Chocolate Buttercream Icing Recipe

Cookbook Cover
Donna Turner Ruhlman


  • 3/4 cups  sugar
  • 1/2 cup  water
  • large egg yolks
  • large egg
  • 2 cups  butter, at room temperature, cut into about 30 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces  semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted but cooled slightly

When you try this awesome concoction, it will forever shame you for having been tempted to buy the artificially flavored icing from the store. French buttercream is distinguished from Italian buttercream by the use of yolks rather than whites. Italian buttercream is the supremely white icing you see on fancy cakes. German buttercream uses pastry cream, which is thickened vanilla sauce. They’re all good, but I like the richness of the yolks in this icing.


In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 3-5 minutes. (The sugar syrup should register between 230 and 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.)

While the sugar syrup cooks, combine the egg yolks and whole egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the eggs on high speed until tripled in volume. This will take about as long as needed to cook the sugar syrup.

Continuing to whip the eggs, pour the sugar syrup slowly into beaten eggs. Continue to whip until the outside of the bowl has cooled, 8-10 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add a piece of the butter. After it begins to become incorporated, add the remaining butter, a piece at a time. The butter may look as if it’s breaking, but keep whipping it, and the mixture will come together.

When all of the butter is incorporated, add the vanilla and chocolate, return the speed to high, and beat until the icing comes together (it will change from visibly grainy and unappetizing to smooth and luscious). Ice your cake while the buttercream is at room temperature.


Calories per serving:

127 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Carb, Low Sodium Low Potassium, Kidney Friendly, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 451g 694%
  • Carbs 264g 88%
  • Saturated 275g 1,374%
  • Fiber 10g 40%
  • Trans 15g
  • Sugars 244g
  • Monounsaturated 126g
  • Polyunsaturated 21g
  • Protein 33g 67%
  • Cholesterol 2,269mg 756%
  • Sodium 196mg 8%
  • Calcium 329mg 33%
  • Magnesium 218mg 54%
  • Potassium 925mg 26%
  • Iron 9mg 51%
  • Zinc 6mg 41%
  • Phosphorus 831mg 119%
  • Vitamin A 3,574µg 397%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 21%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 65%
  • Niacin (B3) 1mg 5%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 26%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 208µg 52%
  • Vitamin B12 3µg 53%
  • Vitamin D 13µg 3%
  • Vitamin E 14mg 71%
  • Vitamin K 42µg 53%
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