I like my buttercream, just sweet enough, light and fluffy. The flavor and texture has to be right. I've already shared an alternate buttercream recipe on the blog. It's great as well! This one is just a little bit easier. I adapted the main recipe into this chocolate buttercream. I ended up using it for some chocolate salted caramel cupcakes. The benefits of this buttercream is that it's really easy to make. You're going to get consistent results. It's delicious, light and fluffy. It pipes beautifully. Need I go on? Trust me, you won't go back. Keep in mind though, it's not overly sweet. You can adjust that to your liking. It's also not a fudge icing. It's not meant to look dark or taste very chocolatey. You should taste the chocolate, but it won't be as prominent, as it would be in a fudge icing. Still, it's delicious and I really suggest you give this a try.
Combine the salt, confectioner's sugar, and espresso powder into the bowl of your stand mixer with a whip attachment.
Mix on lowest setting and begin to pour in the water slowly.
Add in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and mix. Turn up the speed to a medium-high and begin to add the pieces of butter in chunks. Give it some time to mix before the next addition. Mix until combined and then add in the shortening in chunks. Whip for about ten minutes or until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Taste and adjust the sweetness or chocolate flavor if you need. You can do this by adding more cocoa powder, melted chocolate or confectioners sugar.
All finished! You can hold this in a covered container for about a week in the fridge. Rewhip before using.
See how I do it:
- 3 cups sifted confectioners sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons melted chocolate (I use a mix of milk, bittersweet and semisweet chocolate)
- ¼ cup to ½ cup boiling water (depending on humidity)
- Pinch of light espresso powder
- 11 oz hi-ratio shortening, cut into chunks
- 3 oz unsalted butter, softened, cut into pieces
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, dump in the salt, confectioners sugar, espresso powder.
Mix and slowly pour in the boiling water and whip until smooth.
Add in the vanilla, melted chocolate, cocoa powder and mix until smooth.
Increase to a medium-high speed and add in the butter and shortening in chunks. Let it mix in between additions. Let it whip for about ten minutes or until light and fluffy.
Taste and adjust if you need. Adding more chocolate or sugar.
You can store in a covered container in the fridge for a week. Rewhip before using.
You can use a mix of semisweet, bittersweet or milk chocolate in whatever ratio you'd like. Use good quality cocoa powder. Bad ones will have an aftertaste. Don't use Crisco. Use hi-ratio shortening.