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Small Batch Chocolate Buttercream

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This 10 minute frosting pairs beautifully with almost any dessert. This recipe is rich and creamy, and very easy to make. This is a buttercream frosting for smaller baking projects! Looking for a full batch of buttercream? Find a full chocolate buttercream recipe here.

Chocolate buttercream frosting goes with everything! Except for mac and cheese … and broccoli … and rice.

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    … okay, maybe not everything.

    But I’ll never say no to a spoonful of frosting with any dessert! This frosting is especially great to spread on brownies, chocolate cake, sugar cookies, in between French macaroons, on chocolate cupcakes or vanilla cupcakes, and more!

    You may notice that this is a very small batch of chocolate frosting recipe (it gives you just under one cup of chocolate frosting). I really love using this recipe as a brownie frosting because I think it pairs really well with brownies.

    As I know all too well, brownies are super rich. So I don’t like to add too, too much frosting to them. What’s great about this recipe is that the ingredients can be very easily doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled depending on what you need to use it for.

    If you want a full batch of chocolate buttercream, we have a separate post for that as well! But without further ado, let’s get onto how to make chocolate frosting!

    Tools to help with your buttercream making (affiliate links):

    a piping bag and piping tip are super helpful when piping some fancier designs. I just got and started using the Wilton Cupcake Decorating Icing Tips
    if you plan on spreading your icing on cupcakes or cake, an offset spatula is a huge help! The Wilton Angled Spatula comes in 2 sizes (depending on what you plan on using it for)

    If you’re a fan of chocolate frosting, check out some of these similar recipes!

    simple powdered sugar icing/glaze
    chocolate ganache
    vanilla pastry cream
    vanilla cupcakes
    chocolate cupcakes

    chocolate frosting
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    Small Batch Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

    This 10 minute frosting pairs beautifully with almost any dessert. This recipe is rich and creamy, and very easy to make. This is a buttercream frosting for smaller baking projects!
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 0 minutes
    Total Time 10 minutes
    Servings 1 cups (approx.)


    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream * see notes
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


    • In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter to lighten and aerate it slightly. Sift powdered sugar and cocoa powder over the butter. Mix everything together until you get a dry, crumbly mixture.
    • Add in your milk or cream and vanilla. Mix until the dry ingredients are fully moistened and you have a dense, liquid mixture. ** see notes
    • Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the frosting on medium high power for about 5 minutes, or until it turns a light brown color and it almost doubles in volume.



    * Both regular milk and heavy cream will work well as the main liquid in this frosting. I used regular milk to try to keep this frosting a little lighter. If you want a richer and fluffier frosting, use heavy cream. Just keep in mind if you use heavy cream, the frosting will whip up faster. So you won’t need to beat the frosting for as long.
    ** If you prefer a dense frosting, you can stop here and use the frosting as is. If you want a light and fluffy frosting, continue with step 3.
    Storage instructions:
    To store frosting, cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. To use after chilling, allow the frosting to sit at room temperature for about an hour, or until it softens enough to spread.


    I would love to hear any tips you’d like to add to this post and how your frosting turned out in the comments below!

    Have any questions? Any ideas to improve this recipe? Feel free to comment for that as well.

    Is there a recipe you want to see us make? Comment below and let us know!

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