We use two kinds of cocoa powder in this dark chocolate cream cheese frosting to give it a rich, dark chocolate taste and color. It is ultra fluffy and creamy, perfect for frosting a layer cake or piping high onto cupcakes.
If you’ve ever tried making dark chocolate frosting before then you probably know it's hard to achieve with regular cocoa powder. You can add cocoa for days, and it never seems to get a very dark color. Enter black cocoa powder, she will give it that deep dark color that all us dark chocolate lovers expect.
What's Cool About This Recipe
- Dark chocolate flavor: We use black cocoa powder to give this dark chocolate icing a deep, dark color. We also use regular cocoa powder to give it a yummy chocolate flavor.
- Rich and decadent: With both cocoas and the cream cheese, this frosting is rich and decadent. Perfect for any chocolate lover. Pair it with a dark chocolate cake for the ultimate chocolate dessert.
- Ultra fluffy: We use a little heavy whipping cream to give the frosting an ultra fluffy texture.
- Not too sweet: Like our less sweet cream cheese frosting recipe, and most of the desserts here, this frosting is not overly sweet. You really get to enjoy the dark chocolate flavor without being over powered with sugar.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Cream cheese: Use full fat brick style cream cheese for best results.
- Butter: We use unsalted butter, salted butter tends to make the frosting a little too salty.
- Heavy whipping cream: This is what makes the frosting ultra fluffy, make sure it is cold.
- Organic powdered sugar: We always use organic powdered sugar but any you like should do.
- Black cocoa powder: This is what gives the frosting that deep, dark color. It can be hard to find in stores, but is easily sourced online. If you can’t get black cocoa powder we recommend substituting both cocoa powders for dark cocoa powder like Hershey's Special Dark.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: We like to mix regular cocoa powder to give it that true chocolate flavor that we all know and love.
- Vanilla extract: This just compliments the flavor of the chocolate.
See recipe card for quantities.
- If you don’t want to use heavy whipping cream you can double the amount of butter and use about 2 tablespoons of milk in place of the heavy cream.
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again to ensure there are no lumps.
Step 2: Sift in the powdered sugar and both cocoa powders.
Step 3: Add the vanilla extract and beat until smooth and fully combined.
Step 4: Add the heavy cream and beat on medium/high speed for about 1 minute or until fluffy and fully combined. Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Frosting is usually paired with cake and we have some good ones to choose from.
- Classic vanilla cake, this would be like yellow cake with chocolate frosting.
- Classic chocolate cake, if you want a rich and decadent dessert.
- Ultra fluffy sponge cake, this cake stays fresh longer than most.
- Chocolate banana cake, something a little different but truly divine.
- Banana cake with chocolate frosting, I’m hungry now!
- Zucchini sheet cake, this could work
- Applesauce cake, with dark chocolate frosting, I’d eat it 😁
Store leftover frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks.
How to Freeze
Freeze in an airtight, freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
Tips From Our Kitchen
Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powders, that way you don’t have to try mixing out any lumps and your frosting will be smooth.
Use an electric mixer, and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often.
While sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, frosting is generally thicker while icing is thinner and more runny.
Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz (226 grams) Full fat cream cheese slightly softened
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) Unsalted butter slightly softened
- 1 cup (120 grams) Organic powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons (18 grams) Black cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons (18 grams) Unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) Vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons (60 grams) Heavy whipping cream cold
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and beat again to make sure there are no lumps.8 oz (226 grams) Full fat cream cheese, 4 tablespoons (56 grams) Unsalted butter
- Sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa powders, add the vanilla extract and beat starting on low speed and increasing the speed to high. Beat until fully combined and smooth.1 cup (120 grams) Organic powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons (18 grams) Black cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons (18 grams) Unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon (5 grams) Vanilla extract
- Add the heavy cream and beat on medium/high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Refrigerate until ready to use.4 tablespoons (60 grams) Heavy whipping cream
We calculate these nutritional facts using an estimate and they can vary drastically between ingredients used and measuring technique. So, they are not intended for medical use.