The key to this chocolately fudge icing is using Hershey’s Cocoa. It is a very rich icing that crusts over very nicely. Make sure you sift the cocoa or you will have little clumps of cocoa throughout your smooth icing. Learned this from personal experience. Enjoy!

Crusting Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Icing


  • 1 cup salted sweet cream butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup Crisco All Vegetable Shortening
  • 3 t. Pure Vanilla extract
  • 2 lbs. (8 cups) sifted powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 cup sifted Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 1 T. Meringue Powder
  • 8-9 T. heavy whipping cream, divided


  1. Cream butter and shortening, add vanilla, cream until smooth. Sift together powdered sugar and Hersheyâs Cocoa. Add Meringue Powder. Add 1/3 of the powdered sugar mixture, beating well on medium speed until blended (keep bowl covered with damp towel while beating to keep powdered sugar in bowl). Add 1/3 of the heavy whipping cream, mixing until blended. Add 1/3 more of the powdered sugar mixture, beating well on medium speed until blended. Add 1/3 more of the heavy whipping cream, mixing until blended. Add remaining powdered sugar mixture and remaining heavy whipping cream. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Cover with damp cloth until ready to use. Keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Can be refrigerated for 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
  3. When icing a cake, allow to crust over for at least 15 minutes.


JaeRodriguez Says... 2009-09-09 20:02:04

So yummy! :]

cakesalone Says... 2009-09-10 11:44:59

This is the Best Chocolate Icing I have tried so far. I can barely stop eating it when I make it. Whatever is left over usually gets eaten by the spoonful. Love this recipe.

Sweetgrl1963 Says... 2009-09-17 17:55:42

This is the best tasting choc. icing i have ever had. I thought the one I WAS useing was good, but this is amazing. could eat it right from the bowl.It also crust beautifully. This is my choc icing from now on.

Princess3 Says... 2009-09-25 07:32:03

Delicious, this is the best chocolate recipe I have used...others taste like pure cocoa, not rich chocolate so thankyou!!

simplyput Says... 2009-11-15 11:17:42

This is a great tasting recipe like cakesalone was saying my husband was trying to eat it by the spoonfull! the only problem i had with it was it was alittle dry and i don't know if you could add alittle something to the recipe to change that.... good luck good recipe!

mahlmann Says... 2010-01-18 15:31:24

This was delicious! Thank you for posting. Once I put it on the cake, can I leave the cake out or does it need to be refrigerated as it has heavy cream in it? Thanks!

anthropia Says... 2010-01-25 19:20:00

can I decorate easily with this recipe?

gourmetcakes Says... 2010-01-28 12:39:53

So glad you all enjoy it....I agree with all of you that it is hard to stop spooning some out and eating it straight out of the container. I have not had any issues of it being too dry, but to make it creamier, just add a little more heavy whipping cream (1 T. at a time). I have left the cake out of the fridge for a full day and not had any problem. If you want to decorate with it and it is too thick, just add a little more heavy whipping cream (1 t. at a time for smaller batches) and you should do just fine.

wilsonar Says... 2010-02-16 18:56:24

I just tried this recipe for the first time today and it is awesome! It's great because if you want it a little lighter and more of a whipped icing you just add more whipped cream. I can now stop my search for a delicious chocolate icing. Thank you!

cakemomof2 Says... 2010-04-15 12:42:13

What do you mean by Hershey's Cocoa?? Could you use NEstles Baking Coco or do you mean the powdered stuff to make chocolate milk?

jeanie60 Says... 2010-05-02 19:51:48

Absolutely the best. Do you have a recipe for regular "white" buttercream?

Maria925 Says... 2010-05-07 18:02:17

Oh my! I just made this and I had to hurry up and put it away because my husband & I wanted to keep "testing" it!! I can't wait to put this on my mother's day cake! Thanks!

CakinIt Says... 2010-05-17 18:42:19

how long will this hold up at room temp?

jlkallred Says... 2010-06-02 07:23:18

I used this recipe a couple of weeks ago and everyone loved it!! I totally agree w/ all who said it was hard to stop "testing" it! I used Nestles cocoa, b/c thats all I had and it was wonderful....but next time I buy cocoa, I'm getting the Hersheys. I iced 2-8" cakes (used a different filling) and had some left over. Wish I had tho't to measure it :( Thanks for the recipe!!

CakeShack Says... 2010-06-12 13:55:21

Definitely 10 stars - for taste, consistency and the way it crusts. It was so easy to work with and to smooth.

I made it this morning and used it to fill, ice and decorate 2 x 8" cakes. And I still have 1 1/2 cups left over.

