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. Rating: 5

    This is trul amazing! Thank you so much Ms. Reardon! Do you have a vid or section on how to come back/fix a frosting gone bad? Now I’m on to Vanilla frostings!
    You Amaze me every Day! ~Jules

  2. Hi Ann, I just watched this video, but didn’t see how they do with fondant.

  3. Ann can I use margarine for ermine frosting?

    • Hi Khyli, Ann recommends unsalted butter for this recipe.

  4. Oops I meant in cream cheese frosting recipe not american buttercream ^^

    • Hi Marine, yes you can but it will be a softer mix. You may need more icing sugar to keep it workable.

  5. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann I love your recipes and I was wondering if i could use mascarpone instead of cream cheese in the american buttercream recipes?

  6. Had you refrigerated the American Buttercream Frosting before serving, it would have received much higher scores, because chilling causes the butter to solidify. Chilling is what really makes Buttercream, as it takes on the consistency of fudge! What’s not to love?!

  7. Hi- can you tell me how long the American Buttercream frosting will keep in the refrigerator before using it? I want to make the frosting a few days before I put the cake together.

    • It will be just fine in the fridge for a few days, but you’ll have to wait for about an hour before frosting so the buttercream can come toroom temperature. Straight out of the refrigerator, it will be the consistency of fudge. I prefer to refrigerate cakes frosted with buttercream for just this reason!

  8. Rating: 5

    I tried the American buttercream recipe and it was AWESOME! I have tied so many chocolate frosting recipes and could not get the thick chocolaty strong taste that I wanted and this is PERFECT! It’s the ONLY one that has passed my family’s taste test. Thank you!!

  9. Hi Ann and family,
    my question refers to the ermine frosting. what type of flour did you use. im my area the stores sell 5-10 different flours. hope everyone is having a great day see yall in the video on friday

    • Hi Kaitlin. Ann is referring to plain flour or flour that has no raising agents added.

  10. What if you don’t have icing sugar for the chocolate buttercream frosting? Can you use normal sugar?

    • Hi Mia, icing sugar works best because it blends well and gives a smooth texture suitable for frosting.. You couldn’t use normal sugar. Caster sugar or superfine sugar would be hard to blend but would work better than standard sugar.

  11. Can you make American buttercream with a wooden spoon and a lot of patience?

    • Hi Melissa, Yes you can but you will get better and faster results if you have a hand mixer or electric mixture.

  12. Rating: 5

    Hi, I enjoy your site a lot, and the sun test is a great idea. Could you please explain what icing sugar is (assuming it is not super fine sugar). Thank you

    • Hi Hadas, In some places icing sugar is called powdered sugar. It is like super fine sugar that is ground to a powder.

  13. Hi Ann, I made chocolate ganache frosting a while ago using only milk chocolate and it tasted so good! Something I noticed though was that hand whisking for under a minute was good enough to get it to a stiff consistency without turning it into butter. Perhaps I had a higher chocolate to cream ratio? Just something interesting I found, but didn’t make it less enjoyable. Thank you for your recipe!

  14. Hi Ann! I adore you’re vanilla buttercream frosting recipe, and am really anxious to try the chocolate one for my father’s birthday! Do I use sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder?
    Thanks, Gabriela.

    • Hi Gabriela, Cocoa powder is sold unsweetened here so use unsweetened.

  15. Hi Ann, can I use melted chocolate for the American buttercream recipe instead?

    • Hi Emma, You could but it would be more like a ganache than a buttercream. The melted chocolate, will melt the butter and you could find it very messy and super sweet. If you want a really chocolatey flavour go for the ganache instead.

  16. Hi Ann!!
    When I tried to do the ganache I left the ganache to cool overnight but when I tried to pipe it it was still soft like melted chocolate. So what did I do wrong?

    • HiCadburylover, did you chill the ganache in the fridge or leave it on the bench? If you had it in a warm place on the bench it may not have firmed up properly. The other thing that could effect it is the chocolate or the cream. Check that are using cream with at least 35% fat content. Pop it in the fridge for a few hours and then when firmer, whip and pipe. If it is still too soft, then use less cream for the type of chocolate you have used. If the problem persists use a firmer chocolate or a compound chocolate.

      • Rating: 5

        OK!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! 😉

  17. If I put the Italian Meringue frosting on a cake will the cake absorb the frosting??

    • Hi Lee, Most frosting will be absorbed a little. Italian meringue frosting will be fine if you are frosting no more than a day ahead.

  18. hey, I was wondering if you could make the Italian meringue buttercream with white or dark chocolate instead of milk.

    • Hi amateurbaker, yes you can replace the milk chocolate with dark or white chocolate. When using the white chocolate, the finished buttercream might be a little softer.

  19. Can you use a whisk instead of a electric mixer

    • Yes you can. It will just take longer.

  20. Hi Ann,

    I live in Tropical country, Indonesia. I guess I will choose American buttercream as our weather tends hot here. But Can I just change choco powder with melted chocolate?

    Thanks before.

    • Hi Wita, chocolate will still be impacted by the heat. You need to look at some way of keeping your decorated cake cool till wanting to serve.

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