Best Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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Chocolate fudge cake icing, the fudgy, velvety sensation that has fans lining up around my bakery, pairs perfectly with vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet cakes to bring in the most iconic flavor combinations ever!

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Back in my earlier baking days, cracking the code for this frosting felt like climbing a mountain. There were moments I just wanted to throw in the towel! But now, with years of experience, I’ve finally got a foolproof recipe that even new bakers can breeze through.

Why We Can’t Stop Raving About Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  • Fluffy chocolate fudge frosting can go from a gentle and creamy caress to a bold, bittersweet crescendo. How so? Because you have got options here! Cocoa powder, melted chocolate bars, classic ganache, you name it. 
  • Mind you, the chocolate doesn’t dance alone. Enter powdered sugar, which joins forces with the rich chocolate tones to whirl up a flavor duet that’s not just sweet but incredibly gratifying. And let’s not forget butter with its added layer of creaminess, raising your experience to a new bar! 
  • It easily takes center stage during winter holidays (like Christmas) or Valentine’s Day. And the best part? This guy doesn’t play favorites! Aside from classics like vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet cakes, it also waltzes gracefully with the warm spices of gingerbread cupcakes, pumpkin spice, and other flavorful spice cakes.

How To Make Chocolate Fudge Icing Recipe

Chocolate Fudge Frosting Ingredient
Chocolate Fudge Frosting Ingredient

Step 1.

Break down your chocolate into bite-sized bits. Trust me,  it isn’t just for looks; we all want that smooth, even melt without drama or hiccups! Toss those little pieces into a saucepan – or, if you’re feeling fancy, a double boiler.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting step 1 2 3 4

Step 2.

Now, let’s make magic happen!

Pour in the milk, add butter, sprinkle a pinch of salt, and give it a good stir. Keep at it until everything becomes one smooth, velvety mixture.

Step 3.

Take it off the heat, then throw in a dash of vanilla extract and powdered sugar.

And here’s a little trick I’ve learned: if you don’t mind a bit of extra dish-cleaning duty, transfer the chocolate to a separate heat-tolerant bowl before adding sugar. Your delicious frosting cools down much faster that way, whisking you to dreamland in no time!

Step 4.

Let the frosting cool down until it’s reached that sweet spot (easy to pipe or spread, depending on your grand frosting plans!). Stir it every so often; we’re looking for perfection, you know, not a crusty surface!

Step 5.

Your frosting is totally ready for action when it’s cooled down and thick enough for piping or spreading. Waiting can be a bit tiring, but trust me, it’s the VIP ticket to flavor town!

Step 6. 

Now, the exciting part: time to spread that dreamy frosting onto your favorite cakes! If the frosting still seems a bit slack or unruly, give it some more time to chill. Good things come to those who wait! 

Chocolate Fudge Frosting complete


1. As long as you keep your frosting covered or stashed away properly, it’s totally cool to leave it hanging out at room temp for a day or two. But if you’re planning a long game (like 3 days or more), I’d suggest giving it a cozy spot in the fridge. You know, buttery business and all. 

2. Are you rolling with Dutch-processed cocoa powder? Great choice; your homemade frosting will be on its one-way trip to dark chocolate paradise. The Dutch process brings in this smoother, mellow vibe with hints of earthy and woody notes – an experience like no other! 

3. Oh, and an insider tip: coffee is our VIP guest here. Its rich, velvety layer surely kicks the chocolate flavor up a notch! But, hey, if coffee isn’t your jam, you can swap in hot milk or water, no biggie.

4. It’s not the best idea to whip up this frosting way ahead of your cake game. This guy tends to get a bit firm as it chills, and it’s not easy to bring back to its earlier glory. 

Warming it up again is an option but might give mixed results. I’m not here to send you on a frosting rollercoaster, so just keep it in the sweet spot!


1. What’s the difference between chocolate fudge and chocolate buttercream frosting?

Both are chocolatey delights, but fudge frosting is your denser, thicker buddy, thanks to less powdered sugar and the occasional melted chocolate. Meanwhile, buttercream takes the light and airy route.

As a result, fudge frosting claims the crown for a richer and deeper chocolate experience. Chocolate buttercream frosting, on the other hand, might sway towards milder/ sweeter notes, depending on your chocolate frosting recipe!

2. What are some unique flavor variations of chocolate fudge frosting?

Want to jazz up your fudge frosting with some exciting twists? Here are a few flavors to add to the mix: 

  • Peanut butter: Take it to the next level by adding creamy peanut butter and a hint of milk. The result? A luscious, nutty delight that’s hard to resist!
  • Peppermint: Why not introduce the holiday spirit to your frosting with a blend of peppermint extract and crushed candy canes? You will find yourself singing carols in no time.
  • Spice: For those craving a warm, comforting flavor, I suggest spicing things up with pumpkin spice, a touch of cinnamon, or a hint of ginger.

Ready, set, bake!

More Unique Frosting Recipes:

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

This flavor bomb nails the perfect blend of richness and creaminess with just the right amount of textural intrigue. It’s a breeze to whip up, dancing well with different flavors. 
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Course: Frosting
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 18
Calories: 280kcal
Author: Brenda Maher


  • 6 oz unsweetened, coarsely chopped chocolate
  • ½ cup 113 g of unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup 177 ml of whole milk
  • heaping teaspoon salt
  • 6 ¾ cups 848 g of powdered sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons of vanilla extract


  • Break down chocolate into small bits for a smooth melt, then place them in a saucepan or double boiler.
  • Mix in salt, butter, and milk until smooth. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and powdered sugar, keeping stirring until combined. For faster cooling, transfer to a separate mixing bowl.
  • Let the layer of frosting cool until it’s easy to pipe or spread, stirring occasionally.
  • When cooled and thick enough (usually after about 30 minutes), use it to frost your favorite layer cakes. Let it chill a bit longer if it’s still a bit loose.


  • Room temperature is fine for short-term storage (1-2 days), but refrigeration is recommended if you plan longer periods (3 days or more) due to the butter content.
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder will result in a dark chocolate frosting with a smoother, mellow flavor and earthy notes.
  • Coffee enhances the rich chocolate flavor, but hot water/milk can be an alternative if you’re not a coffee fan.
  • Do not make your indulgent chocolate frosting too far in advance, as reheating may not always yield the original consistency.


Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1.5g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @cakegirls or tag #cakegirls!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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