This is absolutely the BEST Chocolate Frosting! Not to mention how EASY it is. Everyone who makes it loves how chocolatey it is, and it’s made without butter or icing sugar! It’s not messy to make and it isn’t too sweet. This is perfectly balanced and I can’t wait for you to try it! It is based on a classic ganache starting with chocolate and cream. This is the frosting that I pair with my BEST Chocolate Cake recipe and it is like eating a chocolate truffle. I know you’ll love it! Enjoy.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- EASY TO MAKE – this chocolate frosting is SO EASY to make all in one bowl and you don’t need an electric mixer!
- Simple ingredients – this recipe uses just 5 simple ingredients.
- Fudgy dark chocolate frosting – it has the most fudgy texture that’s literally like eating a chocolate truffle.
- Not too sweet – the best part about this chocolate frosting is that it is not-too-sweet thanks to sour cream that balances out the sweetness and no added sugar. Sugar only comes from the chocolate.
- No soft butter needed – you don’t need to wait for your butter to soften to make this because there is no butter in it!
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BEST MOIST CHOCOLATE CAKE
- Dark chocolate – you’ll need pure dark chocolate to make this frosting. Anything between 50 and 70% cocoa solids will work, but I highly recommend dark chocolate with 60% cocoa solids. You can blend semisweet chocolate with my favorite bittersweet chocolate callets which are very convenient.
- Cream – you need heavy cream or whipping cream with 35% milk fat.
- Honey – any type of liquid honey will work. It will keep the frosting fudgy and also gives it a beautiful shine.
- Cocoa powder – any kind will work. I love to use this Dutch Process cocoa powder. Make sure you use unsweetened cocoa powder and not cocoa mix.
- Sour cream – full fat sour cream adds tanginess to balance the sweetness and also creates a luscious texture.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Melt chocolate. Combine chocolate, cream and honey in a saucepan over low heat and stir until completely melted, smooth and glossy.
- STEP 2). Mix in sour cream. Pour it into a bowl and whisk in cocoa powder. Add sour cream and whisk it through so it is evenly combined.
- STEP 3). Cool. Let cool for 15 minutes then beat with a whisk until thick and lightened a bit. If your kitchen is warm, place it in the fridge for a few minutes to help it set faster.
- STEP 4). Frost the cake! Spread over cooled cake layers immediately as it will thicken to a fudge consistency as it cools. You must pair this frosting with my BEST Moist Chocolate Cake! It is the most popular recipe on this website and everyone who makes it raves about it!
EXPERT BAKING TIPS FOR THE BEST CHOCOLATE FROSTING
- Use a dark chocolate between 50% and 65% cocoa solids for best results. Do not use milk chocolate for this recipe – it will not work.
- Do not over beat – do not over-mix the frosting at the last step after it has cooled. You want to whisk just until it turns a slightly lighter colour. If you over-whip, then it will stiffen up immediately and become difficult to spread.
- Keep an eye on the cooling time. If it is hot where you are, and you choose to cool the frosting in the fridge, then be sure to check on it every 5 minutes and give it a stir. If left unattended it will set to a firm consistency and be impossible to whip.
What type of chocolate is best for the best chocolate frosting?
Although I mostly use 70% bittersweet chocolate for baking, this frosting recipe works best with dark chocolate between 50 and 65% cocoa solids. The sweeter chocolate helps balance the flavour and it also blends better for a glossier frosting. I prefer this dark chocolate.
What is a substitute for sour cream?
If sour cream is not available to you where you live, you can also make this recipe using an equal amount of full fat Greek yogurt. I have tested this and it worked well! Another suitable substitution is crème fraîche — a type of fermented dairy product somewhere between yogurt and sour cream.
What is a substitute for honey?
If you can’t get a hold of honey, you can replace it with corn syrup or agave syrup. I would not recommend maple syrup since maple syrup contains almost twice as much moisture as honey and it will affect the consistency of the frosting. Honey helps to keep the consistency silky, extra cocoa powder helps to boost the chocolate flavour intensity and sour cream adds a tanginess that complements the sweet and bitter flavours to make for one complex and totally delicious frosting.
The BEST Chocolate Frosting
- Combine chocolate, cream and honey in a saucepan over low heat and stir until completely melted, smooth and glossy.
- Pour it into a bowl and whisk in cocoa powder. Add sour cream and whisk it through.
- Place the bowl in the fridge for about 20 minutes until thickened. Do not leave it in much longer or it will set up firm. If it is still really runny, then place it back in the fridge for another 5 minutes. Once thick like warm pudding, beat with a whisk until thick and lightened a bit. Stop whisking if it starts to look matte and thick – just whip a few times but it should still stay glossy. It will firm up as you spread it.
- Use the frosting immediately. Spread it over cooled cake layers right away and avoid spreading around too much which will make it stiffen up.