known as coconut palm sugar). It has a caramel taste. I subed it in some cream cheese frosting and it had a nice caramel taste. It added a caramel color to my icing, but since this recipe uses less sugar it won’t add as much color.

  89. I made a 6 inch cake and frosted it with your chocolate frosting. I kept the left over in the fridge for 5 days and the frosting got richer and it just melts in your mouth. I just cut down on the butter to 1/2 cup, the sugar to 1/3 cup and the chocolate chips to 1/2 cup.

    I just want to know why do I get a grainy consistency all the time? I tried to whip it more but it formed into clusters. I tried to use the 1 cup butter but it was too creamy and buttery for my taste. The color was so light & it didn’t look like a chocolate frosting that I have to re do it again then cut my butter to 1/2 cup. What did I do wrong?

  90. I somehow totally messed this up. I had all the ingredients right, but maybe my timing was off. The chocolate “pudding” was super thick and the melted chocolate chips wouldn’t incorporate. I’ll try it again, but for this cake, I think I’m going to go with plain old buttercream!

    It’s not a recipe problem, just thought I’d share my mishap in case someone else had trouble. The recipe is great–I’ve made the white icing before and it turned out wonderful!

  91. Hello from Germany 🙂
    I’m so glad I finally found a chocolate frosting that tastes really good and not just really sweet. I put it on a yellow cake and we even froze some of it (frosted cake) and it still tasted great. I did change a lttle bit, I used half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate and used 100 gramm of each, so a little bit more than the recipe asks for.
    Thank you

  92. This looks awesome! I tried your white version of this, and it was great! Your cupcake looks beautiful! If you don’t mind…what tip did you use to pipe? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Glad you liked it, you could always add a little powdered sugar if you want to make it stiffer, but it will add more sweetness too so keep that in mind.

  93. Wow. This is the best chocolate frosting I’ve had in years. I live in Asia, so I used candy bars instead of chocolate chips. I prefer semi-sweet to milk chocolate, but even with milk chocolate, this frosting was delectable. I was doubtful – but this frosting has made a believer out of me!

  94. Hello Sarah!
    I was wondering if you could tell me how many grams or ounces of chocolate chips you use? I prefer to use chocolate from a bar and not sure how I’d go about measuring it in a cup as I find it hard enough most times (I’m in the uk). Thank you!

    1. I’m really not sure Jamila! What I do is just chop the bar up and then you can measure it in the same way 🙂

  95. Hi all,

    I have just finished making these and oh em gee are they to die for!!! I never really like the chocolate frosting as its too sweet but oh my these i cane get enough of. I also did the vanilla frosting the other day and my friends alllll loved it and asking me for the recipe. I have definitely told them to go to this website!!! Thank you so much!! 🙂

  96. This is the best chocolate frosting ever. I will NEVER make frosting with powdered sugar again. Okay…never is a long time. Maybe I will sometimes, but the point is, I REALLY like this frosting.

  97. Hello from Mexico! Greatest chocolate frosting ever! Easy to make, holds and pipes well and of course delicious. I used mexican semi-sweet chocolate that has a little cinammon and vainilla and everyone loved that special touch!

  98. Hi , I would like to know if i can use white chocolate instead of cocoa or if i can make this frosting without chocolate ?
    Thanks 🙂

  99. This has become my go to chocolate icing recipe. It blows my mind how good it is every single time I make it. Today I did a variation on it where I added 1.5 Tbsp espresso powder to the milk mixture. Holy dark chocolatey mocha goodness!!!

  100. I’m making this as we “speak” and it doesn’t look right! After I beat the butter and added the cooled chocolate mixture it looks a mess. It looks like its separating? It’s not mixing beautifully. What am I doing wrong I tried it before and it came out delish, but I can’t seem to get it right again.

  101. Could it be the chocolate mixture was cooled in the fridge and was still cold? Am I supposed to wait for it to come to room temperature?

  102. Me again 😉 lol before you answer I wanted to ask should butter and roux be at room temperature? Or can I whip up cold butter and mixture? My butter was wood temperature and mixture was straight out the fridge. Wish I could post a pic..

  103. Great recipe! I was out of powdered sugar and didn’t feel like running to the store and this was the perfect solution. I found it a little bitter when I added the extra cocoa so added a jar of marshmallow creme. It turned out great! Next time I’ll try adding just a bit more sugar at the beginning and see how that goes.

  104. I want to use this on the monkey cake you have posted. But I really stink at making frosting. (I tried and my version was a failure!) You say to “Melt your chocolate chips if you haven’t already and set aside to cool. You obviously don’t want it so cool that it hardens, but you can get it close to room temperature and still have it be soft and stir-able.” Well, my chocolate chips get soft but never get creamy as yours does. And I can’t cool them because they go from soft to hardened right away. But if I melt them longer they harden (as in burn) even if I’m stirring them. I’ve tried the microwave, the stove (double boiler) and still no success (different chocolates too). Needless to say, this recipe didn’t turn out very well. It did get fluffy but then is rather soft. Does not stand up at all and certainly couldn’t pipe it onto a cake. What am I doing wrong??? I mess up every frosting I try (well, except maybe the butter and powdered sugar one). 🙂 I have tried everything I can think of, like I said, using the microwave or stove various kinds of chocolate, etc. HELP!

