Why it’s so good!

An entire post devoted to the deliciousness that is chocolate fudge frosting and it’s well deserved. This decadent, fudgy chocolate frosting can top everything from brownies to cupcakes to cake and it’s addictively delicious.

  • Made with both cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate.
  • Rich, intense chocolate flavour with a smooth and creamy texture.
  • One batch will cover 12 cupcakes or 2 layers of frosting on an 8-inch cake.
  • Just 15 minutes effort then a little patience while it sets.

A take on the canned or tub version you can buy from the shop, this fudge frosting is a million times better. There’s no added preservatives and the flavour is just supreme. It’s rich and so spreadable and perfect for piping too. Use a really good flavoured chocolate and the darker it is, the less sweet the frosting will be.

I also have recipes for coffee buttercream and Swiss meringue buttercream if you want to try another flavour.

This post was first published here on 7th November, 2019. The recipe and images have been updated.

A glass filled with chocolate fudge frosting.

Ingredients you’ll need

Ingredients for chocolate fudge frosting.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Unsalted butter: Make sure to use unsalted butter for this chocolate fudge frosting recipe. You can always add a pinch of salt at the end if you think it’s too sweet.
  • Icing sugar: I like icing sugar, also called powdered sugar, because it will give you a smooth frosting. Regular granulated sugar doesn’t dissolve or mix into this style of frosting as well.
  • Dutch process cocoa powder: This variety of cocoa has a smoother chocolate flavour as compared to regular natural cocoa powder. It also adds a luxurious dark colour. That said, they are interchangeable in this fudgy chocolate frosting.
  • Whole milk: You need to add some liquid to balance out the dry ingredients. Whole milk is your best bet — the added fat content will also give you a nice flavour and adds creaminess to the texture. To make it even richer, you could swap a portion of the milk for heavy cream.
  • Dark chocolate: Bar chocolate is best. I use a good quality baking chocolate here (50%-70% cocoa – both will work). It has a better texture and richer flavour than using chocolate chips and also melts more quickly and fluidly. Make sure to use a good one that you’d be happy to eat straight from the packet (no compound chocolate, please). Milk chocolate will make this frosting very sweet so stick to a dark chocolate / semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Vanilla extract: It adds warmth and balance and also intensifies the chocolate flavour.

How to make chocolate fudge frosting (step-by-step)

This chocolate fudge icing is truly so easy to make. Melt some ingredients in a pan, then add sugar and beat it up. The final step is to have a little patience while it cools and firms up.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

1. Get melting

Add your butter, chocolate, cocoa and salt to a pan and cook just over low-medium heat, stirring regularly until it’s mostly smooth. You might see very small lumps (like in the pic below) but this is generally just bits of cocoa and they will all smooth out when you beat the mixture later.

Just pour this mixture into a mixing bowl, stir in the vanilla and let it cool just for 10 minutes or so.

The chocolate and butter mixture in a pan.
The chocolate butter mixture in a mixing bowl.

2. Add icing sugar

Add half of the icing sugar and beat on low until mostly combined, then add the rest and beat until combined. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer or just a spatula and some elbow grease.

Adding icing sugar to the chocolate.

3. Let it firm up

Give it another 60 second beat on low and it’ll still be very soft at this stage. Just cover the bowl and let it set for 45-60 minutes. Once it’s had a little sit, just give it another quick 10 second beat and it’s ready to use. See the before and after setting in the pics below.

The mixed chocolate fudge frosting before setting.
The finished set frosting in the mixer.

Tips and tricks

  • If your chocolate fudge frosting is too thick or too thin, you can adjust the consistency by adding extra whole milk or powdered sugar accordingly. Do so a little at a time until you get the consistency you’re after.
  • If you find that this fudge frosting recipe is too sweet, just add a pinch of fine sea salt.
  • Don’t overmix: You really just want to beat until it comes together, scrape around the bowl, then beat for another 30-60 seconds and only on low. Overbeating it will add too much air and give you a more dull looking and less-smooth frosting. You might also find you have air bubbles when trying to pipe it.
  • Make it shinier: You can add 2 tablespoons of glucose or corn syrup to give it an even glossier finish. It’s not necessary for the finished product and keep in mind it will add sweetness and will make the frosting less firm.

Recipe ideas for this fudge frosting recipe

This quick chocolate frosting is a chocolate lover’s dream.

A cake topped with chocolate fudge frosting.


How do you melt chocolate for chocolate fudge frosting?

I always melt my chocolate in the microwave, but the trick is to only heat for 20 seconds at a time and stir well between each. As you stir, it will continue to melt, and you don’t want to overheat the chocolate. I find my microwave will melt milk chocolate in a maximum of 90 seconds, and dark chocolate in a maximum of 2 minutes. Use the chocolate right away — this quick chocolate frosting recipe is just that: quick.

How do you thicken frosting?

If you want to thicken your fudgy chocolate frosting, just add a little more icing sugar. Incorporate it 2 tablespoons at a time until you get the consistency you want. Keep in mind that on a hot day, your frosting will be softer than on a cool day.

What’s the difference between chocolate icing and frosting?

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, chocolate frosting and icing are not the same. Frosting is often thicker and fluffier than icing and is used to decorate cakes. Icing is thinner and is usually used as a glaze on other baked goods.


As it sits, chocolate fudge frosting will form a thin crust. To avoid too much drying out, cover it while it firms up and give it another mix before you go to use it.

When storing it (the frosting alone) press plastic wrap directly to the surface inside an airtight container. It can sit in the fridge for a week or more and freezes well too.

Once it’s on top of a cake or cupcakes, keep it stored inside an airtight container to keep that crust to a minimum. The crust is by no means thick or offensive in any way, but the sooner you serve it the smoother it will be.

Swirls of fudge frosting in a bowl.

Did you try this chocolate fudge frosting recipe?
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A closeup of a glass filled with fudge frosting.
5 from 1 rating
This rich and indulgent chocolate fudge frosting is smooth and super chocolatey. It's so easy to make and better than store-bought frosting.


  • 180 g dark chocolate 50-70% cocoa solids (~6 ½oz)
  • 115 g unsalted butter (4oz/ 1 stick /½ cup)
  • cup whole milk (80ml)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder or dutch cocoa powder (55g / 2oz)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups icing sugar (powdered sugar) (325g / 11 ½oz)

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided



  • Add the chocolate, butter, milk, cocoa and salt to a medium saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir gently but constantly until it’s melted together and mostly smooth.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
  • Add the icing sugar and beat on low until combined. Beat on low for a further 60 seconds. You don't want to overbeat or you'll get too much air in the mix which will make it less smooth. It will still be quite soft and not pipeable at this point.
  • Cover the bowl and let it cool and set up at room temperature for 45-60 minutes or until stiff enough to pipe. Give it one more quick beat on low and use immediately.
    If it still seems too soft, you can add in a little more icing sugar or if it feels too stiff beat in a dash of milk.
  • Transfer to a piping bag and pipe onto cakes or cupcakes.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.


  1. Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
  2. Yield: 2 ½ to 3 cups. This recipe is enough to frost 12 cupcakes or two layers of an 8 inch layer cake generously.
  3. Nutrition details are approximate only and based on a single serve of 12 serves – scroll below the recipe to find the full nutritional information.
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Amount Per Serving (45 g)
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Trans Fat 0.3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 8mg0%
Potassium 176mg5%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 256IU5%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.