Chocolate Frosting


The inspiration for this frosting technique comes from dessert maven Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts (Alfred A. Knopf). Use it to lavish a layer cake, envelop a sheet cake, or swirl atop cupcakes. Or, forgo the cake completely and slather it onto cookies, brownies, or whatever else you see fit.

Chocolate Frosting
This is a real old-fashioned American chocolate layer cake. It's very moist, very chocolaty, a snap to make and best baked the day before serving. Photo: © Julie Craig
Total Time:
25 mins
Makes about 3 1/2 cups


  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Pinch of kosher salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and sugar to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces slightly, about 6 minutes. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and add the chocolate, butter, vanilla, and salt. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are melted.

  2. Set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the frosting on medium speed, scraping the sides occasionally with a rubber spatula, until thick and glossy, about 5 minutes. Use at once.

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