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

Cabas10 Says... 2010-07-13 09:01:37

This is the PERFECT chocolate frosting. Delicious, smooth and creamy, crusts beautifully. I will never use another chocolate recipe again.

Thanks a million for sharing this.

CupQuequito Says... 2010-08-06 12:26:21

This is defiantly a keeper! I used Sweetex Shortening, and I think that it came out even smoother than it would have using Crisco. I added a tsp of almond extract as well. Almond is SO over looked with baking! It totally enhances any baking recipe. I may try adding in melted Callebaut to a small batch. However, I know the outcome ;) Here come a few Death by Chocolate cakes! :D

Daydreams Says... 2010-09-12 22:18:52

This was so yummy, will use this recipe always! Going to try to sub Bailey's Irish Cream for the Whipped Cream to see how it turns out....

JS605 Says... 2010-10-10 14:32:14

I just added the last bit of sugar and cream and couldn't wait to leave my response!!! This is the absolute best chocolate icing I've ever had!! Sooooo yummy! I can't wait for my little boy and husband to wake up from their nap to try it!! They're gonna love it! I would give it 20 stars if there were that many!!!! Thank you for the recipe!!!!

xCakeAddictx Says... 2010-10-22 22:39:26

so.... this recipe... is AMAZING!!! I HATE chocolate cake and frosting, and I had to make chocolate cupcakes for a potluck at work, I needed something that would hold up well being left out for a few hours, I found this recipe... and oh my goodness.... after I had my cupcakes frosted, I totally went chubby bunny status on the left over frosting... ABSOLUTELY PHENOMINAL!!!! >_< love love love!!

gourmetcakes Says... 2010-10-25 07:53:56

I apologize for not responding to some of these questions....I am not notified of comments that are left on here, and don't think to check it. As far as how long it will hold up at room temp. The most I have had it out at room temp is 2 days. It was just as fresh as the day I made it. Also, I ALWAYS use Hershey's Cocoa, and nothing else. I like that rich flavor that Hershey's gives it. Also, I do make a crusting buttercream listed under my recipes. So happy that everyone likes it and is enjoying is definitely hard to not want to lick the bowl and beaters clean :-)

shannycakers Says... 2010-10-29 14:53:54

please question: heavy whipping cream? like the kind in the small cartons? someones comment on here waid whipped cream or baileys, ? can you use coffee creamer in stead or must it be the heavy whipping cream ? Thanks!!

CupQuequito Says... 2010-10-29 16:19:10

Heavy whipping cream has fat. It's more for creamyness. Either way, creamer or Bailey's would enhance the flavor ;)

mmmcake0072 Says... 2010-11-21 18:45:37

Can anyone tell me......if you make your buttercream with milk, whipping cream or flavored coffee creamers.....can your iced cake spoil?......does it have to be put in the fridge? I work with fondant and have only used water based BC for fear of making the customers sick, but the icing is sooo not creamy and dreamy.

Lynn28 Says... 2011-01-28 19:40:00

I love this recipe and was so upset when I misplaced it, so now I made three copies and am happy to have found it again!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

mischelle522 Says... 2011-02-10 13:20:44

does anyone know about how many cups this makes?

MustardSeed Says... 2011-03-15 17:30:08

Do you have to use Crisco or can you use all butter.

MandaMoh3 Says... 2011-04-02 17:56:43

Soooo yummy!! I really don't care for chocolate cake or icing, but this was good!! I did forget the meringue powder (oops!!) but it still crusted and tasted very well. My mother LOVED it, she's the chocolate lover I tested it on. ;)

kim27282930 Says... 2011-04-25 13:28:44

Are you using sweetened or unsweetented cocoa?

gourmetcakes Says... 2011-04-26 18:35:20

As far as spoiling, you can leave this out for a couple of days at room temp or in the fridge for 2 weeks. I also freeze it and then thaw and rewhip. This makes approximately 6 cups. I always use half butter and half crisco. I use unsweetened Hershey's Cocoa.

snowpoppy2 Says... 2011-04-27 10:58:21

Made this for my last Wilton class cake-LOVE it! I had a little bit of an issue with crusting, when I went to smooth the cake the icing came off-but perhaps I added too much whipping cream because I cut the recipe in half.

