Homemade Cooked Chocolate Frosting

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old fashioned chocolate icing chocolate frosting

Cooked Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Boiled chocolate frosting or a cooked chocolate frosting sounds weird right? The frosting is made on the stove top. I made this from one of my favorite peanut butter sheet cake frosting recipes. The frosting has a rich chocolate flavor and is so easy to make, it’s becoming my go to recipe for frosting on my chocolate cake.

The frosting recipe ingredients are probably things you have on hand. Because it’s a cooked frosting, it’s easier to spread on your favorite sheet cake.

add butter and buttermilk on medium heat

Can I Substitute Milk Instead of Buttermilk?

In a pinch if you don’t have buttermilk, you can definitely use buttermilk, heavy cream, whole milk or half and half. If you have lemon juice, you can add a little to your milk, let it set a couple minutes, and you’ll have buttermilk too.

sifted cocoa powder for chocolate frosting

Why Do I Have Cocoa Powder Lumps?

You may get lumps in your cocoa powder if you don’t sift your cocoa powder. Depending on how much time I have and who the cake is for, I don’t always sift the cocoa powder or powdered sugar. You can use a spatula and try to press the lumps out as best you can or whisk the mixture.

low heat making boiled chocolate frosting

 Is This Chocolate Icing?

Some call it chocolate icing, but it is a thicker consistency of chocolate frosting. Chocolate icing is more liquid and fluid compared to this recipe. This frosting is also put on the cake while the frosting is hot and the cake is warm.

powdered sugar and cocoa powder in pan making chocolate frosting

How Do You Keep the Powder Sugar in The Frosting from Clumping?

If you sift the powdered sugar, you can sift out the lumps. You will need to do this prior to starting to make the frosting or it may cool and not melt the powdered sugar.

Is This a Fudge Icing?

Not really. It is not made with granulated sugar, it is made with powdered sugar. Chocolate fudge is very similar with similar ingredients, but this frosting is a spreadable consistency. It would need to be thinner to be a fudge icing recipe.

rubber spatula spreading of chocolate frosting on texas sheet cake

Does The Frosting Go On a Cooled Cake?

The frosting should go on a warm cake while the frosting is also warm. It will prevent tearing of the cake. The cooked frosting will also spread easily.

frosted cooled cake with chocolate frosting in sheet pan

chocolate espresso cake
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

The Secret to Perfectly Cooked Chocolate Frosting

You'll make this old fashioned cooked chocolate frosting your favorite after you see how easy it is. No more frosting from a jar.
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 sheet cake
Author: Regina Sober


  • 1 stick butter
  • 6 Tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sifted cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 3/4 cups sifted powder sugar


  • In a large pot, add buttermilk and butter.
  • Melt together on medium heat.
  • Sift in cocoa powder, removing any clumps.
  • Stir together and bring to a boil.
    You want to bring to a boil, but not burn.
  • Remove from heat and add in 1/3 of the sifted powdered sugar.
    If it's not sifted, you may have clumps you will need to whisk out.
  • Stir powdered sugar and mix together.
  • Add 1/3 of the powdered sugar and repeat.
  • Add in the last of the powdered sugar and the vanilla, mixing together well.
  • While the frosting is still warm and the cake is still warm, spread onto the cake.
  • Allow to cool and set. Serve and enjoy.


YouTube video

You'll make this old fashioned cooked chocolate frosting your favorite after you see how easy it is. No more frosting from a jar.

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