Whip up a perfectly creamy Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting in just a few minutes. This is SO good (and happens to be less sweet) and is great frosting for a kid’s birthday cake or cupcakes.

chocolate cream cheese frosting in white bowl

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve been trying to master a few classic birthday cake recipes this past year, and this frosting is my favorite to pair with chocolate cake or cupcakes. It’s super easy, just sweet enough, and holds up really well if you want to make it ahead of time.

I love it with my Chocolate Cake recipe—it’s become our house birthday cake recipe!

ingredients in chocolate cream cheese frosting

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

TIP: I use a lot less powdered sugar in this recipe than other similar ones (like 2 cups less!) and I find that both the texture and flavor are awesome.

butter-in-yellow-bowl

Step-by-Step Process

Here’s a look at how to make this frosting. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.

  1. Blend up the butter until it’s fluffy.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the milk or cream and blend.
  3. Add milk or cream if desired to make a slightly thinner consistency.
  4. Use or store for later.

TIP: I use a hand-held electric mixer to make this recipe since it’s the easiest way to get the ingredients mixed up in minutes.

chocolate-frosting-on-mixer
Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes, you can do that and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

What’s the best cocoa powder to use?

I use unsweetened cocoa powder, either SACO or Hershey’s Special Dark.

chocolate-cake-on-pink-fork

Best Tips for Success

  • Use with my Football CakeHealthy Vanilla CupcakesEasy Chocolate CupcakesHealthy Chocolate Cake.
  • Be sure that the butter and cream cheese have time to soften at room temperature before you start blending. I usually set them out 2 hours before I plan to start if possible.
  • Start with ½ cup powdered sugar and add additional to reach a sweetness you like. (I use 1 cup.)
  • Add 1 tablespoon milk or cream at a time at the end of blending to reach your desired consistency.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment below and leaving a rating!

chocolate-cream-cheese-frosting

Easy Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Plan to set out the butter and cream cheese about 2 hours before you plan to make the frosting if you can. That will give it plenty of time to soften up and be easy to blend.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 190kcal
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like SACO brand or Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk or cream

Instructions

  • Add the cream cheese to a large bowl and beat with a hand-held electric mixture for about a minute on high speed.
  • Add the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt, and beat on low to start, then work up to high speed and beat until thoroughly combined and creamy, about 1 minute.
  • Use on cupcakes or a cake. Or store, in an airtight container or in a bowl tightly covered with plastic wrap and placed into the fridge, for up to 3 days.

Notes

  • Use with my Football Cake, Healthy Vanilla Cupcakes, Easy Chocolate Cupcakes, Healthy Chocolate Cake.
  • Be sure that the butter and cream cheese have time to soften at room temperature before you start blending. I usually set them out 2 hours before I plan to start if possible.
  • Start with ½ cup powdered sugar and add additional to reach a sweetness you like. (I use 1 cup.)
  • Add 1 tablespoon milk or cream at a time at the end of blending to reach your desired consistency.
  • Make ahead and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 49mg, Sodium: 104mg, Potassium: 80mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 591IU, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. I want to decorate cupcakes ahead of time for a party. Do you know if the shape of the frosting holds up well if it’s put on a few hours before eating? Or would it be better to refrigerate the cupcakes

    1. It should be fine to do it a few hours ahead as long as they don’t sit out in warm weather. Room temperature is fine, or you could pop them into the fridge if that’s an option. Enjoy!

  2. Could this be made to be regular vanilla cream cheese frosting and not chocolate? What adjustments would be needed? Love that it is less sugar!

    1. Yes, you could omit the cocoa powder and make it the same otherwise. It should be fairly similar in the final texture!