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How to Make the Best-Ever Chocolate Fudge Frosting

4.24 from 88 votes
Get my Chocolate Fudge Frosting Master Recipe for perfect consistency and sweetness for all of your chocolate frosting needs!
Classic Chocolate Cake with sprinkles.

Hi Bold Bakers!

As all of you know being Bold in the kitchen starts with a good foundation! From knowing the basics of how to create a crumb layer and decorate a cake to keeping a few classic recipes up your sleeve, there are some things every good baker has on hand!

One of the most important things every great baker has perfected is frosting! From deep flavor to rich texture, frosting is so important and not to be overlooked! Frosting is not just about decorating it’s about taste. Finding the perfect balance between the right consistency and creamy sweetness is not always easy to achieve. Well, I am here to share ultimate chocolate frosting recipe!

My recipe for Chocolate Fudge Frosting doesn’t have the word Fudge in it for nothing. This recipe is the perfect marriage of sweet whipped butter, over a hefty cup of cocoa powder, creamy milk and sweet powdered sugar. After mastering the mixing process and ratio of ingredients, I can easily say this recipe is perfect.

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This Chocolate Fudge Frosting can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge, great for any baker to have on hand. It is perfect for frosting my Best Ever Chocolate Cake or layering it in my Three Layer S’more Cake but also makes a lovely filling or topping for lots of desserts. I cannot wait for all you Bold Bakers to whip this up!

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Do you have a Master Recipe for Buttercream? You do now!



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Chocolate Fudge Frosting Recipe

4.24 from 88 votes
Get my Chocolate Fudge Frosting Master Recipe for perfect consistency and sweetness for all of your chocolate frosting needs!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Get my Chocolate Fudge Frosting Master Recipe for perfect consistency and sweetness for all of your chocolate frosting needs!
Author: Gemma Stafford


  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups (24oz/690g) powdered sugar, SIFTED
  • 1⅓ cup (51/3oz/152g) cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • cup (5floz/142g) whole milk


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat room temperature butter until lightly fluffy. Add the sifted powdered sugar 1 spoon at a time and mix well. It will get light in color and bigger in volume.
  • Add vanilla and cocoa, and the milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you work.
  • Turn mixer on medium high. Beat frosting until light, fluffy and of spreading consistency.
  • If the frosting is too thick, slowly add more milk or half and half, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • You can use the frosting immediately, or store it in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Recipe Notes

Freeze it for up to 3 months. Allow frosting to come to room temperature before using.


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118 thoughts on “How to Make the Best-Ever Chocolate Fudge Frosting

    1. Thanks for reaching out, Lenora!
      A blender has a closed chamber which won’t incorporate so much air into the frosting as a mixer does. And a blender tends to over beat the butter as it has limited options for speed control. So if you really want to give it a try, factor these in and use the slowest speed or “pulse”.

      You can also use a bowl and a whisk! This will take some elbow grease but will do a safer and bette job. Make sure your butter is well softened at room temperature and follow my instruction closely, you should be grand.

      Hope this helps!
      Gemma 🙂

  1. Hi Gemma, I’m wondering is the powdered sugar somehow sweeter here where I live (Germany) than in the USA?? Because I tried the recipe and the frosting with 6 cups of sugar and it’s wayyy too sweet, like no way anybody can have something this sweet kinda sweet. So I’m thinking that maybe there’s a difference in the sugar here and there? I would reduce the sugar but got worried about the consistency of the frosting. Would really appreciate your advice! Thank you!!

    1. Thank you so much for trying it out, Nisa!
      Powdered sugar usually contains cornstarch to absorb moisture. The brand you used may not contain it or not so much. You can make powdered sugar per my recipe and use it in this cake’s frosting:

      And you’re right about you concern! Sugar is vital in incorporating air into and stabilizing the structure of frosting . When sugar is beaten into the light and fluffy butter, it dissolves in the film on the surface of the air bubbles. This sugary syrup film prevents the bubbles from drying out and tightening up too fast.
      ¼ less is the farthest you can go.

      Hope this helps!
      Gemma 🙂

    1. Hi Joanne. One recipe of this will cover and fill a three layer 8-inch or a 9-inch cake. However, if you want to be more generous with the filling, you can add half a recipe more. I hope this helps.

  2. How much does this make? Is it enough to cover a three layer cake plus the filling between layers? Im always frightened about having too little frosting, since decorating is not my strong suit.Also do you have any tips on making cake layers fit straight without gaps on the sides and straight on top of each other? My cakes always seem to fit crookedly. which makes it hard to frost evenly. If only I could manage them to fit like cakes in pictures!

