Fluffy Chocolate and Yellow Buttercreams

Makes 3 3/4 cups chocolate frosting and 1 1/4 cups yellow frosting

If you're using this frosting for piping and not for our Monkey Cake, start with Step 2.


  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 5 ¼ cups sifted confectioners' sugar

  • Yellow food coloring

  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 stick butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups sugar; mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in food coloring to make pale yellow. Transfer to a small bowl; cover.

  2. Put remaining 3 sticks butter in mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; add cocoa. Mix until smooth. With mixer running, add remaining 3 3/4 cups sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; mix on high speed until incorporated, 10 to 20 seconds more.

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