Ann Reardon

Best Chocolate Frosting Recipes Taste Tested

which chocolate frosting tastes best

A good chocolate frosting glistens, it’s deep chocolate colour tempts, it melts in your mouth leaving you with a moist rich chocolate flavour. Well that is what you hope for, not all chocolate frostings are equal. Today we are making seven different frosting recipes and putting them through a taste test to find out which one is the best. We’ll also put them out in the sun just like we did with the vanilla frostings to see which ones stand up to the heat.


Chocolate Buttercream Recipe (using butter)

1/2 cup plus 1 tblspn  or 120g (4.23 ounces) butter unsalted
180g (6.35 ounces) or 1 1/3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup or 55g (1.94 ounces) cocoa powder
1-2 tsp milk
Makes 1 1/2 cups of frosting

chocolate italian meringue frosting recipe

Chocolate Italian Meringue Frosting Recipe

1 1/3 cup or 285g (10.05 ounces) sugar
1/3 cup or 80mL (2.71 fluid ounces) water
5 egg whites or 180g (6.35 ounces)
2 cups or 450g (15.87 ounces) butter
340g (11.99 ounces) milk chocolate
Makes 7 1/2 cups of frosting

american buttercream how to cook that

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe (margarine)

120g (4.23 ounces) or 1/2 cup margarine
180g (6.35 ounces) or 1 1/3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup or 55g (1.94 ounces) cocoa powder
1-2 tsp milk
Makes 1 1/2 cups of frosting

chocolate cream cheese frosting  recipe

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

115g (4.06 ounces) or 1/2 cup cream cheese
35g (1.23 ounces) or 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
230g (8.11 ounces) or 2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup or 30g (1.06 ounces) cocoa powder
Makes 1 1/3 cups of frosting

buttercream using crisco tastes

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe (crisco)

120g (4.23 ounces) or 1/2 cup crisco
180g (6.35 ounces) or 1 1/3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup or 55g (1.94 ounces) cocoa powder
1-2 tsp milk
Makes 1 1/2 cups of frosting

chocolate ermine frosting recipe

Ermine Chocolate Frosting Recipe

1 cup or 250mL (8.45 fluid ounces) milk (35% fat)
1/4 cup or 40g (1.41 ounces) flour
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup or 220g (7.76 ounces) sugar
1 cup 230g (8.11 ounces) butter
Makes 2 cups of frosting


Chocolate Ganache Frosting Recipe

2/3 cup or 150mL (5.07 fluid ounces) cream
200g (7.05 ounces) dark chocolate containing cocoa butter
200g (7.05 ounces) milk chocolate containing cocoa butter
Makes 1 1/3 cups of frosting

chocolate frosting taste test

Tasters scored each frosting out of 5

American Buttercream using butter 3|4|5|3.5|4.5|4|3|3|4 average: 3.8
Chocolate Italian Meringue buttercream 3.5|4|5|3.5|4.5|4.5|4|3|3 average: 3.9
American Buttercream using margarine 3.5|4|3.5|4|3|3|5|4|4 average: 3.8
Cream Cheese Frosting 4|5|3.5|3|3|3|3|4|3 average: 3.5
American Buttercream using crisco 1|1|1.5|3|2|2|2|3|2 average: 1.9
Ermine chocolate frosting 4.5|1|3|3.2|5|4|3|3|1 average: 3.1
Chocolate ganache frosting 1|2|4.5|5|3|3|3|4|5 average: 3.4

And the winner is… Chocolate Italian Meringue Frosting, closely followed by American Buttercream made with either margarine or butter.  Next was the Cream Cheese Frosting and the Ganache.  However the two low scores on the ganache were due to not liking dark chocolate. Using less dark and adding more milk chocolate could potentially improve this score to equal the top ones.  The buttercream made with crisco scored very low.  The high melting point of the crisco means it performs well in the sun but it also means that it does not melt in your mouth, so the chocolate flavour is not released.


My Cookbook

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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

124 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    very beautiful and yummy!!!

  2. just just wanted to know how to make milk chocolate ganache and white chocolate ganache

  3. Rating: 5

    Hello gud day,

    I really appreciate your chocolate frosting. Simply but elegant, but why theres no procedure unlike the other one you posted. The buttercream frosting.

    • Hi Marie, The procedure is given in the video.Thanks for the feedback.

  4. Make an easy chocolate cake house

  5. Hi Ann,
    Your recipes are simply amazing. They are very easy to follow & of course very delicious.. I have tried your Chocolate Buttercream Recipe (using butter) for my birthday cupcakes to take it to office. They worked really well. 🙂 🙂
    Thanks for such step by step procedure.. 🙂 🙂
    Hoping to try most of your recipes.. 🙂 🙂
    Kind regards…

  6. Hi!
    I am wondering,would you recommend using a mix of chocolate buttercream and ganache for Elsa cake? I am using purely milk chocolate for my ganache usually ( and in chocolate: cream ratio 1:1,always works nice and stiff) and not really a fan of margarine/butter taste of buttercream :/

    • Hi Emma, That should work well.

  7. hi ann i need help. should i make the gnash or the american buttercream with margarine

    • Hi Aranee, I like to make chocolate buttercream mixed with ganache. Just make the ganache and leave overnight at room temp. Make a batch of buttercream and whip in the ganache.

    • Hi Aranee, Ann likes to make one batch of each and whip them together. She likes the taste of the two mixed together.