    1. Hi Joanne. This can cover and fill an 8 to 9-inch three-layer cake. If you want to be generous with the filling, you can half a recipe more. As to slicing even layers, I suggest using a cake layer slicer. It has a thin meal string that can even slice layers. I hope this helps.

    1. Hi Felicita,
      we do not so much judge cakes by weight here – but you can do it, it is math – you add up the weight of the ingredients, use grams measurements, then subtract about 10% for the vapor loss in the oven, try it!
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Hi Gemma,
    Can I cover fondant over it.
    Awaiting your valuable reply.
    I live in India.
    I make this cake very often. It’s the best cake ever.

      1. Thabks a lot for your generous reply. Will go ahead.
        Thanks a lot for sharing most lovely and awesome recipies.

  4. Hi Gemma, i tried this recipe for the first time and it tastes great! Though it seemed like it rides up too much and the outside was hard but the inside was uncooked, I’m wondering what’s i can do better next time to make it more perfect. And could you give me some tips on what i can do with this frosting if i have leftovers? Ive searched it up and some people can make thief leftover frosting into cookies, although the frosting they use and this one could be different, wondering if you could make a new recipe that turns leftover fudge frosting into a new dessert or confectionary? But overall the cake was delicious, my parents had friends over the day i baked with my mother and they loved it! Thank you for your no fail recipes!

    1. Hi, Shanessa. Are you referring to which recipe for cake? Did you bake it in a standard oven? From your description, it sounds like the oven was too hot, resulting in a cake that is crusty outside, and raw inside. Check your oven, as ovens don’t always distribute heat the same way.

      Fudge can be used for many things, it can be added to other desserts. You can make truffles with it, top cakes and cupcakes. There are plenty of things you can do with it.

  5. Hi, Gemma!
    My name is actually Gemma too! Anyways, I was wondering if I could have the cut recipe? Meaning I don’t need that much frosting for my chocolate mug cake! So, if you could make a recipe that has less ingredients, for the mug cake, that would be great!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Gemma. You can reduce the recipe by half, as that is easier to manage. Just reduce the amount by half across all ingredients. Also you can store the extra fudge in the fridge, so you’ll have fudge when you crave for another chocolate mug cake. I hope this helps.

  6. Hey Gemma, thank you for this amazing recipe. I have made it multiple times and it always works, but yesterday for some reason it looked curdled, and gave out water, and the frosting formed one big curdled clump.. please help 🙁

    1. Hi Nupur. It’s either you added too much milk or too soon. Add liquids gradually as you whip the butter. If you add too much too soon, there is a tendency that the liquid will separate from the butter. Add gradually so it is given time to incorporate into the mixture.

  7. Hi gemma
    I made chocolate fudge frosting but half the quantity you have mentioned in the recipe and its not forming picks..Can you please tell me why and how do i improve the consistency
    Thank you!

    1. Hi there,
      you did not tell me what ingredients you used!
      Using real dairy butter then this should thicken and harden. However, if you are using soft margarine, then it cannot set up in the same way.
      That is all I can think of. Adding in a little more icing sugar will help a lot,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Hi Jemma,
    Can I leave out the coffee? Or can I substitute for something else? I can’t have coffee.

  9. Hi Gemma…really loved the cake recipe and frosting too. Just one question…can we use sweetened cocoa instead of unsweetened one? If yes, do we need to reduce the sugar quantity and by how much, in both the cake as well as frosting….Jacintha

    1. Hi Jacintha,
      it depends on what you mean by sweetened cocoa! Can you tell me the brand?
      If this is drinking chocolate it will have other ingredients too, such as powdered milk, sugar and sometimes starches like cornflour/cornstarch.
      If it is raw cocoa, with just added sugar, then you can reduce the sugars by the quantity of cocoa added, the sugar level should be low.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Hi Gemma… I would like to buy a turntable. Can I get some advice on which one would be the Best Buy. That came be cleaned easily n also stored easily… ( I have less storage space in my kitchen ????)

    1. Hi Eleena,

      Sorry for my late reply. Wilton make a great one that is inexpensive and it’s flat so it slides into the side of a cupboard. It’s around 10$

      Hope this helps,

  11. would mashed banana work as a fat-free substitution for the butter in this recipe? if not, what would you suggest instead?

