Chocolate Frosting

I’ve been in search of chocolate frosting — smooth, creamy, fluffy, deeply chocolatey frosting that stays supple even when cool. This was a recipe that I’ve been tinkering with for some time, and am happy to debut it here.

Chocolate Frosting on a yellow cupcake

Chocolate Frosting on a yellow cupcake

I have had many different types of chocolate frosting – and they mainly fall into one of three categories:  ganache, fudge, or cocoa buttercream.  Each of these has their merits, but I was after something different.

unsweetened chocolate

unsweetened chocolate

This recipe relies on good quality unsweetened chocolate for its deep chocolate flavor, so buy a brand you really enjoy.  It has no milk, which can dull the flavor of the chocolate.  Instead, hot water and corn syrup supply the moisture to create a nice fluffy texture while keeping the chocolate flavor in the fore.  Butter gives richness while some powdered sugar provides balanced sweetness and structure.  Salt and vanilla round out and highlight the rich flavor of chocolate in this versatile frosting.  Equally great on Chocolate Cake or Yellow Cake, or fantastic as a spread between my Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Frosting
(makes enough for 12 – 16 cupcakes.  Double this recipe for a full layer cake)

6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
8 oz (2 cups) powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3 oz (1/4 cup) light corn syrup
3 – 4 TB hot water

Beat together the butter, powdered sugar, and melted chocolate.  This will be a very thick paste.  Beat for a minute or so, just to smooth out any lumps.  Then add the corn syrup, salt, and vanilla extract.  Beat on low until together, and add hot water one tablespoon at a time until the frosting begins to smooth out and lighten a little in color.  Beat on medium for a couple minutes or until lightly fluffy.  Now it should look smooth and fluffy, like the photo below:

Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Frosting

Use your judgement about adding the 4th TB of hot water — the goal is to have light, deep chocolate frosting that is stiff enough to spread on a cake but still fluffy at cool room temp.

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