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Dark Chocolate Frosting

This deep, dark, satiny frosting (thanks to the addition of melted semisweet chocolate) is a favorite of Martha Stewart Living food editors, since it has just the right consistency for spreading or piping into beautiful swirls. It also has a wonderful sheen.

  • Servings: 5
  • Yield: Makes about 5 cups
Dark Chocolate Frosting

Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes


  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled


  1. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.

Cook's Note

This recipe, which accompanies Candied-Hazelnut Cupcakes, is from "Martha Stewart's Cupcakes."

Reviews (9)

  • karengreenfield 17 Oct, 2015

    The same recipe appears in the book Martha Stewart's Cupcakes but calls for 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar (not 1/4 cup). The other ingredients are the same.

  • sarai05m 7 Feb, 2015

    This was a fantastic recipe! I did not find it too thin at all, it was the perfect frosting consistency for me. I made sure to thoroughly cool the chocolate and cocoa mixture...

  • tidymom 18 Nov, 2012

    I made this frosting for a cake and it was WAY to thin, after adding a lot more sugar I got a nice consistency that I wanted and it was fabulous.

  • chrislyn_ivy2000 10 Oct, 2012


  • mikeypero 20 Jun, 2012

    Today I baked Martha's fabulous Mint-filled Brownie Cupcakes... for the third time. Previously, I have dipped the tops of these yummy cupcakes into melted chocolate with a little shortening for shine. Today I decided to try the Dark Chocolate Frosting on pg 302. Because of other reviews, I added 1/4c conf. sugar to this recipe. The cupcakes are amazing and will be added to the cupcakes I am baking for a Canada Day Party ... thank you, Martha. Your recipes are amazing.

  • SweetF 29 Jul, 2011

    This is absolutely delicous! It isn't a stiff enough icing to pipe but perfect to spread on a layered cake. YUM!!!! For those who like thiers a little sweeter I added just a touch more icing sugar and the consistency was still perfect.

  • apugh91 10 Jul, 2011

    This was awful. It comes out like water. 2.5 lbs of chocolate is way too much. I couldn't get it to pipe at all and had to trash it and start over because no matter how much sugar or cocoa you add to balance it out, it stays watery and thin. Yes, it's sheeny, because it's essentially melted chocolate with butter added in.

  • soyarra 13 Feb, 2011

    This frosting is perfect, w/ a perfect texture. It has a deep dark chocolate flavor but isn't too sweet. It's wonderful on all rich butter cakes. The trick to making it is to following the method exactly - the melted chocolate and cocoa mixture must be cooled before adding them to the butter mixture. And the butter must be at cool-is room temperature softness, no more (otherwise the frosting will be too soft). Beating sufficiently helps too. Excellent frosting!

  • evabearmail-martha 9 Dec, 2010

    I made this frosting from the Martha Stewart Cupcake book to go with the Salted Carmel Chocolate mini cupcake recipe. The recipe indicated that this was the frosting to use. Although the frosting is very tasty, I found that it had only two states runny or rock hard. It must be because of all the butter and chocolate that have such a low melting point. Instead of a nice dollop of frosting, I ended up dipping them like a glaze. The color is beautiful and they dried very shiny and pretty.

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