  12. Hi Gemma,
    I’m about to try to make this frosting. I only have 1% milk. Could I use canned evaporated milk to make this frosting?

  13. Hey Gemma I love your recipes ????????
    Could this crushing be used for brownies?
    If not what is a good combination? Except ice cream?
    Thank you

  14. Hey Gemma I love your recipes ????????
    Could this crushing be used for brownies?
    If not what is a good combination? Except ice cream?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Adrianna,

      Yes you can but just note the chocolate will harden and will possibly make the frosting very difficult to eat. The cocoa powder gives you chocolate flavor but will not set so it will keep it soft.


    1. Hi Maria.
      This type of frosting will need to be whipped in order to pipe it. It is designed for spreading.
      If you chill it you can whip it and pipe it, provided you made it with real butter it will be good.
      I hope this works well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Hello Gemma,
    This is no doubt the ‘best’ ever chocolate ????. The ratio and temperature mentioned in this recipe is way too perfect. Thank you so much for making baking so easy and fun!
    Love & Regards,

  16. I’m a novice baker and have a question regarding the cocoa in the chocolate fudge frosting recipe. Should this be unsweetened, powdered cocoa as in the chocolate cake recipe? Thanks.

    1. Hi Barney,
      Yes! There is sufficient sugar in the recipe to sweeten it. I always use unsweetened cocoa, this gives the best flavor as it is natural cocoa. dutch processed will give a different result.
      I hope you like this recipe, it can also be used as a coffee fudge! For this dissolve instant coffee, best you can get, in a little boiling water, allow to cool. VERY little water. For some powdered coffee you can add it directly. Try it too!
      Gemma 🙂
      Gemma 🙂

    1. Hi there,
      Beat the butter until it is soft, add the sugar and continue to beat until it is smooth and creamy. Then add the milk, and vanilla. all will be well,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Hello Ms. Gemma,
    This recipe for buttercream frosting turned out to be good but there is a little bit granulated sugar taste in the final cut. I used icing sugar (sifted) but this had troubled me previously too. I am wondering if the frosting is supposed to be a bit granulated or not. Also, can I use very finely grounded and sifted regular sugar in place?

    1. Hi Neha,
      Icing sugar is so finely ground, like flour, it is difficult to see how it could be granular, though I do not know the brand you can get.
      When this is sieved it will be about as fine as it gets. I think it may be how you made it. Go back to the recipe, and follow the instructions exactly, this will help.
      Let me know if you see where it went wrong for you, I think you will,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. I don’t understand some of these questions. How is it possible to make too much frosting? If you have a freezer you are set – just freeze it in small bags and use a little here and there. You know, for those moments in life when you HAVE to have it. If all else fails (and you really don’t want to eat it with a spoon) spread it on a graham cracker or use it as a dip for potato chips. Never wasted!

  19. Hi, Gemma!

    Great recipes, all-around! I love when I can whip up something using ingredients I normally have on hand. With this particular recipe (and some others here), I notice you indicate using whole milk, which is full-fat. I only ever have skim milk in my fridge, and would hate having to run to the store for that one ingredient to ensure the recipe is made correctly.

    Is using skim milk in lieu of the whole milk going to result in too much of a compromised finished product? Also, is there another pantry or fridge ingredient I can add when I use skim milk that would give me the same result as having used the whole milk?

    1. Hi there,
      Yes, I do know what you mean.
      For this, and other recipes too, the butter adds the fat and richness to the bake, oyu can use this to make up for it. You do not need to rush out to the store, all will be well.
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Hi Gemma, I made the frosting with castor sugar (the kind we use in baking) and I can get the sugar granules in my mouth. Have made a big batch. Can I improvise? Or do I have to make a another one. I need to use this tomorrow. Will the granules melt away till then?

    1. Hi Jenny,
      Really this is not ideal. However you may be able to get it right. Get it all mixed, add the milk, and leave it overnight. Then beat it again. It will not be perfect, but I think it will work. If you have decided to start again, do not waste it. It will make a great cake with the addition of flour and eggs. Weigh it, aff 1/2 the weight of flour, and 1/2 that quantity of eggs. Try it.
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Where do you get those cute coffee cups you use for cupcakes? I can find lots of pretty cups, but they all seem to have gold or silver on them. Thank you.

    1. Yeah lots have cold and silver, Colette. I pick up cups in goodwill and drift stores. The ones you might be talking about are Cath Kidson mugs. Google her. they are lovely.


  22. Hi Gemma! First and foremost, I always watch your YouTube videos and I love them! Seems there´s a lot of hard work involved. Keep up the good work!