  105. Hi. I’m new to frosting and the first time I tried butter cream frosting, I failed lol I’m going to bake some cupcakes for my nephew’s birthday next week and I’m thinking this is easy enough for a newbie. Do you think so too? and will this hold in room temperature? I live in Asia and it’s around 32 Celsius here. Thanks

  106. I hope I didn’t mess up on the cooking part =/ my flour mixture didn’t boil, it seemed to go from liquid to mousse consistency in the blink of an eye. I’m not done with the frosting yet so we’ll see if it’s still going to work

  107. This is the best chocolate frosting I’ve ever made. It took every ounce of my willpower to not eat the entire bowl with a spoon. In fact I left a small amount off the cake just so I could eat it right away. This is a keeper.

  108. I have been searching for a cupcake frosting that I have seen and tasted that is SO Creamy! I guess the cooked flour frosting is what I’ve been looking for! I will be making them both soon. My question is – what other ingredients can be added other than liquid flavorings? Fruit, cookie crumbs, champagne, baileys liquor? Thanks for your help!

  109. This chocolate frosting recipe is fantastic. Chocolate buttercream just doesn’t do it for me. It’s never as chocolatey as I want it, it’s too sweet, and the texture is just too buttery, leaves a bit of a film in my mouth. But this frosting is super chocolatey, not too sweet, and the texture is smooth and creamy yet also fluffy. Very very good! This will be my go to chocolate frosting recipe.

  110. Loved your plain flour buttercream very much! I ate 12 cupcakes in 2 days….MYSELF! With this choc buttercream, do you mind coverting your measuresments to grams as I live in Australia and our cups and tablespoon measurements are slightly different

  111. I remember going to a little restaurant called “The Europa Cafe” run by a Swiss man. His tortes were grand…the “icing” not tooth-ache sweet as most stuff around at that time. He said the recipe was based on a pudding (like your flour-milk base?!). So glad to find this on your site, I will be making it soon. The Dr. Oetker cookbooks have a similar recipe (using their pudding packets)…the most important step is to have everything at room temp to ensure smooth blending! Thanks so much for this.

  112. Awesomeness. My mom always made a flour frosting (thank you Mrs. Ciolino, who shared it on Fourth of July 1974! A family favorite for 40 years!). This frosting is even better. Mom’s recipe uses butter and Crisco and powdered sugar. All butter makes me feel better about eating it! By the spoonful, of course…

  113. Just tried your chocolate version of the tastiest frosting I ever ate and not sure what I did wrong but the icing started to separate, not to the point where there was oily residue but enough that it looked like it was speckled or streaked, if that makes any sense. I had piped it into some cupcakes before I noticed but it still tastes delicious, so I did add a couple tablespoons of gran. sugar and it helped a little. I did follow the recipe. Because I have made the white version twice before this using store brand butter I didn’t have any trouble with consistency either time. The consistency was good this time too, almost like whipped cream, maybe a touch too thin. I would love to be able to make this again without failure, do you know what I might have done wrong, I didn’t use semi sweet chocolate chips, I used a belgian chocolate and mixed both milk and dark chocolate and didn’t use quite one cup. The other variation I used from previous times was I used 1% milk instead of 3.5%, so I guess you might say I really didn’t follow the recipe to a tee, anyway just wanted to drop this comment and see what others might offer for next time, and there will be a next time, this stuff is dangerous to my girlish figure. Thanks for posting this great recipe

  114. Just wanted to thank you for this recipe. It’s a keeper! I wanted a chocolate version of Mom’s vanilla flour frosting, one that would pipe well on cupcakes. I landed on yours here and so glad I did. Now, will you please develop a peanut butter version? 🙂

  115. Also wanted to thank you for this recipe – I just found it a couple days ago when looking for a chocolate version of the flour recipe. This was AMAZING! Also wanted to share with my slight change: Instead of using semi-sweet chocolate chips, I used Baker’s Bittersweet chocolateeeee (66% cacao) – same amount as called for the chips. It had a wonderful deep chocolate flavor and did not need extra chocolate powder.
    Thank you!

  116. I just made this frosting for my sons chocolate birthday cake and swirled the cake with hot fudge before I cooked it and then after I frosted the cake, I melted some high end german milk chocolate bars and drizzled t over the frosted cake and allowed it to set up before I served it. I must say, it was amazing!!!! Not to say that it even needs the milk chocolate drizzled on it because its awesome without t too, but it really was a fantastic addition because the frosting snt too sweet so it can be done without overkilling it like with other chocolate frosting recipes that are just too sweet to begin with!!

  117. Made this the other day for cupcakes – awesome frosting!
    I was worried the flour mixture was too thick (but so smooth, I did not strain); I went with it – blended just fine. I did have to re-melt the chocolate; the flour mix took a bit to cool. I might not do that first next time… It all whipped together so nicely though! I did add all 4 T of cocoa, but only because it felt so light/thin that I wasn’t sure it would hold. I also put the finished frosting (still in the mixing bowl) in the fridge for a few minutes (it was warm in my kitchen, I thought that may have had something to do with the consistency) and then re-whipped it. Piped nicely with the 1M as suggested =) At the very end though, I think the warmth of my hands may have caused a bit of separation (speckling?)… I frosted 12 regular size cupcakes and about 30 minis. Today, the last 2 minis are holding up nicely – they’ve been left out Thursday pm to Saturday am. Wonderful recipe overall, thank you!!

  118. This is excellent frosting. I’ve made a vanilla version, but this was my first chocolate. I put the cocoa through a sieve as I added it, then added the milk gradually, stirring well after each addition. I continued stirring as the mix heated, and it quickly came to the right thickness, smooth and creamy. I DID NOT NEED TO STRAIN THIS MIXTURE! I believe this is because I added the liquid slowly, and never allowed lumps to form as I cooked. This is much the same technique used for gravy , and the result was excellent! Thanks for a great recipe.

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