Classic Fudge Frosting

One taste of classic fudge frosting on yellow cake will take you right back to your childhood. This recipe is easy to make, and with its smooth velvety texture and touch of espresso powder to cut the sweetness, it will be your go-to frosting for years to come. Classic fudge frosting is perfect for frosting you favorite cake, cupcakes, topping brownies or in a sandwich cookie.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups


  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Place coarsely chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl set over simmering water (bowl should not be touching water). Turn off the heat; stir occasionally until chocolate has melted completely. Pull off heat, set on countertop, and let chocolate cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat milk to a quick boil on stovetop or in microwave, remove from heat and add espresso powder and cocoa powder; stir until cocoa is dissolved and free of lumps.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt on medium speed until pale in color, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add cooled melted chocolate and beat on low speed until combined scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Beat in the cocoa mixture just until combined.
  6. Cover and allow to cool in the refrigerator until frosting firms up but is still spreadable, about 1 hour.