Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

When I shared my Paleo Birthday Cake recipe with y’all a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had also created a Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. So many of you asked for that recipe that I had to oblige! This 2-ingredient Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe is amazing in many ways. First, and foremost, it tastes incredible. Second, it is super easy to make. Finally, because it’s made with 77% dark chocolate, it is very low in sugar.

This Paleo chocolate frosting is very ganache-like in that it can harden quickly when it cools off. If you are finding it challenging to work with, simply heat it very gently and re-blend. If your frosting mixture does not soften at all, it means your chocolate has “seized.” Dark chocolate seizes when it is heated to temperatures above 118 degrees. At that point it goes from a gorgeous shiny velvet texture to a dull clumpy rock-like mess. I don’t think chocolate is salvageable once it seizes. If you know otherwise please leave a comment and tell us your trick!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Print Pin Recipe
Servings 1 cup



  • In a saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate and butter, stirring constantly
  • Place mixture in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to chill
  • Remove from refrigerator and whip with a hand blender until thick and fluffy
Prep Time 5 mins
Fridge Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Tried this recipe?Mention @elanaspantry or tag #elanaspantry!

I used 77% dark chocolate for this recipe from an incredible local company called Chocolove, but I’ve linked to a different product in the recipe above to give you another option. If you decide to substitute a lighter or darker chocolate this frosting recipe may fail as you will be altering the ratio of fat to sugar. Although seemingly insignificant this change will require steps to adapt to a new, and substantially different ingredient. If you do swap ingredients please leave a comment to let us know how your substitution goes.

I photographed this Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe on top of my Paleo Marble Cupcakes. These cupcakes are made with butter and maple syrup so the vanilla part looks a bit dark. If you’d like me to share this Paleo cupcake recipe let me know and I’d be happy to do so in the next few weeks.

If you are using this frosting to spread over my Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes one batch will be sufficient. If you’re making it for Paleo Birthday Cake you’ll need a double batch of Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. And by the way, my Paleo Birthday Cake recipe is not just a gluten-free, grain-free dessert, it is also nut-free! I have hundreds of nut-free recipes, for those of you with nut-allergies.

Your recipes are always so classic and on point.


86 responses to “Chocolate Buttercream Frosting”

  1. YESSSS. Amazing, I had been looking for a less sugary icing for cakes and cupcakes and this sounds perfect! Thank you.

  2. Love your recipes!! I have 2 of your cookbooks and have given my sister copies as well!! We use them all the time!
    I would also love to have a your marble cupcake recipe! Thank you again for the fabulous recipes and great information you post!

  3. Elana:
    I love your site! If you google “seized chocolate rescue” you should find instructions for stirring a little fat into the melted chocolate to restore it, although you won’t get the shiny gloss back. I hope it works for you! Suzanne

  4. Hi Elana- Your receipes are fantastic, thank you so much for doing this work so my kids and I can have delicious treats !I have celiac disease and used to eat Chocolove, but discovered that their bars “may” contain gluten.
    Per their website: Most bars have no gluten, but we do not guarantee Chocolove to be gluten free.” do you eat them anyway? My general rule is that if the label says it’s processed in a facially that presses wheat, I”ll eat it, but if it says may contain wheat or gluten, I don’t. that may just be semantics, and I”m fooling myself. Thoughts?

  5. Hi Elana,

    Can I use ghee instead of butter? I have a hard time with the coconut oil because of how hard it gets.

    Thank you, love all that you do!

  6. Made some devils chocolate cupcakes. With this I used 12ozorganic semi sweet chips& pound ‘o Butter, whipped it up perfectly! I had my hand mixer on highspeed-also I had a candy temp makin sure my mixture was never too hot! Awesome! Enjoy!

  7. What a simple, yet wonderful creation.
    Thank you for sharing it with us.
    I will be making a double batch to use with your Paleo Birthday Cake.

  8. I have a copy of your cookbook–the gluten-freeALMOND FLOUR cookbook. You use agave nectar in most of the recipes. I do not buy agave products because it is even worse than sugar. I agree that it is Low glycemic but that is only one issue. The nectar is processed and loses any goodness in the unprocessed juice.

    Your cookbook was published in 2009, six years ago. perhaps by now you have changed your mind on agave nectar.


    • Hi Amelia, you are correct. I no longer consume agave or use it in my recipes. I’ve found that using honey in place of the agave in the recipes in that book generally works quite well :-)

      • I also have that cook book… Would you substitute honey for the agave in the same measurements? Would Stevia or xylitol work? Being diabetic I try to stay away from honey. Thanks for all you do for us.

        • Hi Donna, I use honey in place of agave for those recipes 1:1; not sure if stevia or xylitol would work at all since they are so different from agave and honey. Please let me know how it goes and hope you are enjoying that book :-)

        • Hi, I use Swerve, xylitol, Vitafiber powder and stevia glycerite drops as I can’t use honey or anything either. You need the bulk of one of the powders and can tweak the sweetness with the stevia drops. I’ve never used powdered stevia. I usually use less sweetener than called for so that I have better control. My sweet tooth is not that sweet haha! For this icing recipe I’m planning to try it with Lily’s stevia chocolate chips and hope it works! I have cocoa butter on hand which help the texture if needed.

  9. This looks divine! I would love to make it with the paleo marble cupcakes for my fiancées birthday this week!! Thank you Elana for all of your beautiful recipes that I can ALWAYS count on!

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Recipes » Toppings » Chocolate Buttercream Frosting