In Recipes

Remember when I bribed you to subscribe to my RSS or Twitter feed by saying I’d post that delicious dark chocolate icing recipe? Sneaky, right?

Well, it’s time to reward your loyalty by putting out. The recipe, that is. Details follow the jump, as well as a handy dandy printable recipe card.

This icing recipe is a slightly modified version of the one from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book. If any of you ate one of my Death By Chocolate Cupcakes at the Capital Cupcake Camp this year, this was the icing I used. It sets up solid enough that it can withstand a few bumps around a cupcake carrier, but when you bite into it, it has the texture and softness of the inside of a Lindor chocolate. Very velvety and rich, but because of the dark chocolate, not overly sweet like a buttercream.

Seriously folks, you would not kick this icing outta bed the next morning. In fact, you might even make it some scrambled eggs and consider introducing it to your mother.

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • a couple of pinches of salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds (675 g) good-quality dark chocolate, melted and cooled

    The most important ingredient of the ones listed above is the chocolate. Don’t skimp – no Chip-its chocolate chips. Chocolate chips contain extra ingredients that effect their binding properties and help them hold their “chip-like” shape, which can effect your icing consistency.

    Here at Geek Sweets, we’re nothing if not scientific.

    I’m lucky enough to have a Lindor chocolate outlet near me (!!!) and scored these babies for $2.50 apiece:

    The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is in the photo purely for scale. Not because I’m addicted to Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Nope.

    Feel free to insert your favorite dark chocolate in the same quantity. Just don’t go too dark, no 80% dark chocolate, as there is very little other added sugar. Bakers chocolate actually makes a very nice dark chocolate. Comes in a gold box here in Canada alongside their popular bittersweet variety. Makes yah feel all fancy.

    1. Chop and melt chocolate on the stove. (You can use a double boiler if you like, but I don’t find it necessary.) Put it in the fridge to cool while you prepare the other ingredients. Check on it every few minutes and remove when cooled. Do not allow to harden!

    2. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, whisking until cocoa has dissolved.

    3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy.

    4. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture, and you’re done!

    Makes about 5 cups, which will frost 2 dozen cupcakes generously.

    If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again. (I find the cooled and re-beaten frosting has a more ‘whipped’ consistency, and will give you more icing height.)

    Speaking of consistency: when this icing is first mixed together, it’s very shiny, silky and smooth. So smooth, in fact, you’ll think it might slide right off the cupcake. But it won’t, I promise. The longer it sits, the more it sets. So if you want stiffer icing, just give it a while out in the counter top, mixing it every few minutes.

    When the icing sets, it SETS. So if you want to attach any decorations or sprinkles, you’ll have to do it while it’s still soft. Refrigeration will set the icing in about 2 minutes, but it will never harden to the point where you can’t take a big chomp out if it.

    Want the abridged version of this recipe on a handy dandy recipe card? Download the printable PDF:

    Enjoy the icing kittens!

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    Showing 2 comments
    • Paula

      I can attest to the wonderful taste of this icing! Thank you so much for posting it and for the printable recipe card. Great idea! Your post was a delight to read.

    • Saga

      I'm so looking forward to this weekend… I'll be making some pumpkin spice cupcakes and I think your icing will be fantastic on them 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Leave a Reply to Paula Cancel reply