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This unbelievable Chocolate Frosting is made with only 4 ingredients. It starts off as a rich ganache, and then it’s whipped into a fluffy, spreadable consistency you’ll absolutely love.

Chocolate frosting being spread over a roll cake.
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Ingredients

Labeled chocolate frosting ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes

  • Bittersweet chocolate: Pick a good chocolate that is around 60% to 70% cacao. The tastier the chocolate, the better the frosting.
  • Heavy cream: You want heavy cream or heavy whipping cream so the frosting sets up. Unfortunately, the recipe won’t work with half-and-half or whole milk.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt really makes the chocolate flavor pop.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Set a glass or metal bowl over a pot of gently simmering water to create a double boiler (do not let the water touch the bowl). Add heavy cream to bowl and heat until the cream feels hot to the touch (140 to 150 degrees). Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Remove the bowl from heat and place in refrigerator to cool, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours (see note 4 for how to use an ice bath).
Chocolate ganache in a bowl.
  1. Stir in the vanilla and salt. In a standing mixer fit with the whisk attachment, or with an electric hand mixer, mix on medium-high speed until mixture is firm enough to hold a soft dollop. The frosting will continue to firm up as it sits.
Chocolate frosting in a mixing bowl.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Ice bath: Speed up the process of cooling the chocolate frosting and use an ice bath. Place the bowl in a slightly larger bowl of ice water, stirring constantly, to chill the ganache quicker.  
  • Yield: One recipe makes 4 cups of frosting, which should be enough for a 9-inch cake with 2 layers or at least 2 dozen cupcakes.
  • Make ahead: After beating, the frosting will thicken up and may need to be beaten again before using.
  • Storage: Use right away, or cover the unbeaten ganache and refrigerate for up to 5 days. When ready to use, beat until fluffy. Chocolate frosting is best enjoyed at room temperature, but may soften if your house is too warm.
  • Freezing: Freeze the cooled (but not whipped) ganache for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and beat until fluffy when completely thawed.
  • Keep it dry: Don’t let even a drop of water or moisture get into the chocolate and cream mixture. It can cause your chocolate ganache to seize up and turn hard.
  • Use glass or metal bowls: Avoid plastic mixing bowls which can make the consistency grainy.
Chocolate frosting in a bowl.

More sweet treats

Chocolate frosting being spread over a roll cake.

Chocolate Frosting

This unbelievable Chocolate Frosting is made with only 4 ingredients. It starts off as a rich ganache, and then it's whipped into a fluffy, spreadable consistency you'll absolutely love.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 16 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 219

Ingredients 

  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped (see note 1)
  • 2 ¼ cups heavy cream (see note 2)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt optional (see note 3)

Instructions 

  • Set a glass or metal bowl over a pot of gently simmering water to create a double boiler (do not let the water touch the bowl). Add heavy cream to bowl and heat until the cream feels hot to the touch (140 to 150 degrees).
  • Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Remove the bowl from heat and place in refrigerator to cool, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours (see note 4 for how to use an ice bath).
  • Stir in the vanilla and salt. In a standing mixer fit with the whisk attachment, or with an electric hand mixer, mix on medium-high speed until mixture is firm enough to hold a soft dollop. The frosting will continue to firm up as it sits.

Notes

  1. Bittersweet chocolate: Pick a good chocolate that is around 60% to 70% cacao. The tastier the chocolate, the better the frosting.
  2. Heavy cream: You want heavy cream or heavy whipping cream so the frosting sets up. Unfortunately, the recipe won’t work with half-and-half or whole milk.
  3. Salt: A pinch of salt really makes the chocolate flavor pop.
  4. Ice bath: Speed up the process of cooling the chocolate frosting and use an ice bath. Place the bowl in a slightly larger bowl of ice water, stirring constantly, to chill the ganache quicker.  
  5. Yield: One recipe makes 4 cups of frosting, which should be enough for a 9-inch cake with 2 layers or at least 2 dozen cupcakes.
  6. Make ahead: After beating, the frosting will thicken up and may need to be beaten again before using.
  7. Storage: Use right away, or cover the unbeaten ganache and refrigerate for up to 5 days. When ready to use, beat until fluffy. Chocolate frosting is best enjoyed at room temperature, but may soften if your house is too warm.
  8. Freezing: Freeze the cooled (but not whipped) ganache for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and beat until fluffy when completely thawed.
  9. Keep it dry: Don’t let even a drop of water or moisture get into the chocolate and cream mixture. It can cause your chocolate ganache to seize up and turn hard.
  10. Use glass or metal bowls: Avoid plastic mixing bowls which can make the consistency grainy.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 219kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 2gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 17mgPotassium: 126mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 501IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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