    Now, about the recipe, I was wondering by how much would I need to divide it so as to frost 12 cupcakes aprox, since it looks like with those measurements I would have a lot of extra buttercream, haha! Am I right about this or would you reccommend doing the recipe as it is?

    Greetings from Latinamerica!

    1. Hi there, and greetings to you in Latinamerica! Good to have you with us.
      Yes, this is a big recipe, but it is easy to divide.
      This is the whole recipe, the rest is math! Divide all of the ingredients by 4, if I knew what you use to measure I would do it for you.
      1 cup (240g/8oz) butter, at room temperature
      6 cups (1lb 8oz/675g ) powdered sugar, SIFTED
      1⅓ cup (120g/4oz) cocoa powder
      1 tablespoon vanilla extract
      ⅔ cup (51/2floz/165g) whole milk
      Make sure to divide every element, it helps to write it down,
      Gemma 🙂

  23. I made this cake a while ago and it was delicious. I would like to make cupcakes. Will this make good cupcakes and how long should I bake them.

    Thank you. You are always so very nice and helpful.

    1. Hi Patricia,
      Yes! perfect for cupcakes. This will bake in about 15 mins, but you need to watch it, it depends on the size of your cupcake! Small ones will bake in about 12 mins.
      Thank you for your kind comment, Happy New Year to you and your family,
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Hi Gemma,
    I’ve been getting confused on witch heating element to use on my convection oven.I’ve lost the manual, CAN YOU PLEASE HELP!!!!!

    1. Hi Salman,
      Is it an OTG/oven toaster grill oven?
      The problem for me is that they tend to operate in different ways. In a big oven you will have choice of fan, convection?baking (which shows as two lines top and bottom to indicate the elements), grill/broiler, which is just the top element, and fan assisted grill.
      Normally in convection baking you use both top and bottom elements. The heat then distributes by ‘convected air’ in the cavity of the oven.
      Many manufacturers now publish their instruction books online, google your oven to see if it there. It is a general question, hard to be specific in response.
      Gemma 🙂

  25. Hi Gemma,

    I tried to make 1/3rd of this recipe and used 2 cups sugar. By the time I used the entire sugar it started forming lumps and the creamy texture wa lost. I had to put in half cup butter again.i used 1/3 butter and 2 cups sugar. Is the proportion right? Also how long do I beat the butter approximately before mixing the sugar?

    1. Hi Neha,

      I personally wouldn’t divide a recipe by 1/3 as it can get tricky. After adding in more ingredients I couldn’t tell you if your proportions are correct. I would maybe next time divide it by 2 or just do the full recipe.


  26. Hi Gemma, Will I also be able to use this recipe in my cake pop maker? This recipe has been such a hit with friends and family I just made this cake Wednesday and now my coworker asked me to make her one for her bday next
    Week ???? soo delicious! Which is why I’d like to know if I can make in advance and freeze it?

  27. I baked this cake for my birthday yesterday Gemma!! Love love loved this recipe!! <3 This was my first proper cake, frosting and all, and I got such compliments! I made a ganache instead of a buttercream frosting and it was amazing too! I love how simple your recipes are, and i have tried quite a few (watched every one of them, of course :P)! Thank you for being such an amazing teacher! Lots of love all the way from India! :*

  28. Hi Gemma,

    Thank you for sharing your recipes and the basic needs. A big help indeed… I’ve been looking for a diy frosting like this because it cost a lot when i buy in store. Will surely try this one.

    You inspire me alot! 🙂

  29. Hi gemma.. does this buttercream have a grainy texture ? Any suggestions on how to make a creamy buttercream instead of grainy one ?
    Thank you

    1. Hi there,
      ( This is a perfect buttercream, but you must follow the recipe, and use the same ingredients. Changing any of these will change the results. You can add cocoa, instant powdered coffee, and colors to this too. Do try it, it is a proportional recipe 1:2, that is one portion of butter to two of powdered/icing sugar, plus a touch of milk or cream.
      Thank you for being with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  30. How much frosting does this recipe make because it sure does require A LOT of each ingredient. I just dont want there to be any waste (if thats a thing in this case???)

    1. Hi Ashley,
      This recipe will cover a 10 inch cake. It will provide some filling too.
      Frosting recipes are proportional, that makes them easy to cut down if you wish to do so.
      The quantity will depend on what use you wish to make of it. I do hope you enjoy using this one!
      Gemma 🙂

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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