Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The great chocolate (frosting) debate

I posted to Facebook the other night about my quest for the perfect fudgy chocolate frosting recipe. I usually make a Swiss meringue buttercream and add lots of melted chocolate, but I've been in search of old fashioned recipe that tastes like store bought frosting - only better. I received a lot of great tips and was inspired to try some experimentation of my own. I chose 3 recipes to pair with vanilla cupcakes for the official tasters - me and my son.

The first recipe I used was Hershey's "perfectly chocolate" chocolate frosting. It's super simple to make and while it was my least favorite of the three, quite good. I added a tablespoon of coffee to the recipe per the suggestions of my Facebook friends and I think it added a nice touch. I felt that the color was a little anemic and might look nicer using dutched cocoa powder. Maybe adding some melted chocolate would boost the chocolate flavor?

I found my second recipe from Cooks Illustrated found on Chowhound. It's basically made like a ganache with the addition of some powdered sugar & lots of butter. I used a 60% bittersweet chocolate because it was what I had in the house. The result was delicious, but a little too sophisticated for what I had in mind. The recipe calls for 20 oz of chocolate which would make it quite expensive if a large quantity was needed. If I made it again, I would use milk chocolate for a mellower flavor.

My final and favorite was adapted from this recipe . I didn't have any unsweetened chocolate in the house, so I used my 60% bittersweet chocolate and cut back on the powdered sugar. The result was just perfect - fudgy (it gets a little crusty when it cools, just like fudge), not overly sweet with great chocolate flavor. Now I just need to find the perfect chocolate cake to go with it!

Cakewalk's "better than the can" chocolate fudge frosting:
5 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz unsalted butter
12 oz powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz whole milk

Melt the butter over low heat and stir in the chocolate until melted
Combine the powdered sugar & vanilla in large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer) and add chocolate mixture.
Add the milk, a little at a time until the desired consistency (thick & creamy is reached). The frosting will continue to thicken as is cools.


  1. Yum, all these frostings sound great! Glad you were able to find one that you loved! I love the combo of yellow cake with chocolate icing!

  2. ..............sorry I had to wipe the drool from my mouth, haha. YUM YUM YUM. Really shouldn't have read this on an empty stomach right before dinner!

  3. Yum! Where did you get those fantastic cupcake stands? I want them!

  4. I too would love to know where you got the cupcake stands, supercute! Would you be able to e-mail me the vendor?

  5. I just found your blog today. I'm always on the look out for frosting recipes since I never seem to like any. I made this chocolate cake recipe from Ina Garten and it's the best chocolate cake ever. I'm not sold on the frosting she uses with it but the cake is amazing.



  6. The cupcake stands can be found here:

    @Julie - Thanks for the cake recipe tip!


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