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How To Make Chocolate Frosting From Cocoa Powder

Rolling right along with my death by chocolate theme, I wanted to share how to make chocolate frosting from cocoa powder that I use for just about everything.

Ok, so I don’t put it on my meatloaf or potatoes, but I think you know what I mean.

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate cake frosting on a cake. The frosting is oozing down the side of the cake.

For the best chocolate buttercream frosting to put on a sheet cake, chocolate cupcakes, birthday cakes, or any cake, this chocolate icing has you covered.

Not only is it delicious, but it’s also so easy to make that you’ll never again go buy one of those tubs of frosting from the store. 

An Easy Recipe For Homemade Chocolate Frosting

By popular demand, I’m sharing one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever find among the homemade frosting recipes out there.

It’s something you can make in just minutes, no joke!

And the chocolatey goodness that abounds from it is that sweet, old-fashioned flavor. What could be better than that? 

It only requires four ingredients and your stovetop, so get ready!

A piece of bundt cake with chocolate frosting on top.

Ingredients For Chocolate Frosting

There are only four ingredients used to make my go-to chocolate frosting. You can use this on just about any cake recipe, and honestly, it’s one of the easiest recipes you’ll find.

I’ll show you the exact steps you need to make it below, so don’t worry.

Keep the powdered sugar handy in case you want a thicker consistency to help you adjust it too. 

  • Butter (salted or unsalted butter will work)
  • Half and half
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Powdered sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar)

Full recipe with measurements and instructions at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

How To Make My Go-To Chocolate Frosting

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat and whisk together.
  2. Cook until the butter is melted, all the while continuing to whisk to get out the lumps.
  3. Pour over your dessert.

Simple ingredients always seem to bring about the best results. I always think of the home-baked goodies my grandma made when I was little and how she would create sheer brilliance out of seemingly nothing at all.

You just cook this all in a saucepan, and in less than five minutes, it’s ready. You can save the leftover frosting for something else, though for me, I like to have it with a spoon. Yum!

Step-By-Step Instructions

Melting butter in a small saucepan.

Start by adding the butter to a saucepan and melting it on medium heat.

You don’t need softened butter for this recipe because you are melting it in the saucepan.

Adding unsweetened cocoa to a saucepan with melting butter.

Next, add the unsweetened cocoa to the pan.

Butter, half and half, and cocoa in a small saucepan. The butter is melting.

Add the half and half to the pan.

Powdered sugar on top of butter, half and half, and cocoa in a saucepan.

Finally, add the powdered sugar to the saucepan and whisk until all of the ingredients are combined.

Continue whisking as the butter melts to get the lumps out of the frosting.

TIP: A whisk is going to work better than any other tool for getting out lumps.

Chocolate cake covered in chocolate frosting. The cake is on a cake plate.

Once the frosting is melted, pour it over your favorite dessert.

One word of caution, it does harden up fast, so you’ll want to pour it out on the cake after your cake cools, so it flows with ease. It’s really so good!

How To Store The Chocolate Frosting

Once you pour the frosting over your dessert, keep it in an airtight container.

Can Heavy Cream Or Milk Be Used For The Recipe?

Yes, you can use heavy cream or milk for this recipe. You will use the same amount as half and half.

Can Vanilla Extract Be Added?

Yes, vanilla extract adds a wonderful flavor to the frosting.

Can A High Quality Cocoa Be Used For This Recipe?

Yes, you can use a traditional unsweetened cocoa or something like Dutch-process cocoa.

More Delicious Desserts

How To Make Chocolate Frosting From Cocoa Powder

Next time you need frosting, choose the best chocolate frosting for delicious cakes without fail.

This easy chocolate buttercream frosting is a cinch to make and a dream come true for topping any type of cake you bake. I just know you’re going to love this homemade frosting for all your tasty treats.

The rich chocolate flavor tastes amazing on any type of cake. And, if this is your first time making the frosting, you will love how easy it is.

Chocolate cake covered in chocolate frosting. The cake is on a cake plate.

How To Make Chocolate Frosting From Cocoa Powder

Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Create a creamy chocolate frosting with cocoa powder. The intense chocolate flavor is perfect for any cake, including cake layers. The recipe is made up of basic ingredients.


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons half and half
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat.
  2. Whisk the ingredients together until the butter is melted and the lumps are gone.
  3. Pour over your dessert.


The easy chocolate frosting recipe hardens fast, so be ready to pour quickly.

If you'd like thicker frosting, add a little more powdered sugar.

Conversely, if you'd like thinner frosting, you can add more half and half. In both cases, use small amounts until you are happy with the consistency.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 51mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 27gProtein: 1g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

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Sunday 31st of December 2023

It was just what I needed! Thank you! Perfect recipe. I added a bit of vanilla, and it was just heavenly.

Julie Pollitt

Sunday 31st of December 2023

Great to hear!

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