11/03/2011 05:44 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Make Chocolate Frosting

With a few simple steps, chef Dianne Rossomando of The Culinary Institute of America creates a glossy, rich chocolate frosting perfect for cupcakes or birthday cakes. First, she melts butter in a pan over a medium flame, then adds cocoa powder. The resulting chocolate paste is transferred to the bowl of a stand mixer. She adds milk and powdered sugar in alternating batches, using about 1/3 of each with every addition until all of the ingredients are incorporated. She mixes for about 3 to 5 minutes until the frosting is shiny and a spreadable consistency.

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Rossomando from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to make chocolate frosting.

For our chocolate frosting, we have four ounces of butter, a cup and a half of cocoa, half a cup of milk, and a cup and a half of powdered sugar. We're going to start off with melting our butter and our cocoa powder; we're going to combine those two. I'll start my pan off on a medium flame, I'll make sure the butter is completely fluid, and then I'll add in my sifted cocoa powder. Just keep stirring it so it doesn't scorch at all. When our butter is completely melted, we'll add in our cocoa powder. And now that the cocoa powder has been added in, l'll take it off the burner and off the stove, and transfer this into our KitchenAid mixer.

We'll just feed in this cocoa paste. When it's all in the bowl, we're going to go ahead and lift up our handle, and I'm going to alternate with adding my one and half cups of powdered sugar and my half a cup of milk. I've put in a third of the powdered sugar, I start the mixer, and as it's mixing I'm going to add a third of my milk. I stop the mixer to add in my next third of powdered sugar, turn on the mixer, add a small portion of the milk - and then repeat one more time, adding the rest of both ingredients in the same way.

You would normally mix this for about three to five minutes. It should look glossy and shiny, and it is basically a pipeable and spreadable consistency. Now our frosting is done. We'll take it out of the bowl, and now it's ready to go ahead and pipe on to our cupcakes or birthday cake. The beauty of this buttercream is that it's super easy to make.