  8. Hi Ann, I would like to make the first one (chocolate butter cream using butter) but I do not understand what you meant by “makes 1 1/2 cups of frosting”?? I am planning to make the Elsa doll cake. Will it be enough or I have to make double? Thank you.

    • Hi Orsolya, the finished quantity should be about one and a half cups. The Elsa cake requires 2 quantities of the Chocolate Buttercream frosting.

  9. Rating: 2

    Hi Ann,
    I tried your chocolate buttercream using butter and was really excited to try it. It turned out to be a mess. It may be because I’m American, not Australian, but let me just say that it should be more like 2 cups milk and less cocoa. I might try it again in the future, so I hope that was just accidental.

    • Hi Ashley, how disappointing that your mix didn’t work out. You only need a very small amount of milk, just 1-2teaspoons. 2 cups would be way too much.

      • OK so every time I make american butter cream it turns out grainy even when I did sift it!! What did I I do wrong?

        • Hi Lexi, Some people find if you keep mixing it for about 5 minutes it loses the grainy texture. I do find that compared to the other frostings it always does have a slightly more grainy texture.

  10. Rating: 5

    So glad I found your channel! You have such great tutorials, recipes, etc., etc. Thank you! Your Red Velvet cupcake recipe is unlike any other I’ve ever seen–I will be trying it soon for a friend’s birthday.

  11. Hi Ann!! I personly love chocolate ganache as a frosting ( expecially on your cupcakes) but i am now experimenting with the chocolate Italian meringue frosting, so far its amazing;)

  12. Whoa, that was a fun taste testing! You get to be judged right away…! Thank you for sharing!!!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  13. just wanted to know I never made Swiss meringue or Italian meringue before because of the eggs is it fine to eat can you explain more about the eggs if they are not cooked is it ok to eat im just worried but will love to try it ty

    • I’m not Anne but the sugar syrup is hot enough to cook the egg whites!

  14. Rating: 5

    Thanks Ann for another super tester video. Loved the little blonde tester who couldn’t make his mind up and gave a 6 out of 5…..bless! Like the other comments, I would be interested to know what cocoa brand you use. I am in the UK and use Rowntrees cocoa powder or Cadbury’s Bournville Cocoa. Thanks again!

  15. Rating: 5

    Loved this experiment and the other frosting test. I work as a scientist but want to self-learn cooking, so I often look for well carried out documented experiments to figure things out and give me a clear idea! I like your data, and also the comment by Palul Siami! I did a statistical analysis on the data you put onsite just to see what the results would be. Basically, the taste ratings for most of the frosting are not statistically different. Ermine and Ganache had the most variability in the ratings (disagreement between raters). The American buttercream (crisco) was statistically different from the rest (statistically lower average rating). For those with statistical bent, the method was ANOVA, ANOVA p-value = 0.00068, Levene’s test p = 0.105, post-hoc Bonferonni test run with crisco vs ermine p = 0.158, crisco vs ganache p = 0.029, crisco vs all other frostings p < 0.002. Graphic attached as a jpeg 😀

  16. I agree with your taste testers, as I find the real chocolate in chocolate ganache to be richer and yummier but just a little bit unsweet at times, and a bit stiff to pipe, and prone to melt faster. To get around this I usually combine the choc ganache icing with the choc American buttercream (with real butter) and I get a beautiful blend of the two that is everyone’s favourite I’ve found. Not too sweet, not too bitter, pipes better than ganache but not so soft as to lose shape! I use it under fondant as well.

  17. You should try French Buttercream next time I just love it so rich and creamy.
    Love your site and everything you’re doing. I have been comparing different sites and have found that you are the only one truly doing anything different.
    The other sites I find are copying the things you do but just changing it up a bit.They also are in a race to see how many video’s they can get out in a week more than the next person.
    It’s truly nice to see that you place thought into what you are going to do from week to week and that you also let the reader/viewer know what mistakes you may have made along the way.
    Thank you and keep up the great job.

    • Rating: 5

      Really great that so many people from all over the world can be taught techniques without leaving your armchair. I just wish that I could limit my catering purchasing as I get so excited with every recipe. Just love the simplicity of turning simple ingredients into a masterpiece. Thank you so much

    • I totally agree, French buttercream is the yummiest, it is so rich, and easy to work with, wins hands down in my opinion.

  18. I’m not into making shoes, castles and dolls. However I enjoy your creativity, and your accent, especially CHOK-let.
    Your experiment with the 7 different frosting was fabulous.
    1. I wonder how the adult’s ratings differed from those of children.
    2. Did you see any difference in boys and girls ratings?
    3. Did you see any difference in men and women’s ratings?
    Few of your tester seemed to have a very sophisticated palate. Very nice mix of raters.

    Tank you..

  19. Hi Anne!
    That was fantastic! What brand Cocoa powder do you use? Your buttercream is a lot darker than mine. I use Cadbury Cocoa!

    • Anita, if it is bournville Cadbury cocoa it is not real cocoa powder. I believe the videos use 100% pure cocoa powder with nothing added.

  20. Hi Ann, our family favorite so far is Nutella buttercream.
    I’ve only made Swiss meringue in vanilla and strawberry so far and only vanilla in Italian meringue.
    I’ve made straight chocolate buttercreams using high ratio shortening/ butter combo and really like it.
    I’ve made ganache twice but only as a filling for a cake.
    I haven’t tried your chocolate cake recipe or your chocolate frosting yet but am working on CARS cake details now so thought if try your recipes too:)

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