Decorator's Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

A fluffy, light, but rich chocolate frosting.  The addition of meringue powder makes this stable--it can stand at room temperature for hours without spoiling or melting.  I've used this frosting recently on two different birthday cakes.
The first time was when my sister Melinda introduced me to this frosting.  She made a cake for my daughter's birthday when we were visiting for Spring Break.  We used this frosting to fill and cover the cake--this is a double layer 10" cake on a 10" cardboard round.  Then, she lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and placed the cake on top of a smaller cake pan.
Next, she gently poured a rich chocolate ganache over the sides and then top of the cake.  Find Melinda's ganache recipe here.
After it was coated with ganache the entire cake and pan was placed in the refrigerator to chill.  A while later, when the ganache set up, we finished by piping on the remaining decorations with the Decorator's Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
Decorator’s Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup vegetable shortening
1½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1½ tsp. almond extract or pure vanilla extract
9 c. powdered sugar
½ cup milk or water
3 Tb. meringue powder

Cream butter and shortening together in a mixer using the cookie paddles. Add the cocoa and mix well. Add extract and blend well. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time. Add meringue powder and mix. The icing will look really dry at this point. Add liquid and beat until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Add just a little more liquid one Tb. at a time until you get the right consistency for decorating. Makes about 10 cups frosting.

This is a nice, stable frosting with the consistency of mousse, and the advantage is that it can stand at room
temperature for several hours without spoiling or melting. It also makes a good base frosting for a ganache coating. You can refrigerate leftover frosting, but you will need to rewhip the frosting before using.

And here is the second cake...
A while ago I made a cake covered with Chocolate Mousse roses.  It looked great and was really was quite simple to make.  This decorator frosting reminded me of that Chocolate Mousse cake--so I made another rose cake, but with this frosting.  This cake has 3 round 8" chocolate cake layers.  (So, it's taller than the other rose cake and has more room for the rose swirls on the side.)  Check out the links on the Chocolate Mousse recipe for the rose cake tutorial.

Actually for this cake I didn't have meringue powder so I made the recipe without.  It still worked great.


  1. I love this frosting! I froze some in a zip top bag. To defrost it, leave it at room temp for several hours or to defrost it quickly I cut the bag, pulled the frozen frosting out and placed it on a cutting board. I chopped the frosting and in about 15 minutes it was at room temp. I put it in a bowl and rewhipped it.

  2. What if don't have vegetable shortening? Do you have another substitute?

    1. Just use all butter. The texture will be a little different, but the recipe will still work.


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