Easy Chocolate Frosting

This easy chocolate frosting recipe is just what every cake and cupcake recipe needs. Melt chocolate and stir it into sour cream along with powdered sugar—no mixer needed!

 chocolate frosting recipe for cupcakes

Simply Recipes / Eliezer Martinez

This chocolate frosting is pure decadence. It produces such a thick, delicious, spreadable frosting, it almost seems like magic.

You’ll have fun making swirls or stripes or whatever whimsical patterns your spoon or spatula leads you to!

I used this frosting to make this Sour Cream Chocolate Cake, but you could use it to frost a layer cake, a batch of cupcakes, or any baked good that would do well with some chocolate frosting.

perfect chocolate frosting

Simply Recipes / Eliezer Martinez

Bake a Cake for This Chocolate Frosting Recipe!

Tips for Easy Chocolate Frosting

For a smooth and glossy frosting, let the melted chocolate cool before stirring it into the sour cream.

Be sure to let the sour cream sit out for 20 minutes first to get to room temperature. The chocolate will harden into small flakes if the sour cream is straight from the fridge.

The Best Chocolate to Use for Frosting

You can use either chips or chopped chocolate. Chopped chocolate will give the smoothest results because chocolate chips have a non-melting coating that helps them keep their shape. But chocolate chips are a convenient option and totally fine to use for this frosting. Whatever you have in your pantry is always the best option!

Sour Cream vs. Butter for Frosting

Sour cream makes this an easy and quick frosting with minimal beating. There's no need to wait for butter to soften, and the sour cream adds a smooth and creamy texture. However, remember that sour cream is, well, tangy. So, this frosting will be too!

If you're looking for more of a fluffier chocolate buttercream, try our Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream or the frosting from our Double Chocolate Cupcakes recipe.

Other Favorite Frostings for Cake!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Easy Chocolate Frosting

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 12 servings
Yield 1 1/2 cups

The sour cream makes this frosting rich, glossy, and tangy. If you prefer a less tangy frosting, try our easy Vegan Chocolate Frosting, or the frosting from our Double Chocolate Cupcakes.


  • 8 ounces (227g) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup (225g) sour cream, left at room temperature for 20 minutes

  • 3/4 cup (95g) powdered sugar, sifted into a bowl

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Pinch salt


  1. Melt the chocolate:

    Put the 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of hot, but not boiling, water. The bowl should not touch the water.

    Let the chocolate melt, stirring occasionally with a silicone spatula. Remove the bowl from the heat and wipe the bottom dry. Cool, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

    double boiler to melt chocolate for frosting

    Simply Recipes / Eliezer Martinez

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  2. Add the sour cream:

    Gradually, add the room temperature sour cream a little bit at a time, stirring well with the rubber spatula.

    chocolate frosting with sour cream

    Simply Recipes / Eliezer Martinez

  3. Add the powdered sugar, then the vanilla and salt:

    Add the powdered sugar gradually. Then, add the vanilla and the salt. Stir until the mixture is smooth and thickened.

    Use the frosting right away to frost a cake or batch of cupcakes. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.

    powdered sugar to chocolate ratio for frosting

    Simply Recipes / Eliezer Martinez

    thick creamy chocolate frosting recipe

    Simply Recipes / Eliezer Martinez

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
160 Calories
9g Fat
21g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 160
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 19mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 93mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.