The perfect chocolate frosting recipe

I personally find choosing the right frosting for a cake difficult.

American buttercream consisting of butter, vegetable shortening and icing sugar is delicious but so rich. Yet I must admit that I find the idea of eating pure vegetable shortening a little gross.

UK buttercream does without the vegetable shortening but the texture is a little “grainy” whereas German buttercream is totally different altogether. The base is always a pudding; vanilla, chocolate, coffee or whatever takes your fancy mixed with butter at room temperature. Here the link to my coffee-flavoured German buttercream recipe.

Then there is Swiss Meringue buttercream which is super silky and creamy and also very rich. I love the fact that there is a vegan option available now as well using Aquafaba (the water from canned chickpeas) instead of egg whites. But it is just that little bit more fiddly and so not always my choice.

Ganache (dark chocolate or white chocolate is a great option as well but I only like it for winter cakes as again it is super rich and not really suitable for summer cakes.

My favourite chocolate frosting recipe so far, however, is Rosie’s Dark Fudge frosting. It contains sour cream and melted chocolate and is silky, smooth and like chocolate mousse. Rich, delicious and quick to make and there is no fear of it possible not coming together like with Swiss Meringue buttercream. It is easily veganized by using vegetable margarine and vegan sour cream or crème fraîche.


– 500 g unsalted butter or vegetable margarine, softened
– 180 g icing sugar
– 90 g dark cocoa powder
– 120 ml hot water
– 120 ml sour cream or crème fraîche
– 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– a good pinch of salt
– 300 g dark chocolate, melted


– Fit the paddle attachment to your stand mixer and beat the butter/margarine on medium speed until pale and fluffy. This takes around 5 minutes. You can use a handheld mixture as well.
– Meanwhile, sift the icing sugar and the cocoa powder together, then reduce the speed to low and add the icing sugar/cocoa powder mixture, hot water, sour cream, vanilla extract, and salt and beat for about 1 minute until all ingredients are well combined.
– Increase the speed to medium and beat for another 2 minutes.
– Add the cool melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth for about 1 minute.

Link to the “Wonder Cake” recipe here on my blog.

Original Dark fudge frosting recipe from Rosie at Sweetapolita.

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