Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Yield: 6 cups 1x


  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
  • 1 cup salted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring (optional)
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
  • 68 tablespoons warm water (or milk, but water allows the chocolate flavor to be stronger)**


  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and butter until completely smooth and creamy (I used my Kitchenaid with the paddle attachment).
  2. Add cocoa and vanilla.
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl often!
  5. When all sugar has been mixed in, the frosting might be dry and a little crumbly.
  6. Start by adding 1 tablespoon of water (or milk) at a time, and mixing.
  7. Continue to add and mix until you get the consistency you desire.


Keep it thicker for decorating, or add extra milk or corn syrup for a thinner spreading consistency!

You can use 4 sticks of butter and no shortening if you want, but it is a much softer frosting and not great for decorating! It also melts easier and starts to “sag” pretty quick unless refrigerated. The shortening helps to stabilize the frosting!

*I have substituted strong coffee for some of the water or milk to get Mocha Frosting!