Category Archives: Classic Cake Frosting

Making Classic Frosting

This classic American-style frosting can be made in chocolate or vanilla (or just about any other flavor or color you can imagine). It’s a very handy thing to have in your repertoire for those times when a buttercream simply won’t work. On hot days, for example, a frosting will hold up quite a bit better than a buttercream. Or for a kids’ birthday party (I find that a lot of kids prefer the sweetness of frosting to the richness of buttercream). The recipe is quite simple. For a chocolate frosting you’ll need:

10 ounces (2 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
2 ounces (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
5 ounces (10 tablespoons) soft butter
4 ounces (1/2 cup) heavy cream (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla

First, sift the cocoa and powered sugar together.

Next combine the cream and vanilla.

Put the butter in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle (beater) and beat it.

Add about a third of the cocoa mixture and start to stir the mixture on medium-low.

Next add about a third of the cream mixture and continue to stir. Keep going like that until everything is combined (mixing the ingredients in stages like this helps keep it from forming lumps). Scrape the bowl as needed.

Before you know it you’ll have a pipe-able frosting. If it’s too thick, add more cream, if too thin, add more sugar. For a vanilla version, swap out the cocoa for more powdered sugar and cut the cream by three tablespoons (cocoa powder is absorbant). Easy, no?

Use this for cupcakes or double the recipe and use for a layer cake. You’ll have some leftover, but heck, who doesn’t like to have a little extra chocolate frosting hanging around?

Filed under:  Classic Cake Frosting, Pastry | 24 Comments