Creamy dreamy chocolate buttercream that tastes like soft serve chocolate ice cream thanks to the use of mascarpone cheese.
Smooth and rich chocolate buttercream made even smoother and better tasting with mascarpone. Beware, you’ll eat most of it before it gets on the cake.
My trials with this began with a vanilla mascarpone buttercream, but I wasn’t into the texture or the taste. I then tried it as a browned butter mascarpone but the thing about browned butter is that it’s so intense, it just takes over so what was the point of the mascarpone? Again, I wasn’t into it. Determined to find a way to make this work, I tried it with cocoa and… magic. It’s creamy, it’s dreamy and I want to smother it on everything.
We all know and love chocolate cream cheese buttercream, so the texture this recipe produces won’t be too much of a surprise. However, mascarpone doesn’t have the tanginess of cream cheese and instead it adds something more subtle, kind of malty in the background. The best way I can think to describe the taste is that it’s like a chocolate soft-serve ice cream, but more intensely chocolate. It is absolutely wonderful and spreads like a beauty on any cake. I could eat it off the spoon…!
In the cake batter I use dutch-process cocoa which produces a very dark cake; you don’t need anything else to get that color. In the buttercream I used a bit of black cocoa – but not too much as I find it interferes with the rich cocoa taste I am after. Here’s a couple of side by side photos so you can see the difference in color they produce. The nice thing is that in keeping the black to a small amount, you’ll get the the dark color but you’ll still retain the wonderful chocolate taste that comes from dutch-process cocoa.
On the left, all dutch process cocoa. On the right a mix of dutch and black cocoa. The color difference is noticeable and there is a difference in taste too. Black cocoa always reminds me of oreos, it’s very intense and not at all sweet.
NOTE: Cake recipe from photos above is available HERE.
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I wanted to thank you for this recipe. The frosting is the best chocolate buttercream I’ve ever had and it’s so simple to make. I will be sure to try your other recipes.
Oooh this is lovely. Followed recipe exactly as written and ended up with a smooth fluffy buttercream. I like the flavor, as you don’t taste mascarpone too strongly, it just complements the chocolate perfectly.
This is my go to buttercream recipe. It’s so delicious and never fails to impress. Once you try it, you’ll never try anything else.
I absolutely LOVE this frosting. I’ve made this several times, and it is my favorite. Sam’s recipes are amazing, and I look forward to trying more of her recipes. If you haven’t tried making this one, NOW is the time!
Do I use room temperature mascarpone cheese? Or cold from the frig?
May I ask, what chocolate cake recipe do you suggest mixing this buttercream with? Do you have a favourite?
Absolutely divine chocolate frosting! I love that it is chocolatey, but not overly sweet. Seriously so good!
Did you use the filling recipe with the cake and your mascarpone chocolate buttercream recipe when you made the cake? Or just the cake and frosting?
Hi I’m having trouble finding the cake recipe that goes with this frosting?
How many ounces of chocolate did you use? And what percentage dark chocolate? 60/70/80?
Thank you. I’m looking forward to trying this.
Hi Christin, 1/4 cup (I have not weighed it) and 70%!
Hi! This recipe looks really good! What brand of dutch cocoa do you use?
Hi Raquel! Scroll up to the ‘notes’ and you’ll see I’ve linked to a few different brands I like!
Hello, you mentioned you didn’t used black cocoa for cake better, is that correct? Because the cake looks so dark. Also, for the frosting, how much black cocoa and dutch cocoa ratio did you use? Excited to make this! =) Thanks
Hi Mar! For the cake I use dutch only. For the frosting, I mention in the ‘notes’ section I swapped 1/3 cup black but you can also do it by your taste.
How do I get to the notes to see the cake recipe
Hi Claire, scroll up and look for the section titled ‘notes’.
Mine remained grainy looking 🙁 but the mouth feel and flavor was perfecto. do you think I maybe didn’t beat it long enough?
Annie! I wanted to tell you I made this a few weeks back and the same thing happened. The way to fix it turned out to make the recipe all that much more delicious: adding melted chocolate. I’m now making it part of the recipe itself =)
Hi Annie, it could have been the beating time. I also wonder if the butter or cheese was to cold and maybe the sugar didn’t dissolve. I’m glad it tasted good!
With the cake recipe you use, do you do the buttermilk or yogurt? Thanks!
amazing recipe i have tired well cook very well thanks for sharing it
Buttermilk! But, of course =D
Does it have to refrigerated after frosting cake?
I generally don’t refrigerate my cakes because it dries them out. I think the buttercream is fine at cool room temperature for a day or two.
Do you have the recipe for the cake you used with this buttercream? It looks divine!
See the ‘notes’
This frosting is AMAZING and easy. It will be my new go to buttercream when I don’t want to make the elaborate version I use that requires melted chocolate. A few days ago I made the frosting again and put it on German chocolate cake. Shared the cake with a neighbor and she said “you should open a bakery and sell only that cake”!
Ahh Malisa, that is SO wonderful to hear!! I bet the buttercream with your cake was better than any bakery-made!
This was DELICIOUS! I made a half recipe for a 9" square cake. I couldn’t find organic powdered sugar and it was fine. For 1/3 of the cocoa, I used black cocoa, but it actually didn’t make it very dark. Thank you!
Hello! Will the buttercream harden up in the fridge? 🙂
So sorry I missed this Bronwyn, but yes it will harden due to the butter (probably not as much as a buttercream made with all butter though!)
Hi! How much frosting does this make?
Hi Kathryn! About two cups!
What size cake would that be suitable for? I am looking to make a small 6” cake and am wondering if I should halve the recipe. Thanks!
hi! To get a darker color, how much black cocoa should I use without compromising the taste? Thanks!
Hi Sally! In the notes section I advise subbing 1/4 cup with black. This is enough to make it dark and keep it chocolatey.
Hello! I’m so intrigued by this delicious sounding buttercream. Have you tried to pipe it? I have an event coming up, and I’m making cupcakes. Thank you for your time and for sharing your delicious sounding recipe!
I think it could be piped, if you find it too soft add a bit more powdered sugar
Hi, sorry to ask again but you mentioned substitute with 1/3 cup of black cocoa above, is it 1/3 or 1/4? Thanks for the great recipe once again! I have been trying out a few of your recipes recently and they’re so awesome 🙂
Shuang,I raised the cocoa (and sugar) just a bit because a few people said it was too soft. If you like, you can start with 1/4 black and 1/3 dutch and add more as you are mixing. In my buttercream 101 the check, taste, adjust, method is what I advise for all buttercreams.
thank you! Totally embarrassed I missed it! I’m always intrigued by the effects of different types of cocoa – natural vs. dutch vs. black. Thanks!