Rhonlynn Says... 2011-05-16 15:28:35

Perfect, made it for my son's yellow cake. I will also use it when I need chocolate at any time. I used half double strength vanilla by Penzeys, and half almond extract. it tastes as good as Glace ice cream by Christopher Elbow here. I added a bit more whipping cream,cause hist cake is 13x9.

wjruss Says... 2011-05-27 05:04:18

Has anyone tried to put MMF over this? It's looks delicious :)

yeah4cake Says... 2011-06-01 06:16:07

I made this icing for a grad cake over the weekend, & it is amazing! Not only does it taste delicious but it crusts over beautifully, & very easy to smooth with Viva paper towel. I did not have heavy whipping cream, so I used 3 T dream whip powder mixed with 1/2 c hot water, & it was yummy.....enough where I got 3 more cake orders from new customers who said it was the best choc fudge icing they had ever eaten. My search is over, as this is the ONLY recipe I will use.

tjames30 Says... 2011-07-26 10:00:15

I am curious about covering this with fondant too. Anybody?

Creolecakes Says... 2011-07-30 20:59:57

I have to just ditto everything yeah4cake said. This is my new chocolate bc recipe. Crusts very nicely, very smooth, and I could just go on and on about the taste. Amazing!!! At first I thought I should have added more cocoa just from the look and color, but as I continued to mix and then tasted it, it was perfect exactly as instructed. @Tjames30, my guess is that this would work fine if covered with fondant. I saw absolutely no difference in performance from this recipe and my favorite vanila bc recipe.

annemarie40 Says... 2011-10-13 19:08:42

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My first time to make this tonight. It is just the right consistency to decorate a birthday cake. I hope my client likes it!! I will let everyone know!!

tangina200 Says... 2011-10-16 13:45:36

does everyone think this would taste good with brownies? Also, should I cut the recipe in half? sounds like everyone had a lot left over. Thx.. can't wait to try it!

cakemomof2 Says... 2011-10-21 12:59:00

By the way this makes the best plain white buttercream - just omit the chocolate and it tastes fantastic!! I usually end up using between 10-12 tbsp of whipping cream - very tasty!!!

ReesieT Says... 2011-12-11 17:15:56

Is this frosting stable enough to use on a stacked fondant cake With no sliding? I appreciate any pointers. Thanks

jojojes Says... 2012-01-10 13:59:46

I paired this frosting with the and it was omg out of this world lovely. I love baking with buttermilk and the combination of the Hershey's Cocoa in this frosting with the tang of the buttermilk cake was really great. I've used this recipe with great success many times and think that ReesieT shouldn't have any issues with using it stacked and under fondant. My triple layer cakes have held together quite nicely - no sliding.

bebesma Says... 2012-02-03 14:08:49

Just made this to cover a brownie cake...delicious! I used half Hershey's Cocoa and half Hershey's Special Dark cocoa.

preciosa225 Says... 2012-03-13 18:54:31

How is the color of this icing? Is it dark brown or is it the color of chocolate mousse (that grayish brown/beige color?

RebeccaBloomwood Says... 2012-03-15 11:59:22

Can i use all butter and no crisco for this? and same question as preciosa225, what's the color?

leahcakes Says... 2012-03-21 13:10:53

How dark is this icing? Could you add some black food coloring to this to get black icing and it turn out ok?

MarisParis Says... 2012-04-19 06:18:23

What is the purpose of the meringue powder? Is it what makes the frosting crust? Just curious, I've never used it before :)

vipskreations Says... 2012-04-30 00:45:26

hi i am new to baking n want to try this icing, but i have a couple of questions; where we stay ,we do not get shortening so can i use magraine n butter instead....n what can i use instead of meringue powder as that is also not easily available...please let me know at earliest as want make a cake on my husbands bday aftr 2 days

RainbowSprinkles247 Says... 2012-06-06 09:53:00

I can not say enough wonderful things about this buttercream! The rich chocolaty flavor and texture is fantastic and it crusts perfectly. I used this frosting on a cake for someone who is VERY particular about their buttercream (always complains that it tastes "too sweet") and they gave this frosting rave reviews (FYI, I added a pinch of salt to the recipe just to cut a little more sweetness). This buttercream goes on the cake nice and smooth with just an angled spatula, but also is ideal for using the Viva paper towel method. Another feature that sold me on this recipe was the ease with which I could cut the recipe in half, which was enough to frost a simple layer cake and a few cupcakes. This is my go-to crusting chocolate buttercream recipe from now on!!!!

brbrannon Says... 2012-07-21 17:41:53

Just what I was looking for! Delicious, creamy and very chocolatey. Easy to work with. YUM... no greasy feel. THANK YOU!

sparkledee3 Says... 2015-09-06 19:00:56

I know this is an old post, but wondering if I could add cream cheese to this and if so in what amount and when would I add it? Thanks so much!

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