Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

  • Active Time 10m
  • Total Time 10m
  • Rating ****

Makes about 1 cup; enough to fill and frost the top of an 8-inch double-layer cake, the top of one 9 X 13-inch sheet cake, or 12 cupcakes (Serves 8)

A double whammy of cocoa and chocolate makes this frosting especially fudgy.


  • 1 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
  • 2 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons 1 percent low-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Companion recipe: Sarah's White Cake


Melt the chocolate according to the instructions below under NOTES.

In a medium bowl, dissolve the coffee powder in the boiling water. Add the melted chocolate, melted butter, cocoa, and vanilla and stir to make a paste. Add the confectioners' sugar. Using an electric handheld mixer set at a low speed, beat until combined. One tablespoon at a time, beat in enough milk to make a creamy, spreadable frosting. Use immediately, or cover. The frosting can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Let the chilled frosting stand at room temperature until spreadable.


  • Bittersweet chocolate is usually European, but there are some American versions. Do not confuse it with unsweetened chocolate, which has no sugar at all. Professional quality bittersweet chocolate is now available at specialty food stores. Keep in mind that some of those varieties are very bitter, and are not to everyone's taste. (Usually, the higher the percentage of cocoa solids listed on the package, the more bitter the chocolate. A 70 percent cocoa solids chocolate is pretty bitter, and few kids will like it.) I like Baker's and Hershey's bittersweet chocolate, found in grocery stores. Semisweet chocolate, although somewhat sweeter, can be substituted for bittersweet.

  • Chocolate burns easily, so be careful when melting it. My favorite way to melt chocolate is the way my mom taught me. Place the unchopped square of chocolate on a piece of aluminum foil and put it in the oven while it is preheating. It will take about ten minutes for the chocolate to melt--check it often and press it with your finger to gauge its progress. If you want to speed the process, chop the chocolate in even pieces and place it on the foil. When the chocolate has melted, let it cool until tepid and scrape it onto the batter with a rubber spatula.

  • Chocolate can also be melted in a microwave oven. Place one ounce or more of finely chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on Medium (50 percent) checking occasionally until the chocolate looks shiny (it won't look melted), two to four minutes, depending on the brand. Let stand for thirty seconds or so, then stir it to see if it is melted enough.

  • The classic way to melt chocolate is in the top part of a double broiler over very hot, but not simmering water. Sometimes it is more efficient to put the finely chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and place over a small saucepan of water. In any case, be sure that no water comes in contact with the chocolate, or it will firm up or "seize."

    Serving size = 2 tablespoons

    Recipe reprinted by permission of Doubleday. All rights reserved.

  • RecID 1579

    nutrition information per serving

    107 calories; 3g total fat; 4mg cholesterol; 3mg sodium; 22g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 0g protein

    These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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