Dark Mocha Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Dark Mocha Buttercream Frosting

I have always loved dark chocolate and recently, I decided to play with my chocolate buttercream frosting recipe to see if I could make it darker… and more rich and luscious!

In addition to the darker chocolate, I decided to add some fresh brewed coffee in place of some of the liquid to add an extra punch of flavor and richness… and well… coffee!  There’s just nothing better than chocolate and coffee, right?

In my opinion, the added coffee flavor really enhances the chocolate and gives it more depth.

In addition, I read awhile back that using warm water in place of milk in chocolate-flavored frosting really gives the frosting a more fudge-y flavor!  I can’t remember where I read that tip, but I can tell you that for me, it really does make a difference!

This frosting is dark, rich and delicious on chocolate cake or cupcakes or even on brownies…as you see above!  Yum!

Here’s the recipe:

Dark Mocha Buttercream Frosting

Serving Size: 786g

Calories per serving: 3439kcal

Fat per serving: 1810kcal

Dark Mocha Buttercream Frosting

This frosting is dark, rich and delicious on chocolate cake or cupcakes or even on brownies.


  • 3/4 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 4 tablespoons warm, strong brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of warm water, as needed to get a good consistency


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, coffee and vanilla until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar, then slowly add to the creamed mixture.
  3. Add warm water as needed to the frosting to thin it for piping or frosting a cake.
  4. Use immediately or cover and chill until ready to use. When ready, bring it to room temperature to soften and mix with a hand mixture to fluff it up before using.

This recipe yields about 3 cups of dark mocha buttercream frosting or enough to cover and fill a 2-layer 6″ round cake.


  1. I used expresso powder for the coffee 1TBSP +4 TBSP hot water, let it cool, then measured the 4TBSPs for the recipe. – Perfect. This icing turned out great!

  2. I made this recipe for between the layers of a wedding shower cake and everyone raved! I don’t remember if I doubled the recipe or not but now, for the baby shower, of same couple, I have been asked to make the same cake with the specific request of the mocha frosting so I intend on frosting the whole thing with this recipe and I’m not sure if I need to triple or quadruple it or what. My question is this… It says it makes about 3 cups, but how can that be when it calls for 1 cup of cocoa and 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar? Does it reduce that much? Thank you for a great recipe.

    • When you measure out powdered sugar, there is a lot of air in it – it’s not packed tightly or anything. But when you mix it with the wet ingredients, it becomes a lot more dense. I hope that makes more sense.

  3. Though i am a coffee-holic, i decided to experiment using peanut butter. With a heaping tsp of natural peanut butter, i slowly incorporated hot, bowling water making a slurry that equaled 4 tbsp.
    Chocolate and peanut butter are made for each other

  4. The recipe Sounds great. Would you mind giving details on how much coffee to use? (what I mean is how many teaspoons of coffee & hot water to make up your strong brew coffee – I have Nescafe in my kitchen)

    • I wish I could give you an exact measurement… Since I don’t actually drink coffee or make it, I usually just get my hubby to make it for me and tell him I need it strong!

  5. Rose, your killing me girlfriend? Love the picture and the way it sounds but do not like what the calories, fat, sodium and above all the carbs will do to me!!! hahahaha!!! Sweet heavens Rose, what shall i do with you!!!! LOL!!!!!!

    • Girl, I don’t know what to think of those nutrition figures… I don’t have anything to do with that but surely it’s calculated for the whole recipe and not a serving!! If not… I don’t need to EVER make this again 😉

  6. Maybe I’m weird, but cannot stand the taste of anything coffee. Does this have a slight coffee taste? If so, replace coffee with what would you suggest? Love fudgey icing though.

  7. I know coffee enhances the chocolate flavor, so with that said, does this taste more chocolately or can you taste the flavor of coffee?

  8. This sounds wonderful! Are you using something like Hershey’s special dark cocoa or dutch cocoa? Can’t wait to try this one some brownies!!

    • I live in the sticks and don’t have a lot of options at the grocery store, so I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder, but if you have access to a higher quality cocoa, I’m sure it would be amazing!


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