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

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
Stores that sell my book listed by country:
All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

124 Comments View Comments

  1. hi,i couldn`t undrestand,which one has long lasting life infront of the sun?

    • Hi Anahita, buttercream made with crisco performed well in the sun but scored low on taste, as the crisco doesn’t melt in your mouth.

  2. Rating: 4

    Hi Ann, I am baking a cake for my sister’s birthday and I want to use your American Chocolate Buttercream with margarine recipe. I am having some trouble with the quantities because the recipe on the website says it makes 1 1/2 cups of buttercream but I am wondering how many cupcakes that much buttercream would roughly frost. I am baking 2, 9″ inch cakes and I’m not sure how much buttercream I would need to frost them.

    • Hi Bailee, It all depends on how you want to decorate your cakes. The recipe quantity should provide enough to do the filling and frost the top. If you want to decorate generously then make double.

  3. Hello)
    Can I use handmixer instead of standing kitchen mixer like Ann has, does it really matter?

    • An electric hand mixer is fine. It is just much easier with a stand mixer.

  4. Where can i get a candy thermomether???????

    • Hi Iamconfused, you can get candy thermometers from cake decorating stores and department stores. We can also find them here in our local supermarket.

  5. I think that you may have typed the wrong measurement for your american buttercream (margarine). All the variations have the same weight for the butter/margarine/crisco (120g or 1/2 cup) but the margarine measurement “1tbsp plus 1tsp canola margarine”

    • thanks Kristen, all fixed 😀

  6. Hi am looking for a chocolate cake please it’s for a birthday a don’t realy bake much bso looking 4 an easy one haha lool thanks x

  7. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, firstly i want to say that i love your videos. you put alot of time and effort into them and it is much appreciated by all im sure. Im a little confused with a recipe for chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. Your vanilla one is 213g sugar, 58 water, 3 egg whites and 250g butter. Can i just add some melted chocolate to this without any other changes and if so how much? does it then hold up as well? I did see that you had a chocolate italian meringue recipe to which you added butter but the quantities were different and i was getting a little confused. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance

  8. Hi Ann
    Is Erine good for frosting the cake

    • Hi Victoria, Ann prefers to use buttercream or ganache. Ermine frosting is popular it just depends what you are thinking of using it for.

  9. witch one on the frosting is good for a cake filling that will hold on a 2 tier cake thank you

  10. Which one would you recommend for frosting a cake?

    • Hi Masha, Ann tends to use chocolate ganache or buttercream but you they are all good for cake frosting, just depending on what kind of results you want to achieve.

  11. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,
    Your ideas are amazing. I have two questions… I am going to try to make a stadium cake with a roof above the stands. The roof would also have a small cake layer on top of it (or not, lol). How would you add support that would hold up the roof? I thought about making the roof out of gingerbread but I don’t know how to support it. I would love to know your idea. Also, what happens to the buttercream when you add ganache? Does it spread better and will it melt easier? Thanks so much. (P.S. I can’t imagine how many hours you must spend a week creating and perfecting these techniques. I know you are so creative and fast, so I would probably quadruple that, at least. It would be interesting to know.)

  12. Rating: 5

    Hi Anne, once again a great video with so much helpful info. Have been tempted to try a Crisco buttercream over the years but now that I’ve seen your video I’ll give it a miss! Just wondering if you can substitute dark chocolate for the Italian Meringue frosting?

    • Hi Marina, Dark chocolate should work well.

  13. Hi Ann,
    Thank you for the great video. I want to try the Chocolate Italian Meringue Frosting recipe on a Vanilla cake I am making this weekend but was wondering how I am meant to store it once I’ve made it. Is it ok to store in the fridge before and after I put it on the cake?

    • Hi Kelly, Ann suggests icing the cake straight away and not storing the frosting prior. It should be fine once it is on the cake to keep it in the fridge for a short time.

  14. Rating: 4

    Hi ann! im a big fan, i love how easy you make look all your videos, this week i’m gonna try my first cake from one of you recepies! I just have one question, i see in one video you said that your favorite frosting was buttercream + ganache, how you make that? Can i use al te ingredients of each recepie at equal parts? i hope you can help me ! Ps.Thank you so muchas for sharing all you knwoles

    • Hi Ana, Ann likes to make the buttercream and the ganache seperately. She lets the ganache cool (usually overnight or in the fridge for a few hours). Then she will mix the two together. Each of Ann’s recipe’s usually states how much of each she uses but in principle it would be one quantity of each.

  15. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, first of all I love you and how you cook, its so amazing how you make extraordinary cakes from super simple ingredients.
    My question is if you can put up more videos then just once a week because I don’t think I can wait till Friday.

    • Hi Brielle, Ann is a busy Mum so this is just not possible at the moment! If you need a mid week inspiration, have a look at some of the older posts. Some of them are really cool!

  16. Rating: 5

    Hi Anne
    big fan your my fav you tuber. I just wanted to ask you what coco powder do i use coz i have coco powder that is used to make drinks so wanted to know if could use those.
    Sorry if confusing.
    Thank you for your time

    • Hi Tanaea, Cocoa powder is very different from drinking chocolate. Drinking chocolate is usually sweetened and may have other additives.

    • You can use something called baking coco if you have that in your country. It’s coco powder that’s made for baking. Only thing I don’t like about it is that the taste is little bit more dark and not the same taste as regular coco powder made for drinking. Hope this helps you

  17. Hi Ann,
    I am Komal I wanted to ask that I am vegetarian and I don’t eat eggs so what should I do??

    • Hi Komal, The majority of the frosting recipes on this page don’t use eggs, so you could opt for one of those. If you don’t want to use butter, you could replace it with a dairy free ‘butter’ .

  18. Hi ann not the fake one can you link where you buy your thermometer

    • Hi Alyanna, There is no fake Ann on this site, but Ann has a helper and that is me. I actually sit with Ann at her kitchen table and scribe her answers to myriads of questions that come in. If you want a candy thermometer, Ann recommends purchasing one from a supermarket or cake decorating store that is local to you. She doesn’t have a preferred brand. We provide a link for a product if there is a suitable one that Ann would recommend or if the product can be hard to source.

      • Rating: 5

        Dear Ann Reardon,
        I think your an amazing baker!I watch your videos everyday when I come home from school!Can you please with all of my heart<3 make a Yankees cake!I love my brother and his birthday is on May 19th!He wants a Yankee birthday!I hope you read my message:)!!!!!

        I love you ann reardon<3

        • Hi Bella, Thanks for the idea. We probably can’t do one in time for this birthday. Perhaps you could adapt another recipe? Let us know if you come up with any amazing ideas!

  19. Do each of these frosting a have to be made a night before the day you’re going to use them??

    • Hi Aisha, The ganache needs to be made the day prior so it can firm up, but the others should be fne to make on the day that you will use them.

  20. hi Ann love your baking
    where can i find a candy thermonetor

    • Hi Rhi, You can usually purchase these at a supermarket or cake decorating store.

      • Hi Ann were do you find the fondent

        • Hi Fatma, Ann often uses a locally produced fondant. She recommends checking out what you can purchase in your area and selecting a brand you find good to work with.

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