This Not So Sweet Chocolate Buttercream is fluffy, fudgy, and super stable. It has easy ingredients, is simple to make, and you can be decorating your sweet treats in 10 minutes! Best part, it is not as sweet as traditional chocolate buttercream. Everyone will love it!
If you are looking for Vanilla check this recipe out, Not So Sweet Buttercream. I also have a delicious Nutella Buttercream Frosting, Raspberry Buttercream Frosting, and No Fail Italian Meringue.
Ingredients in Not So Sweet Chocolate Buttercream
- Unsalted butter- Buttercream can’t exist without butter, but make sure it is at room temperature.
- Cream cheese- Cream cheese adds stability and tanginess to our buttercream. Again, make sure it is at room temperature.
- Powdered sugar- Acts as sweetener and a stabilizer. This ensures we are able to pipe our buttercream into pretty designs.
- Cocoa powder- Where the chocolate flavor comes from without adding sugar.
- Meringue powder- It is made of dried egg whites and adds stability to the buttercream. You can find it online or at large craft stores and grocery stores in the baking/cake decorating section.
- Cornstarch- Adds more stability.
- Melted Semi-Sweet Chocolate- Where you get more chocolate flavor and a little sweetness.
You may be wondering, why so many “stable” ingredients?! Well, in order to get away with using less powdered sugar but still have a strong, pipeable chocolate buttercream we need those ingredients.
What Kind of Coca Powder Should I Use?
In this recipe I use Natural Cocoa Powder like Hershey’s brand. It has the truest chocolate flavor and is my personal favorite. You can use Dutch Processed or Black Cocoa but keep in mind it will alter the flavor and consistency of your buttercream. If you are not very experienced with the other types of cocoa powder I recommend sticking with my recipe.
Whipping Up the Not So Sweet Chocolate Buttercream
For this recipe you can use either a stand mixer, or a hand mixer. Whatever you prefer!
- Beat the butter and cream cheese until creamy. Make sure both are softened and at room temperature to get a really smooth and creamy mixture. You will beat it on medium speed for three to four minutes.
- Sift together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, meringue powder, and corn starch.
- Add your chocolate powdered sugar mixture one cup at a time. Do this on low to medium speed, scraping down the bowl between each cup. It takes about four to 5 minutes.
- Drizzle in the melted semi-sweet chocolate chips. On low to medium speed beat for 2 to 3 minutes or until combined.
Store your Not So Sweet Chocolate Buttercream in the refrigerator or freezer covered. This can be in a bowl or piping bag that is in an airtight gallon bag.
TIP: When you are ready to use the chocolate buttercream, remove from the refrigerator or freezer and let the frosting come to a slightly cool-room temperature. Whip on medium speed with stand mixer or hand mixer until it is light and fluffy for three to four minutes. If it is in a piping bag you can massage it with your hands for a few minutes.
I Don’t Know How Much to Make
It can be so difficult trouble shooting how many batches of buttercream to make. These are my personal recommendations but you may prefer more or less chocolate buttercream. Either way, I hope this helps!
- 6 cupcakes: half batch
- 12 cupcakes: one batches
- 6 inch layer cake: one batches
- 8 inch layer cake: two batches
- 8×8 sheet cake or brownies: one batch
- 13×9 sheet cake or brownies: two batches
- Filling 12 whoopie pies or cookies: one batches
Can I Use Other Types of Chocolate?
Of course! You can definitely play around with the different flavors of chocolate. I personally prefer semi-sweet but dark chocolate and milk chocolate worked fine as well.
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Not So Sweet Chocolate Buttercream
- 1 stick unsalted butter; room temperature
- 4 ounces full fat cream cheese; room temperature
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup semi sweet chocolate; melted
- In the microwave melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in thirty second increments and for no longer than one minute. Set aside to slightly cool.
- On medium speed, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and fully incorporated.
- In a separate bowl sift together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, meringue powder, corn starch, and salt.
- On low to medium speed, add 1 cup of the chocolate powdered sugar mixture to the cream cheese mixture at a time, scraping down the bowl between each cup.
- Once all the powdered sugar mixture is incorporated, drizzle in the melted semi-sweet chocolate.
- On low to medium speed beat for 2 to 3 minutes or until combined.
- Refrigerate in a piping bag or air tight glass container until you are ready to use.
- Covered in refrigerator for up to seven days.
- Covered and frozen for up to two months.
Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.
If you make my Not So Sweet Chocolate Buttercream, don’t forget to leave this recipe a rating, comment, or like. Tag me on social media using the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth when sharing your own personal photos making this recipe. I would love to see your version and know your thoughts!
13 thoughts on “Not So Sweet Chocolate Buttercream”
I made this for a dark chocolate cake. I used dark special cocoa and it turned out amazing. I also just used 3 cups of powdered sugar and the consistency was great for piping and decorating the cake. I don’t like a really sweet icing and this one wasn’t too sweet. Just perfect!!
My first time to make chocolate buttercream and our family and I absolutely loved it!! Thank you for this delicious recipe!!
So glad you enjoyed it and thank you for sharing the picture with me on Instagram! I loved it!
What can I substitute for the merengue powder? I don’t have any.
You can just leave it out of the recipe. There aren’t any good substitutes unfortunately. But the cornstarch will still give you the hold and stability you are looking for.
best coco buttercream ever !! i love this mildly sweet version!
Great! I love hearing this! Thank you for sharing your experience!
This is the first buttercream frosting I’ve made, that everyone loved. Usually it gets scraped off the cake, because it is so sweet
Awesome! I am so glad everyone loved it!
Thank you for the review!
This is the best buttercream I have ever had! Usually buttercream is too sweet for me, but this one is perfect. Everybody loved it here, definitely making this again for my next cake.
YAY! I love hearing that. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience!
I am always looking for ways to reduce sugar/sweetness in baked goods, thanks for the excellent recipe, it’s smooth, less sweet, and tasty. FYI, I found meringue powder at a local hobby store that carries cake decorating supplies.
So happy to hear you enjoyed it! And yes, I get my meringue powder at the craft store as well.
Thank you! ~Elizabeth