How to Make Chocolate Cupcake Frosting

Learn how to make chocolate frosting for cupcakes from professional cake decorator Liz Sutton in this Howcast video.

Hi, my name is Elizabeth Sutton. I’m one of the head decorators here at Amanda Oakleaf Cakes. I really enjoy working here and being a cake decorator, more specifically cupcake decorator. You can come visit us at at 1, Pauline Street in Winthrop, Massachusetts. And you can also visit our website at And today, I’m going to be talking to you about cupcake decorating. To start the frosting, the first thing that you want to do is to make a meringue Italian butter cream base. We are going to take 1/4 cup of water and pour it into the boiler along with 1 1/4 cup of sugar. It feels like a lot of sugar but believe me, it’s not. So to measure the temperature of the sugar water, we’re going to use a candy thermometer and we want that to get to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Just watch it, it takes a little while. When the sugar starts to bubble and get thick, that’s probably a good time to check it because it should be about 250 at that point. Now while that’s going on, you want to pour 8 large egg-whites and it comes out to about a cup, into your mixer along with 1 teaspoon of ; the helps to stabilize the egg-whites, helps them whip up really nice. So you want to let that go until the froth kicks firm. Now that the froth in the egg-whites kicks firm, we’re going to add 1/3 cup of sugar. I usually keep it separate next to the bowl so that I really don’t forget to add it. It’s an so that makes it you know, taste a lot more better. While that’s going on you want to check your syrup. So now that it’s reached 250 F, we’re going to turn down our mixer to very slow because you don’t want this to splash up on you. And you’re going to pour it in making careful not to hit the bowl or the whisk or the sugar will harden instantly and then you’ll get lumps of sugar syrup in your frosting. You want to let everything mix in and then turn the speed back up to medium-high level. Okay, so the bowl feels better in temperature, it’s been 7 minutes and now it’s time to add the butter. So you want to turn it back up to low speed. For this, we’re going to be using 6 sticks or a 1 pounds of butter. You want to add the butter in slow increments, about 2 tablespoons at a time. You want the butter to be soft but not melted. So once you’ve added all the butter, you want to turn the meringue back up to a pretty high speed. You want to let everything incorporate in it for about 2 minutes. So once your mixture looks light and fluffy, you want to take the last step which will be to add a tablespoon of vanilla extract. These are real stuff; I wouldn’t recommend using imitational extract. And then you’re going to turn it back on to high speed. So now we’re having our Italian meringue base, we’re going to be adding chocolate to it. Now I have 5 ounces of chocolate measured out right here. You can either boil it down on a double boiler or you can just put it in the microwave as long as you are using a microwave safe bowl. So now that our chocolate has melted, we’re going to turn our mixer on low and start pouring it in. You want to do it fully because the chocolate’s hard so you want to kind of temper the frosting. Now that all the chocolate has been put in, you can turn back the mixer to medium high. So once all the chocolate is incorporated, you can since this is chocolate added to , it is not a super-rich fudgy chocolaty flavor. We think that because this is a nicely sort of whipped flavor, it can complement any flavor of cupcake very well.