If you’re looking for a chocolate icing recipe made with real chocolate then look no further than this simple, fudgey deliciousness. 

It’s an incredibly easy chocolate frosting recipe with no special equipment needed. 

Chocolate icing made with real chocolate

Chocolate icing made with real chocolate

If you had to ask me what my favourite cake is, it’s definitely chocolate cake but hands down without a second of doubt I would say chocolate mud cake.

It has to have chocolate icing made with real chocolate. 

I’m talking the fluffy chocolate frosting that’s fudgey and rich and light and fluffy at the same time. 

Why make the best dark chocolate frosting recipe (with real chocolate)

  1. Deliciousness – Making chocolate icing with melted chocolate instead of cocoa takes it from yum to OH MY GOODNESS!
  2. Simple – you just have to throw the simple ingredients all together. You don’t need a stand mixer or an electric mixer to make this delicious frosting. Just a saucepan and whisk. 
  3. Pro-looking – It takes a standard cake to looking incredible. The icing can be soft and light or, if refrigerated turns into a solid ganache style icing.
  4. Go-to chocolate frosting – This will be your new go-to recipe for frosting special occasion cakes. 

Seriously, it’s not just a good chocolate frosting, it’s THE BEST. We don’t use that term lightly. 

Chocolate icing made with real chocolate via www.clairekcreations.com - goes perfectly with rich chocolate mud cake

What you need to make THE BEST chocolate icing

To make this delicious homemade chocolate frosting you will need just four simple ingredients: 

  • Water – yes that’s right, a rich, fudgey chocolate icing made with water. Trust me. Make it.
  • Dark brown sugar (also called muscovado sugar) – you can use regular brown sugar or add a little molasses to make it dark.
  • Butter – pure butter, the type that comes wrapped.
  • Good-quality dark chocolate – good-quality is the key here. The type of chocolate you use makes the icing. 70% seems to be the perfect chocolate for the job.

There’s no cocoa powder in this recipe. The chocolate flavor comes solely from the chocolate.

How is this chocolate fudge icing recipe different to chocolate buttercream frosting

Chocolate buttercream is generally made using an electric mixer. First you whip the butter with the paddle attachment then slowly add icing sugar. 

It uses cocoa powder for the chocolate flavour. 

This chocolate fudge frosting uses melted butter and chocolate and the addition of water to create the fluffy texture. 

What’s the difference between chocolate fudge frosting and chocolate ganache

A chocolate ganache is made in a similar way but the melted dark chocolate has heavy cream or sometimes whole milk added to it. 

It’s then spread on the cake and left to set hard. 

This creamy chocolate frosting has no cream and will only set hard if it’s refrigerated. 

How to make it

To make the chocolate icing you will:

  1. Put the water, sugar and butter in a saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring, until everything is dissolved together.
  2. Bread the chocolate up into the melted butter, water and sugar and leave to sit for a minute.
  3. Give it a good stir with a whisk until the chocolate dissolves & leave to rest for about half an hour at room temperature.
  4. Repeat until the icing is nice and thick.
  5. Spread it on top of the cake and store in an airtight container. 

At first it seems like it won’t all come together, that the chocolate will never actually melt but then the magic happens and the pot turns to silky smooth chocolate (it always makes me think of Willy Wonka). 

Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, it can cake a couple of hours for it to reach a spreadable consistency. 

If you need to speed it up, pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes at a time and whisk in between. 


If you lack will power like I do, don’t be tempted to taste the wonderful frosting before you use it. 

​It is that good you might end up eating it from a spoon (I can ashamedly say that has happened to me on more than one occasion). 

Chocolate icing made with real chocolate - fudgey rich chocolate icing frosting for cakes and cupcakes

Common questions

How do you make chocolate frosting set?

If you like your fudgey chocolate icing to be more of a firm ganache then pop your iced cake in the fridge.

Can you use milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate in chocolate icing?

You can use all milk chocolate to make a milk chocolate frosting but the icing will be much sweeter. 

I recommend using a combination of milk and dark if you don’t want it too rich.

​Printable recipe card

Printable recipe card

Can you pipe chocolate frosting?

Yes you can pipe it. I recommend refrigerating the cake after piping the icing. 

The icing itself may need a little refrigeration prior to piping if you are in a warmer climate. 

I’ve spread it, piped it, made rosettes out of it and used in on top of cupcakes… it’s a very versatile icing. 

 What are the best cakes to ice with this homemade frosting recipe

Our favourite is the best ever chocolate mudcake but some other recipes you can use it on are: 

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Chocolate icing made with real chocolate

Chocolate icing made with real chocolate

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes

Chocolate icing made with real chocolate and brown sugar.


  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 30g (1oz) dark brown sugar
  • 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 300g (10oz) good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped


  1. Put the water, dark sugar and butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.
  2. When the mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so all the chocolate is heated.
  3. Leave it for a minute or two and then whisk until the icing turns smooth and glossy.
  4. Leave it for 1-3 hours and whisk every 20-30 minutes until it is thick.
  5. When the cake has cooled spread it with the fudge icing.

About The Author


Chocolate icing made with real dark chocolate - perfect for any sort of chocolate cake Chocolate icing made with real dark chocolate - perfect for chocolate mud cake Rich, thick and deliciously fudgey chocolate icing made with real chocolate Rich, thick and deliciously fudgey chocolate icing made with real chocolate Rich, thick and deliciously fudgey chocolate icing made with real chocolate



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